Appreciating Mike Morse’s 2011

We previously looked at Jordan Zimmermann’s 2011, deeming it one of the best a Nats starter has ever had. That tells you how brief — and unimpressive — Nats history really is. So will this: Mike Morse may be having the best offensive season any Nat has ever had. For real.

Coming into today, he had an OPS+ of 146. Here’s how that stacks up against the best campaigns in Nats history:

1. Nick Johnson (2006) — 149 OPS+
2. Mike Morse (2011) — 146
3. Adam Dunn (2009) — 144
4. Ryan Zimmerman (2010) — 143
5. Adam Dunn (2010) — 139
6. Nick Johnson (2005) — 137
7. Alfonso Soriano (2006) — 135
8. Ryan Zimmerman (2009) — 133
9. Dmitri Young (2007) — 129

My first reaction to that list is, “Holy cow, Nick Johnson had not one but two of the best seasons?” On the one hand, that is so very sad. On the other, he was probably better than we gave him credit for, brittle though he was.

My second reaction is, “Oh, how Adam Dunn has fallen.”

My third? “Ryan Zimmerman is the motherflippin’.”

And my fourth: Da Meathook!”

But back to Morse. We checked in on his season in June, deeming him a “good hitter.” That was true then, and, after a torrid summer, it’s true now.

He has come back to Earth in September, but he still has a shot at posting the best Nats season ever, and I don’t think he can drop out of the top five. Plus, it’s been a lot of fun. The Beast Mode shirt and subsequent All-Star campaign, dancing to A-Ha, the weird practice swing thing, the blown suicide-squeeze, the black-tie mullet … Morse is an easy guy to root for.

Plus, he knocks the cover off of the ball. For real.

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