WASHINGTON — Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who hasn’t started a game since Sept. 17 because of strained buttocks, on Thursday said he’s confident that he’s ready for the NLDS.
“I felt really good out there,” Murphy said after Thursday’s workout. “Harvey [Sharman], the trainer, put me through a good workout and kind of tapered it down a little bit today, just a little bit of a recovery day. But it was good to hit the bases, and I felt really good.”
The National host Game 1 of the best-of-five NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. First pitch is 5:38 p.m.
Murphy, 31, has made only three pinch-hit appearances since Sept. 17, going 0-for-3, but he expects to be in the lineup Friday.
“I feel confident right now,” said Murphy, who finished second in the National League with a .347 average. “I’m going to try everything I can to be in there. These guys, my teammates, have really grinded and it’s been fun to watch while I’m out. I want to be in there, want to be in the fire with them.”
Dusty Baker thinks Murphy will be in there.
“He looked pretty good,” Baker said. “He says he’s ready, so therefore we think he’s ready. He did about everything you could do simulating the game, everything but slide, but yeah he looked pretty good.”
Although Baker has yet to confirm who will follow Game 1 starter Max Scherzer in Saturday’s Game 2, the Nats skipper did reveal several details about his team’s NLDS roster.
Rookie infielder Wilmer Difo, who appeared in just 31 games but is a speedy switch-hitter who can play multiple positions, has made the roster. Rookie catcher Pedro Severino, a right-handed hitter, will start Game 1 against lefty Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Baker, whose club faces an LA team that’s loaded with lefty hitters, also said he’ll carry three southpaw relievers for the series.
Washington won the NL East with a 95-67 record, while the Dodgers won the NL West with a 91-71 mark.