Washington Nationals can’t wait for Daniel Murphy to get back

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Daniel Murphy #20 of the Washington Nationals reacts after scoring on an RBI single by Michael Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning in game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Daniel Murphy #20 of the Washington Nationals reacts after scoring on an RBI single by Michael Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning in game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals consistently inconsistent offense struck again on Sunday, putting up a zero on the scoreboard. They need Daniel Murphy back soon.

The Washington Nationals offense has been inconsistent all season long. The series against the San Francisco Giants summed it up pretty well, combining for 14 runs in the first two games, before getting blanked in the finale. Thankfully, it looks like Daniel Murphy will return on Tuesday.

Murphy was spotted in the clubhouse before the game, but remained out of the lineup, and not activated from the DL, yet. However, with two trips to American League ballparks this week, that may not be the case much longer.

The Nationals are likely to activate the All-Star second baseman on Tuesday ahead of the series with the New York Yankees. This would allow him to play DH throughout the week as he builds up his game shape.

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Daniel Murphy will be a huge addition to a lineup that rarely finds consistency this season. Although it was only the third time they’ve been shutout, they have just as many games scoring one or less, as they do scoring eight or more runs.

Compare that to last season, they scored one run or less 20 times, and more than eight 31 times. Now that the first choice offense will more or less be out there in the coming weeks, it’s time to step up. The ailing rotation will need it.

Michael Taylor’s eventful day

Although there wasn’t much to talk about with the Nationals’ offense, center-fielder Michael Taylor had an interesting day to say the least.

He ended up going 1 for 2, with a walk continuing the impressive hot streak that he’s been on. Over his last 17 appearances, he’s hitting .317 with two homers, 10 RBI and six stolen bases.

However, he was caught stealing in the seventh inning, when the Nats badly needed a rally. It was just the second time he’s been caught all season. Even though Adam Eaton has now returned, he’s making a compelling case to continue to get regular time against righties and lefties.

Kintzler and Strasburg officially hit the disabled list

The Nats lost Stephen Strasburg to injury on Friday, quickly followed by Brandon Kintzler on Saturday. Both key players hit the DL on Sunday morning, with Trevor Gott and Wander Suero coming up from Triple-A Syracuse.

Strasburg was the second Nats starter to go on the DL in the last five days, following Jeremy Hellickson. Although neither is expected to miss much time, Erick Fedde will likely be coming up to start against the Yankees on Wednesday.

Kintzler was a key part of the bullpen but now with forearm tightness, they’ll need to find others to fill his role. The Nats are thankful that it’s just tightness, and not potentially a more serious injury. They’ll be hoping that he won’t miss too much more than the minimum ten days, and breathing a sigh of relief.

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The Washington Nationals now have another day off on Monday, before heading to the Bronx to face the Yankees in a two-game set. It’s not going to be an easy series, but if they can get a split, they’ll be delighted given the current injuries.

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