GO TO THE LIVE GAME THREAD ON NATSINSIDER.COM RIGHT HERE
After feasting on what was supposed to be a daunting pitching trio from San Francisco -- Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain -- the Nationals now get to spend the weekend taking their hacks against a Rockies staff that boasts an MLB-worst 5.36 ERA. Look out.
Speaking of looking out, Stephen Strasburg will have to be careful dealing with extreme weather conditions yet again. After suffering from hat exhaustion in Atlanta on Saturday, he'll get only a slight reprieve tonight, with the forecast calling for a reading of 97 degrees at first pitch.
Though there are still three games until the All-Star break, tonight marks the official halfway point of the season. A victory would leave the Nats at 49-32, on pace for 98 wins. A loss would leave them at 48-33, still on pace for 96 wins. I would think everyone out there would have taken that on Opening Day, right?
I'm off this weekend; heading out of town for a family event the next two days and then heading to Kansas City on Sunday in advance of the All-Star Game. Never fear, though, because Chase Hughes of CSNwashington.com will be here all weekend and will post updates...
COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Mostly clear, 97 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LHP Drew Pomeranz
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
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