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Game 3 short turnaround? No problem, Nats say

Game 3 short turnaround? No problem, Nats say

WASHINGTON—Gio Gonzalez flew ahead of the rest of the Nationals on Sunday morning. Kenta Maeda, Gonzalez’s opponent and the Los Angeles Dodgers starter for Game 3 of the Division Series, left immediately after his interview session before Game 2. 

Saturday’s postponement of Game 2 inconvenienced everyone, and Major League Baseball had already scheduled Game 3 for a 4:08 pm start time. 

The early time wouldn’t have been a problem had there been no postponement. 

The Nationals flew right after Game 2, and hoped for some rest since Monday’s game begins 23 hours after Sunday’s ended. 

“We’re both at a disadvantage without a day off,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. 

He hoped that MLB would change the start time, but Monday was already a full day of Division Series play, and the Chicago Cubs-San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Park was already set for a 6:38 p.m. West Coast start, 2 ½ hours after the Nationals-Dodgers is supposed to begin. 

“I’m just hoping that we play the late game rather than the early game. I would wish that. But, hey, whatever time they say we’ve got to play, we’vet got to  play, and you’ve got to put it out of your head whatever time it is,” Baker said. 

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said that the quick turnaround wouldn’t be a factor. 


“We've flown to the West Coast during the regular season and usually don't have a day off,” Zimmerman said. “If you can't get excited to play or if you're tired, then you should just stay here and go home.”

Jayson Werth, who has played in 55 postseason games, his first with the Dodgers in 2004, is realistic about the challenges. 

“Food and sleep are probably the two biggest things. Game like this, emotions are running high. You may have to get yourself to eat on the plane. We'll get in late. Stuff some food down and hydrate. It's challenging, but they have to go through the same stuff. Get in, get some sleep and get back at it tomorrow. This is a crazy turnaround,” Werth said. 

“It's going to be like Opening Day tomorrow. We'll have to go through intros. Those games are always challenging. They have to go through the same thing. We've gotta dig deep and find a way.”

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


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.


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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery


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.