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06/28/12 2:31 PM ET

Johnson sticks with Morse in Coors Field finale

DENVER -- Michael Morse, after notching two hits Wednesday night, was removed for a defensive replacement in the eighth inning. Manager Davey Johnson later found out Morse had a little tightness in his right hamstring, so the skipper arrived at the ballpark Thursday planning on giving Morse a day off from the starting lineup.

But after reassurances from the Nationals' training staff and Morse, who missed the season's first 50 games with a strained right lat, Johnson decided to keep his slugger in the lineup.

"If I had a broken thumb and a broken leg, I'd want to be in the lineup hitting in this ballpark," Johnson said.

Desmond not concerned with All-Star votes

DENVER -- Among National League shortstops, Ian Desmond entered play Thursday first in extra-base hits (35), second in homers (12), and tied for second in hits (84) and RBIs (39).

But with Thursday being the last day for fans to cast their vote for the 2012 All-Star Game, Desmond wasn't even a top-five vote-getter for shortstops when the totals were last announced. It doesn't seem to bothering the 26-year-old too much, though.

"What can you do?" Desmond said Thursday morning.

In front of Desmond are Rafael Furcal, Troy Tulowitzki, Starlin Castro, Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Crawford. Desmond could still be selected by NL manager Tony La Russa, who earlier this season said how much he liked the Nats' young shortstop.

"I don't know any shortstops I'd trade for him, but it's not my call," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

The 12 home runs Desmond had hit this season entering play Thursaday were already a career high. He hit 10 in 2010, his first full season in the big leagues.

Nats taking things one game at a time

DENVER -- The Nationals, who have not made the postseason since the franchise moved to Washington from Montreal, entered Thursday's game against the Rockies with the best record in the National League at 43-30.

"It's all nice and good, but it's not October," manager Davey Johnson said. "I'll take it one day at a time. We haven't accomplished anything, but we're moving in the right direction."

Following Thursday's finale in Colorado, the Nats head off to Atlanta to face the Braves in a key division showdown. Atlanta entered play Thursday in second place in the NL East. The club then heads home for six games -- three against the surging San Francisco Giants, and three against the Rockies -- before the All-Star break.

Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.