On August 13 the Washington Nationals had one of their most memorable games of the season. Not only did they set records in a 14-2 blowout of the Giants out in San Francisco, they handed starter Ryan Vogelsong his worst start of the season. Vogelsong before the game had the league's best ERA, but after the Nats were done with him it belonged to Jordan Zimmermann.
Zimmmermann has since lost the distinction of baseball's best ERA, but it seems Vogelsong has yet to recover. The Nationals may have broken who was once the leading candidate for the N.L. Cy Young.
In that game the Nationals got to Vogelsong early with a run in the first and then tacked on seven in the third. The Giants starter left the game having pitched just 2 13 innings with nine hits and eight earned runs allowed. All eight runs came in without a single homer allowed.
Before facing the Nationals, Vogelsong had a 2.27 ERA through 143 innings pitched. Since then, according to NBC Sports, he has allowed 28 runs in his last 26 innings. That is compared to just 38 total in his first 143.
Vogelsong's ERA has since jumped up to 3.40, not a bad clip but nowhere near where he was for most of the season. According to CSN Bay Area, he has been blaming himself for "costing" the Giants games. Including the 13th against Washington, the Giants have lost four of the last six games Vogelsong has started.
San Francisco is still atop the N.L. West as the Dodgers are still trying to get things going. The Giants have lost five of their last ten, but L.A. has dropped six in that span.
Getting Vogelsong back on track will be important for the Giants' playoff hopes, but if they don't you can look back at the day he ran into a buzzsaw also known as the Washington Nationals.
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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