Nyjer Morgan expected to return to Nats' lineup Saturday

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Nyjer Morgan wraps up his eight-game suspension today, which means that he is expected to return to the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Braves, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

As our own Drew Silva told us over the weekend, Morgan used his time away from the diamond to make some much-needed amends, but from what he told Kilgore on Friday, it sounds like he has also gained a new perspective on things.

“I’m happy everything is over with,” Morgan said. “Now I can just keep
going and look at the positives and keep trying to build. Just try to
finish strong, just try to get some momentum going into next year.”

“Be smart about certain situations. Don’t let my emotions get the best of me. That’s it.”

Morgan, 30, is batting .258/.318/.318 with 23 RBI, 57 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 50 attempts this season. There’s still a pretty good chance he’ll end up non-tendered by the Nationals in December, but he at least has the final few games of the season to showcase the best parts of his game.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.