Michael Morse does a bit of mime work

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Nationals slugger Michael Morse hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning Saturday against the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse. But the ball barely cleared the right field wall at Busch Stadium and was initially ruled a base hit, which caused some confusion on the basepaths. Thus, we get probably the best highlight since replay for home runs was instituted:

There’s nothing in the rule book that requires that sort of thing, but the umpires wanted to be sure that all of the bases were touched and that no one was lapped. And Morse was apparently asked to mimic a swing to start the runners. It seemed to draw laughter, then boos, from the sold-out crowd in St. Louis.

The Nats defeated the Cards in 10 innings by a score of 6-4 to earn their 96th win of the season.

Phillies promote Chris Young to pitching coach position

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Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.

Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.

The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.