A baseball team will take any go-ahead run in the playoffs any way they can get it — even if it looks a little funny.
The Nationals got on the board first in Thursday's do-or-die NLDS Game 5 against the Dodgers thanks to a second-inning RBI single by Danny Espinosa. The hit drove in Daniel Murphy, who took a bit of an…interesting route to home plate.
After rounding third, Murphy had to avoid Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who was up the third base line because of an errant throw from right fielder Josh Reddick. After Murphy sidestepped Grandal, he did a bit of a twinkle-toes maneuver before finally crossing the plate for the first run of the night. Check it out for yourself.
Whatever works, yeah?
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.
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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.
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