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Porter transitions to Astros manager

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Porter transitions to Astros manager

New Houston Astros manager Bo Porter, the now former third base coach of the Nationals, stopped by CSN Houston on Wednesday night for an interview on SportsTalk Live. In his sitdown with CSN, Porter gave some insight into how he was hired by the Astros in the middle of a pennant race with the Nats.

Porter said he first heard of their interest in early September when the Nationals’ front office received a call from Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.

“Mike Rizzo, our general manager, he came down to me and said, ‘look, we got a phone call from Houston and they’re interested in interviewing you for their manager’s position.’”

“It was kind of bittersweet for him. He said, ‘I just want to talk to you first and let you know where we stand as far as our situation here with Davey.’”

Rizzo and the Nationals granted the Astros permission after having several conversations with Porter about his future. At 40, Porter is now the youngest manager in the majors and was considered by many as a potential replacement for Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson when he retires.

Porter said the opportunity to become a MLB manager right now was too good to pass up and sais the Astros’ interest was very strong.  

“Once I got on the phone with Jeff [Luhnow] and I talked to Jim [Crane] and I sensed the urgency in the conversation of wanting to get me in,” he said. 

“When you get into this situation you always say to yourself, if I ever get this opportunity I want to do it with smart people. And from speaking to them just in the early stages I realized how smart they were and serious they were about getting this organization going the direction that Jim Crane wants it to go which is to be a championship contender every year.”

Check out the video on CSNhouston.com.

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Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

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Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

Friday night marks the first second-half game of Major League Baseball's 162-game season. 

The Washington Nationals begin 5.5 games out of the first-place Phillies and host the second-place Braves for a three-game series before traveling to Milwaukee. 

One big piece to Dave Martinez's staff who has been missing since June 8 is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander was activated from the DL and will start on the mound Friday night. 

Ryan Zimmerman was also activated but is not in Martinez's starting lineup. 

Prior to experiencing inflammation in his right shoulder during a June 8 start that forced him out of the game early, Strasburg saw flashes of dominance throughout his 13 starts owning a 3.46 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. 

Zimmerman hasn't played since May 9 due to a strained right oblique. With the emergence of Matt Adams, it will be interesting to see how Martinez uses both guys throughout the summer. 

Here is a look at Friday night's official lineup: 

According to Byron Kerr, Zimmerman is still happy to be back, despite not being in the starting lineup. 

Catch the Nationals hosting the Braves Friday at 7:05 p.m. on MASN2. 

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8 bold MLB predictions sure to be proven wrong

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8 bold MLB predictions sure to be proven wrong

It doesn't have quite the same feel as Opening Day, but the first games after the MLB All-Star break certainly have their own unique excitement to them.

Teams are jockeying for playoff position, and the trade deadline is rapidly approaching. The Nats have struggled through the first half, but are still within striking distance of a spot in the 2018 postseason, so every game matters.

To help get you ready for the rest of the 2018 regular season, our baseball writers have provided a couple of bold predictions which are sure to be proven wrong by August.

Bold predictions for the second half of the 2018 MLB season:

Ryan Wormeli: 1) Despite the consensus top three teams in baseball all residing in the American League, this year’s World Series champion will be a National League squad.

2) Max Scherzer does NOT win the National League Cy Young award, even though most fans agree he has the best statistical season.

Cam Ellis: 1) Bryce Harper ends up with 45 home runs this season.

2) Koda Glover eventually gets the 7th inning spot.

Michaela Johnson: 1) Nationals win the NL East (I know this VERY bold but like I said I have high expectations).

2) Tanner Roark will get back on top of his game.

Tyler Byrum: 1) The Milwaukee Brewers will drop out of the playoff hunt. 

Every year the Brewers seem to be close to running away with the NL Central. Then, once we get closer to the All-Star break and move beyond they go silent. It’s getting quite ridiculous at this point. Last year they had 50 wins in the first half, finished with only 86.

2) Philadelphia will make a trade deadline acquisition, but it will not get them over the hump. 

There are just too many issues with the Phillies; starting pitching behind Aaron Nola, consistent batting as a team, and the bullpen. They’ve done a fantastic job to piece together a 53-42 record and sit atop the division, but it will be tough to maintain it. 

Right now, they are almost the exact opposite of the Nationals.