One big concern for the Washington Nationals heading into their first postseason was whether the wrist and hand injuries that left fielder Michael Morse was going through would derail his power for the rest of the year.
After all, before Thursday, Morse had hit just two homers in September.
He matched that total in his first three at-bats in the series finale, finishing with four RBI. With Morse's power, the Nationals' erased a 3-1 deficit and beat the Phillies 7-3. Their 95th win of the season reduced their magic number for winning the NL East title to three.
Morse's second homer was a jaw dropper, measuring 451 feet to the opposite field. Nationals reliever Tom Gorzelanny caught the flyball in his cap in the visitors' bullpen on the second level of Citizens Bank Park.
"It felt real good. Anytime you hit a ball like that, sometimes you just got to appreciate it a little bit. Watch it go," Morse said in postgame television interview.
Morse has 16 homers on the season after missing 50 games because of injury. Morse hit a career-high 31 homers last season. It was the fifth time in his career he had hit multiple homers in a game.
"I am feeling a little better. My wrist is feeling good," Morse said.
If second baseman Danny Espinosa can slow his strikeout total, there are few other weaknesses in the Nationals' offense. But Morse is key. The Nationals lineup is filled with home run hitters if he gets going again.
"He said he feels healthy and he showed it tonight," manager Davey Johnson said. "He swung the heck out of bat. He is pulling the ball more, which tells me he is healthy. It is happening at a good time."