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Scoring change ends Morse's streak

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Scoring change ends Morse's streak

PHOENIX -- Michael Morse left the ballpark in Houston Thursday night with an 18-game hitting streak attached to his name. He arrived at the ballpark in Arizona Friday afternoon with that streak reduced to seven games, even though he hadn't picked up a bat or faced an opposing pitcher in the 18 hours between those two events.

How does that happen? Turns out Major League Baseball overruling the scoring of one of Morse's at-bats from the Nationals' Aug. 2 game, changing a single to an error on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

Thus, what was believed to be an 18-game hitting streak for Morse (the third-longest in Nationals history) has now been split into separate streaks of 10 and seven games, the latter of which will be on the line tonight against the Diamondbacks.

Not that Morse was crestfallen upon receiving the news.

"I didn't even know I had a hitting streak," he said.

That's pretty typical for Morse, who makes it a point not to pay attention to his stats, especially when things are going well. It's a lesson he says he learned in the minor leagues and has served him well since.

"A lot of times, you see a lot of guys looking at the scoreboard, looking at their numbers," he said. "Now you're looking at your numbers, you're pressing, especially if your numbers are dropping. You're swinging at the first pitch. You become a stat rat.

"I think in the minor leagues, I kind of did that for a few years, and I always caught myself. People say don't think about your stats, don't worry about your stats. So for me, I can't look at them. Because in the back of my head, I'll think: 'Oh man, I'm doing this, I'm doing this.'"

The decision to change the ruling on Morse's single from eight days ago came after the Phillies filed a formal appeal to MLB headquarters. Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, is believed to have made the reversal after watching replays of the play, during which Rollins had trouble corralling a hard-hit ball just to his left.

The statistical alterations as a result of the changed scoring: Rollins is charged with an error, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has an earned run taken away from him and Morse sees his batting average drop to .299 from .303.

"I told Mo: 'If I knew that, shoot, I wouldn't have kept playing you all this time," manager Davey Johnson joked.

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Ivan Rodriguez becomes first former Nationals player to be voted into Hall of Fame

Ivan Rodriguez becomes first former Nationals player to be voted into Hall of Fame

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history. 

Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him. 

During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.  

In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons. 

Related: Bryce Harper wants Nationals to spend money on players, not team store

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Bryce Harper wants Nationals to invest in Matt Wieters, Greg Holland more than facilities

Bryce Harper wants Nationals to invest in Matt Wieters, Greg Holland more than facilities

Bryce Harper isn't one to keep his opinions to himself. The Nationals slugger is outspoken about what he wants, whether that's to "Make Baseball Fun Again" or to make at least $400 million on his next contract

On Wednesday, he gave his take on how the Nats should be investing their money this summer. Here's Harper responding to a tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden.

Harper's message: Players over everything else. Sorry, gift shop. 

It's plain to see where the 2015 NL MVP is going with this. Obviously, he wants as much talent around him as possible for a chance to win the World Series. 

Matt Wieters, a four-time All-Star catcher, and Greg Holland, a two-time All-Star closer, could be significant additions to Washington's roster. 

Harper is set to become a free agent in 2018, at which point an organization like the New York Yankees will be prepared to offer him both a massive salary and a massive investment in the players around him.

The slugger probably hopes his current team will try to surround him with winning pieces in an effort to keep him. But if a report about the Nationals' reaction to his contract demands proves accurate, they may have another agenda. 

There's Harper drama around the Nationals? Just a regular Wednesday here in Washington.

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals avoid arbitration with Harper, three others