Tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Braves has been postponed due to dangerous storms sweeping through the area, the club just announced. No makeup date has been set, though manager Davey Johnson said he believes it will be played in August during the Braves' next trip to Washington.
Though the forecast looked unfavorable all afternoon, and though tornado warnings were issued in other parts of the region, the Nationals tried to hold out hope the game could be played. Eventually, they realized it wouldn't be possible.
Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to start for the Nationals against Atlanta left-hander Mike Minor. Michael Morse was due to make his season debut after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day.
Johnson said Strasburg will now start tomorrow's 4:05 p.m. game, with Gio Gonzalez starting Sunday's 1:35 p.m. series finale. The Braves will skip over Minor's rotation spot and instead go with NL ERA leader Brandon Beachy tomorrow as originally scheduled.
One interesting result of tonight's rainout: If everyone stays on schedule, Strasburg is now lined up to face the Red Sox June 8 at Fenway Park. He would not have pitched in that series otherwise.
Despite the lack of baseball, there was still some history made at Nationals Park. A group of 500 trombone players took the warning track shortly after 6 p.m. and became the largest such group ever to perform in one place at one time.
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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