Nats lose Morgan to broken hand

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Well, that’s one of the risks that comes with stealing bases. Nyjer Morgan broke his left hand on a head-first slide on Thursday and will likely miss at least a month, if not the rest of the season.
Morgan, who had excelled as the Nationals’ center fielder since coming over from the Pirates, was hurt on his 59th attempt and 42nd successful steal of the year. He was hitting .351/.393/.435 as a Nat and .307/.369/.388 overall for the year. The hot streak may not have held up, but he was making a big difference with his defense. The stats said he was the game’s best left fielder during his time with the Pirates, and those numbers mostly held up after moving back to center in D.C.
With Morgan out of the mix, the Nationals will probably use a lot of Willie Harris in center the rest of the way, making him a nice asset in NL-only leagues. They’d prefer to keep Elijah Dukes in a corner. They may be willing to give Justin Maxwell an opportunity, though he’s been far from dominant while hitting .247/.346/.404 for Triple-A Syracuse. The toolsy 25-year-old has pretty good power and plenty of speed — he’s 34-for-42 stealing bases in the minors — but injuries have robbed him of much-needed development time and he’s fanned 133 times in 108 games this season.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.