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Bryce Harper injured in Nationals' 3-1 win

Bryce Harper injured in Nationals' 3-1 win

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper sustained what appeared to be a serious left knee injury when he slipped on a wet first base and his left leg buckled while running out a grounder early in the Washington Nationals' 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.

Harper clutched at his knee while on the wet field and put no weight on his left leg as he was helped off. The 2015 NL MVP left the game immediately, and manager Dusty Baker said Harper hyperextended his knee.

"He was in obvious pain and he was praying and I was praying, too," said manager Dusty Baker, adding that Harper would have an MRI.

"I'm asking for prayers that it's not serious," Baker said.

The result of the game meant little for Washington, which leads the NL East by 14 games, or San Francisco, which is out of contention. It didn't begin until 10:06 p.m. after another extended weather delay, and it was raining when Harper lost his footing on a base that had water on it.

The Nationals lost catcher Wilson Ramos to a torn ACL in his right knee in late September last season, another noncontact injury that came after a rain delay in Washington.

If Harper is out, it's a more devastating injury to the Nationals' World Series hopes than when Ramos' season ended prematurely a year ago. Harper is hitting .326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs as the most fearsome hitter in the league.

With Harper out, the Nationals got their offense in the form of RBI doubles from Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Lind, and an RBI single from Daniel Murphy off Giants starter Jeff Samardzjia (7-12).

Right-hander Edwin Jackson (3-2) allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out five in six innings before giving way to Washington's newfound lockdown bullpen trio of Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle.

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news. 

Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report. 

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:

"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."

"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT