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Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

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Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

Tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers has been postponed due to the heavy storms sweeping through the area this afternoon and evening.

The two teams will play a single-admission doubleheader Wednesday, beginning at 4:05 p.m., with the nightcap starting at 7:05 p.m. or 30 minutes after completion of the first game, whichever is later.

Fans holding tickets for Wednesday's originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. can use those tickets for admissions to both games of the doubleheader. Fans holding tickets for tonight's rained out game must exchange them at the Nationals Park box office for seats of equal or lesser value to the doubleheader or any future 2012 home game (excluding Saturday's 1:05 p.m. against the Brewers or any potential playoff tiebreaker home game).

Tonight's postponement won't have much of an immediate effect on the Nationals' rotation; manager Davey Johnson said Jordan Zimmermann (who was supposed to start tonight) will now pitch the doubleheader opener, with John Lannan starting the nightcap as originally scheduled.

The Nationals will, however, need someone to make a spot start on Sunday against Milwaukee, because Johnson does not want to have to bring either Zimmermann or Lannan back on short rest.

"I just don't want any of my good, young pitchers to pitch on short rest at this point," the manager said. "I don't think Zim has done it, and he's had a little bit of that inflammation there in his right shoulder. I think he could do it, and have no problem, but it's not something I'd like to do to any of those in the rotation, at this point."

Johnson named several potential candidates to make that spot start, including September call-up Zach Duke, the recently activated Chien-Ming Wang and long reliever Craig Stammen. He sounded as though he's leaning toward using a right-hander against the Brewers, whose lineup is heavy with right-handed hitters.

"I haven't done my research on that match-up, but knowing what I know about Milwaukee, it could be I start somebody out of my 'pen," Johnson said. "I'll want a right-hander. Craig Stammen, he could be a candidate. Chien-Ming. I won't start anybody on three days' rest. So I will definitely go to the 'pen."

There is, of course, a healthy right-handed starter still on the Nationals' active roster named Stephen Strasburg.

"I'm sure Stras would volunteer," Johnson said with a laugh. "He is right-handed. He has been chomping."

Don't count on a surprise like that.

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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