Washington Nationals News: Dominant Daniel Murphy leads Nats’ charge into second half

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Jun 29, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) celebrates with Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) celebrates with Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily has more on Daniel Murphy’s first-half success and why Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg isn’t pitching in the All-Star Game.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses the impact that Daniel Murphy had on the Nationals during the first half of the season.

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As Ladson writes, Murphy credits the Nationals’ successful first half to a team effort and stellar performances from players like Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos. But Murphy has undoubtedly been the team’s best hitter this season, and without him, it’s unlikely the Nationals would be where they are at the break.

Only time will tell if he can carry that momentum into the second half and help lead the Nationals back to the postseason.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes discusses why Stephen Strasburg decided not to pitch in this year’s All-Star Game. As Janes writes, Strasburg was coming off an injury and made the decision out of caution in hopes of staying fresh for the second half

Here’s part of what Strasburg had to say about the decision, via Janes’ article:

"“Absolutely,” Strasburg said. “But it wasn’t really a decision that I had to think over. It was something where the team wanted me to not do it, so them being my employer, this being a game that’s fun for the fans, my allegiance is to the Nationals…”"

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Murphy helps 1st-place Nats build 2nd-half pep

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Tell infielder Daniel Murphy that he carried the Nationals into first place in the National League East, six games ahead of the Mets before the All-Star break, and he will stop the conversation and say teammates such as Bryce Harper,Wilson Ramos and the starting pitching staff played a bigger role in the team’s success.

“The list is too many. I’m just a small piece of it. I’m really excited to help us win games,” Murphy said after the Nationals edged the Mets, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker sees things a little differently than Murphy. It was Murphy that gave Washington a 2-0 lead over New York in the first inning by hitting a two-run homer against left-hander Steven MatzRead full article here.

Next: Washington Nationals’ All-Stars a testament to the team’s talent in 2016

Stephen Strasburg explains his decision not to pitch in the All-Star Game

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

SAN DIEGO — Stephen Strasburg pitched against the Mets on Friday, the same day word came down that he would not pitch in the All-Star Game, and that Max Scherzer would go in his place. He explained the decision briefly after the game: He had just been injured, he and the team wanted to be cautious, starting the first game after the break would help the Nationals more than pitching an inning during it.

All of that made sense, of course, though it seemed to disregard the sentimental aspect of the situation. This year’s game is in Strasburg’s hometown, where he pitched in high school and then college, coached by San Diego legend Tony Gwynn, and so on and so on. Was it hard to turn that chance down? Read full article here.

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