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Daniel Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident'

Daniel Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident'

The Nationals' handling Daniel Murphy's left buttock strain as they approach Game 1 of the NL Division Series has been the definition of taking it day-to-day. Even 24 hours before first pitch, Murphy and his manager Dusty Baker were not ready to commit fully to him being in the starting lineup. The assumption remains that he will be there, but nothing is quite official yet.

"Tomorrow’s not promised to any of us. So there’s always a chance I’m not in there. But I feel confident right now. I’m going to try everything I can to be in there tomorrow," Murphy said.

The Nats second baseman continued to simulate as much as possible in his on-field workout on Thursday. He took batting practice, grounders in the infield and ran sprints, all under the watchful eye of the Nationals training staff. Running, in particular is the biggest test for him right now.

"He looked pretty good. And you know, he says he's ready and so, therefore, you know, we think he's ready," Baker said. "He did about everything that you could do simulating the game. Everything but slide. But yeah, he looked pretty good."

[RELATED: Nats not overly concerned injuries will affect defense]

Murphy ramped up his workout on Wednesday to turn double plays and field grounders hit far to his left and right. Thursday he took a slight step back in the intensity of his workout, but by design.

“I felt really good out there. Harvey [Sharman], the head trainer, put my through a good workout. I think we kind of tapered it down a little bit today, just like a little bit of a recovery day. But it was good to hit the bases, cut and I felt really good out there.”

One other piece of news was shared on Thursday that relates to Murphy and his injury. The Nationals announced that Wilmer Difo has made the playoff roster. He will be on the bench in part as a contingency plan for Murphy, in case he aggravates his injury mid-game.

"[Difo] can play all three infield positions, and with Daniel Murphy still coming off an injury, he gives us a possibility at second base late in the game and run for Daniel Murphy, as well," Baker said.

At this point, it appears Murphy is good to go for Game 1. But that doesn't mean his injury will not be in mind when the Nats take the field on Friday evening.

[RELATED: Wait is tough for several Nats on playoff roster bubble]

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Bryce Harper reportedly will come off the disabled list tomorrow

Bryce Harper reportedly will come off the disabled list tomorrow

Bryce Harper's (probably) back. 

With just over two weeks left in the regular season, the Nationals star is set to be activated off the disabled list, according to the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes:

Harper hasn't played since August 12, when he slipped awkwardly on the first base bag while trying to beat out a grounder. He suffered a signifcant bone bruise, although the injury looked considerably worse than it ended up being. 

Before getting hurt, Harper was hitting .326/.419/.614 on the year with a 1.034 OPS and 29 home runs. 

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Nationals, without their big guns, fall to Mets

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Nationals, without their big guns, fall to Mets

NEW YORK -- Travis d'Arnaud hit two home runs and the New York Mets ended a three-game skid, rallying past a watered-down lineup of Washington Nationals 7-6 on Friday night.

Washington manager Dusty Baker said he needed to "give my big boys much needed rest" with the playoffs nearing, and not a single regular started for the NL East champions. Star Daniel Murphy pinch hit in the eighth and flied out.

MORE NATS: RATHER HAVE THE CUBS, BREWERS, OR CARDINALS IN NLDS?

The Nationals begin the Division Series in exactly two weeks. If the current standings hold, they would host the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to open the best-of-five matchup.

Adam Lind hit a three-run homer for Washington. It was the Nationals' 203rd home run this season, matching the franchise record dating to 1969 when they were the Montreal Expos.

Howie Kendrick had an RBI double and prized prospect Victor Robles lined a two-run triple in the fifth that put Washington ahead 6-1.

Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley exited in the eighth inning because of an apparent injury. He' has struggled this season and missed more than two months because of back problems.

Nori Aoki had three hits for the Mets, including a go-ahead double in the sixth inning off Joe Blanton (2-4).

Chasen Bradford (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Jeurys Familia, the Mets' third pitcher in the ninth inning, came on to strike out Robles with runners on first and third for his fourth save -- his first since May 5. Familia, who missed three months after surgery to repair a blood clot, entered as part of a double switch, with Kevin Plawecki taking over at catcher for d'Arnaud.

D'Arnaud hit a solo homer in the second and connected for a tying, three-run drive in the fifth that finished starter Edwin Jackson. That gave d'Arnaud a career-best 15 homers and marked his second multihomer game, the other coming in April against Washington.

MORE MLB: POSTSEASON BRACKET PROJECTION (THURSDAY)

Mets starter Robert Gsellman allowed six runs in five innings. He moved up a day to pitch in place of ace Jacob deGrom, who was moved back in the rotation until Sunday because of a stomach illness this week.