Skip to content

Game 44: Nats at Orioles

May 20, 2011, 7:12 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The first installment of the Battle of the Beltways begins tonight at Camden Yards.

BALTIMORE — It's been four days since the Nationals last scored a run. Yes, four days. Not since Danny Espinosa belted a two-run homer against the Pirates in the eighth inning Monday night has a Nat crossed the plate.

They'll attempt to snap out of this funk tonight against their geographic, interleague rivals from the Inner Harbor. Because we're in an American League ballpark, both teams are using a DH. No, Jason Marquis is not going to hit for himself. Jim Riggleman was asked about that possibility last week when Marquis got two hits. The manager smiled but said no way would he sacrifice his DH for a pitcher.

So Matt Stairs gets a rare opportunity to get more than one at-bat in a game. Yes, he's 2-for-22 for the season. Yes, he's 43 years old. But if you're not going to use this guy as your DH in interleague games, why bother having him on the roster in the first place?

Plenty of updates to come all evening…

NATIONALS at ORIOLES
Where: Camden Yards
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN, MASN2
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 181
Weather: Chance of rain, 73 degrees, Wind 6 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (20-23)
CF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
LF Laynce Nix
RF Jayson Werth

Read more »

  1. Bzl. - May 20, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    It took the DH rule to drop LaRoche to sixth in the order. I guess the AL is good for something.

  2. Section 222 - May 20, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Riggleman's comment is kind of humorous considering that he gave up his DH three times last year to let Willie Harris bat. But I'm ok with using Stairs as the DH tonight, and even tomorrow. If he goes 0-4 both nights though, Mark's quesiton is even more apt — why bother having him on the roster. If he can't produce as a PH and can't produce as a DH, then it's time for him to go.

  3. Ray Knight's Brain - May 20, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Livan Hernandez – .133 (2 for 15), 1 Run, 2 RBI, 2 KJason Marquis – .333 (7 for 21), 1 Run, 3 RBI, 1 2B, 4 KMatt Stares – .091 (2 for 22), 2 Runs, 0 RBI, 8 KJust Sayin….

  4. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    After Stairs is gone, who will be the next scapegoat? Make no mistake, there will be one.

  5. erocks33 - May 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Personally, I would have flipped Ramos and LaRoche. That would have placated Riggs' penchant for the L-R-L-R lineups he likes to use.Also, I really think this is Stairs' last games in a Nats uniform. Once Ankiel is eligible to come back next week, they'll DFA Stairs (they need to keep Bernie at the leadoff spot).

  6. The Joker - May 20, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    King Rizzo is the scapegoat. King of No Runs.

  7. The Joker - May 20, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    MATT STAIRSThanks for the MemoriesA bat that won't hitA man who can't runThanks for the MemoriesTwo hits in 22No homers for which to pranceThanks for the MemoriesA few walks for which to bragAnd Bixler will pinch runThanks for the MemoriesA statue who can't fieldA man to sit on the bench

  8. JD - May 20, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Stairs has hit the ball hard the last few times. Letting him have 4 or 5 at bats a game for 3 games is just what he needs. Don't be sure that he is getting released when Ankiel comes back; Bixler is still on the roster.But I agree that if Stairs does not get untracked in this series it may be time to call it a career. Desmond should take a page from Bernadina; even when he makes an out he is working the count; learn how to spoil good pitches and work the count. Quit making outs on the 1st 3 pitches.

  9. Not Werth It - May 20, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    STAIRS GETS HOT THIS WEEKEND AND REDEEMS HIMSELFJayson Werth finally (and rightly) relegated to team scapegoat duty.Expect it.

  10. Not Werth It - May 20, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    P.S. I totally agree with JD, so sick of Desmond making first pitch outs

  11. masnstinks - May 20, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Stairs and Ankiel are not really a part of this team's future. Bernie and Bixler are – if we're not going to hit or score anyway – we might as well use the guys that can still learn something from their experiences – let them play.

  12. JD - May 20, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Bixler a part of the team's future? I don't think so.

  13. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    If Bixler is part of the teams future, then it is a very grim future.

  14. The Joker - May 20, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Bixler is part of the future of Syracuse. Fortunately for Brian, winter doesn't begin in Syracuse until mid-September.

  15. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    I am tired of watching the pathetic Laroche give press interviews about the teams hitting problems. Has he no shame?

  16. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Dear Mark,Please add the following to your post:"and yes he gets picked off, yes he's that slow,and no there will not be pinch runner this time."Thank you!

  17. Mark'd - May 20, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Erocks, right with you on Stairs, Ramos then LaRoche.

  18. Not Werth It - May 20, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    HA! I totally forgot we get to (maybe) watch Matt Stairs run! This weekend should be hilarious.Go Nats!

  19. Sam - May 20, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Is anyone else surprised that Mike Morse isn't getting any at-bats this weekend? I would say it's pretty obvious that he's one of the team's 9 best hitters. We are allowed to field 9 hitters tonight, including one who doesn't even have to field, and one of the best 9 is on the bench. Hmm…

  20. BinM - May 20, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Sam: Against a string of RH starters, who is Morse going to bump from the lineup? Nix (LF, bats LH); nope, better numbers offensively. LaRoche (1B, bats LH), possibly, but LaRoche is the superior fielder. Hairston (3B, bats RH); possibly, but I'm more suprised that Cora isn't at 3B tonight. Stairs (DH, bats LH); Not tonight, but maybe soon.

  21. FS - May 20, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Yes I would have played Morse instead of Stairs.I think Danny should bat in a position where he gets to bat with couple of men every time he comes up. I will check his stats with 2 men on.

  22. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    BinM this is the point where double-switch happy Riggleman should put Morse/Bixler/Cora/IRod in at DH for Stairs. A 3 – 0 lead after a great at bat by Espinosa. Why? Because the guy can't run and will get picked off should he get on. If he does manage to get on I do hope Riggleman will pinch run for him.Let me just say that everyone seems to think he's lost? Every time I see Espinosa I see a guy adjusting to the bigs but definitely a future star. Now, in the case of Ian Desmond, an entirely different story. Sure he's hitting close to the Mendoza line but he's also a rookie switch hitter. We can only hope that we won't have to go through this as much with Lombardozzi. I really believe Espinosa will be a great one.But I have to say if I were picking I would be picking Espinosa to play short and someone new to play 2nd base.- peric

  23. CBinDC - May 20, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    I really hate the MASN broadcast for these games it's like being forced to have dinner with the person who claims to own the right of way to your property and makes you pay a toll to get there.

  24. Grandstander - May 20, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    So Matt Stairs gets a rare opportunity to get more than one at-bat in a game. Yes, he's 2-for-22 for the season. Yes, he's 43 years old. But if you're not going to use this guy as your DH in interleague games, why bother having him on the roster in the first place?———————————————-GREAT question!He should have at least 12 PAs this series, probably a few more. If he can't muster at least a couple hits and walk you have zero incentive to keep him on this team when Ankiel gets activated. This is probably his job interview.Also, does Espinosa do anything but hit 3-run homers? He's got 6 HR, 4 of them 3-run homers, each time it was his only hit of the game (so far for this game). He only has 28 hits on the year, so almost 15% of the time he gets a hit, it's a 3-run homer.

  25. BinM - May 21, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Snags a soft liner, then shifts on the bag & saves a possible E from Hairston. That's why LaRoche is in the lineup, Ladies & Gentlemen; He just saves runs.

  26. CBinDC - May 21, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    You see something special every game normally you would have to wait two whole games to see Stairs get outs 0 for 2 so far it's going great beave

  27. BinM - May 21, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    @peric: In the next year or two, a MI shuffle could happen. I would love to see a late 2012, Opening day 2013 lineup with Lombardozzi at 2B, Espinosa at SS, and Desmond in CF; But that is just a dream at this point – We'll have to see how it plays out.

  28. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Ooops here come the Orioles.

  29. CBinDC - May 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    What do you know the ghost of Nyjer ohhhhh here we go again

  30. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Was Markakis safe or out on that dribbler? How wasn't Bernadina's miscue a hit and not an error?

  31. Mark'd - May 21, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    With the Baltimore bias in the booth and the political correctness who would know with 1 replay and no commentary.

  32. Andrew - May 21, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Matt Stairs looks stupid again….horrible

  33. Grandstander - May 21, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    I want Stairs released after this game. That was a fastball straight down the middle on a 1-2 count with the bases loaded, up 3 runs. Enough is enough. I don't even care that we don't have someone to bring up. Play with a 24-man roster. How do walk back to the bench there with your bat on your shoulder?I can't BELIEVE that AB. Just awful.

  34. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    You gotta like Stairs' consistency.This guy makes Rob Mackowiak look like Babe Ruth.How many more at-bats does this stiff get?

  35. Mark'd - May 21, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    That is why Marquis should be batting. Stairs stares again.

  36. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    That's the headline, STAIRS STARES AGAIN as most of the other Nats get on base.

  37. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    How can Markakis look at that ball on a 3-2 count and not get punched out?

  38. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    This umpire behind the plate needs Bryce Harper's contact lenses!

  39. Grandstander - May 21, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    This ump isn't even giving pitches right over the plate. What was wrong with that pitch from Marquis?Blowback from last night?

  40. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    Espinosa's first at bat was a 10 pitch at bat finished with a homer. Have to agree with FP that was a ** at bat. Not only did he drive in three runs but he also ground down the pitcher. Espinosa is a switch hitter who is still learning. WOW! Riggleman really wants this win. He just pulled Marquis! But he needs to pull LaRoche and Stairs if he really wants to win at this point. You know Marquis has to realilze (and the "doh!" announcers? The pressure is on Riggleman and Rizzo right now. We don't know what Ted is saying to them but it makes ya wonder?

  41. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Espinosa … hitting for the cycle ??? WOW!

  42. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    0 for 3 with 5 men left on for Stairs. I think I see a unconditional release in his future.

  43. Andrew - May 21, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Bryce Harper with another HOME RUN!!!!!!

  44. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Bernadina HR in Nyjerish fashion.

  45. Gonat - May 21, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    Riggleman pulled Marquis way before he needed to. Bad move Jim and way to de-motivate. You haven't done it all year so why now?Just trying to understand.

  46. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    At the "quarter pole" Espinosa with 27 RBI. I think that extrapolates out to over 100? Doesn't it? So, if he hits .220, with superlative fielding, and drives in over 100 runs? Is anyone going to complain?- peric

  47. NatinBeantown - May 21, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Yea for catharsis!

  48. NatinBeantown - May 21, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Boo for Stairs!

  49. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Gonat said… Riggleman pulled Marquis way before he needed to. Bad move Jim and way to de-motivate. You haven't done it all year so why now?Just trying to understand. May 20, 2011 9:12 PM__________________________________With the 1 run lead, I am with Jim as he has gone too long recently with JZim and Lannan to start innings they couldn't finish.With a 7 run lead, you stick with Marquis for another iinning.

  50. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 21, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    I like Riggs. But he's screwed Marquis out of an easy win by yanking him too early. Love how the MASN ass-kissers have soft-pedaled that shouting match in the dugout.

  51. FS - May 21, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    just trying to remember. When was the last time we saw a Nats player show frustration in the clubhouse (i.e. throw towels, etc)?Also Mark, why dislike AL games? Is it because they tend to be longer? I got a little taste of that when I saw Seattle in town against Baltimore. Their 12-inning affair was the most boring match I have ever seen, despite some scintillating defense by Ms and walk-off win by Os.

  52. Mark'd - May 21, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    I agree with the sentiment on Riggs screwing up. He probably knew it the second the lead went to 3 runs. Call that a quick hook between innings.

  53. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Given the way Henry Rodriguez has pitched, just like he was pitching in Syracuse, it looks like a good move by Riggleman. Gee, am I saying that? Marquis already had 89 pitches after 4. He would have used up the 10 fast and perhaps more runs to the O's. He was not having a good game. Whereas Henry Rodriguez made O's hitters look silly. Good move.Bat Espinosa third. He's either at the end or beginning of the lineup and he already is set up to drive in 100 runs. Who cares if he hits .220 as a rookie? I mean its better than "Stares", LaRoche … you get the picture. – peric

  54. Bryce Harper - May 21, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Maybe he actually is WERTH it!! How spot on is F.P with his calls about guys being locked in, stealing and hit n runs…Got to love this game if your a Nats fan.. I will sleep good to night knowing the big club is swinging better after my batting tips I gave them!Go Nats!

  55. masnstinks - May 21, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    The only position in the line up with an o-fer is, guess who – Matt Stairs.He just can't catch up to the ball anymore. I know a lot of you are very angry about this – but really it's embarrassing and sad.

  56. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    Stairs made the last out in the 1st, 3rd, 4th & 5th innings. Three innings in a row making the last out is impressive. Quick, call Stats, Inc. and see what the record is. Is it possible that a single player made the last out in four straight innings? Three seems very doable but four would be something.Whomever the next player to join the Nats roster is, [probably Ankiel off the DL], Stairs has just got to be the player let go.

  57. dj in Fl. - May 21, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Jason did not have it again tonight!89 pitches in 4 innings kept allowing the O's to close the gapNo O's offense in the 3 H.Rod innings!I Think Riggs decided not to let this game get away, and if he had not pulled Jason and they closed the gap again, everyone would still be beating Riggs up.A good move by Riggs that assured a win we really needed.

  58. Wally - May 21, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    I missed most of the fireworks tonight. HRod has looked great, though I wouldn't want to catch him.Was there a shouting match between Marquis and Riggs?

  59. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Marquis didn't have it because the defense let him down. Bernadina catches that ball and it is inning over. His pitch count jumped. He did labor in the 4th but got through it.

  60. FS - May 21, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    WOW according to the gameday, HRod throws in high 90s, like 97-99 mph fastballs and his change up is 91 mph. I did not know that.And I would have done the same. Pulled Marquis out of that game, at that point. He could have easily put couple of runners on or reduced the lead and brought Os back into the game.15-5 Nats after Ramos homers. I hope they remember to score some in the following two games. And yes, Espinosa probably missed his shot at cycle after grounding out. Too bad but Nats are set to win.

  61. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    @Anoymous8No one had to make any circus catches while Rodriguez was pitching. Marquis walked 3 hitters in 4. Most ended up crossing the plate with the 8 hits. Rodriguez did not walk a batter. The walks were what drew Riggleman's attention and Marquis had to know that … Riggleman did not look happy at all. Then there's the pitch count.Marquis did not have it tonight. His pitches were up showing that his control was spotty. He threw 89 pitches which is a pretty good work out for a starter. He had nothing to beef about.- peric

  62. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Have to figure, after this game, Riggleman starts using H-Rod in pressure situations. With Kimball in the fold the bullpen could become the most dominating league and baseball wide.

  63. Mark'd - May 21, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Anon8, Marquis ends up with no more than 2 earned runs if Bernadina makes that play.

  64. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    Bet Lannan wished they would save some for him …

  65. CBinDC - May 21, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Every time they do this combo TV you see how much a second class treatment the Nats get at MASN

  66. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    WOW, welcome to Rapture Day eve … 17-5. Can't end the world until the Nats beat the damned Yankees in the World Series … maybe 5 times in a row.- peric

  67. Unkyd - May 21, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Just tuning in.Did I miss anything?

  68. dj in Fl. - May 21, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    A high five to Rizzo for fanning some flames last night.Great Game !!

  69. masnstinks - May 21, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    I think fp absolutely hated it. Does this happen anywhere else? So a month's worth of offense in one game. Pretty sweet. Hope it continues.

  70. NatsJack in Florida - May 21, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    And as I said, one can hope.

  71. Sec3MySofa - May 21, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    No problem here with Riggleman pulling Marquis. Yeah, ifs and buts, but the ball Bernadina dropped (how is that not an error??) was at the base of the center field wall. If not that inning, then the next one, he was getting lit up, and they do have a bullpen, unlike the O's.

  72. Sec3MySofa - May 21, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    "Every time they do this combo TV you see how much a second class treatment the Nats get at MASN"Oh, brother. They win 17-5 and we're still whining.

  73. FS - May 21, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    I think if Nats win the world series, we will still have few whiners around.Anyways, just saw few highlights and must say that Reynolds is another power hitter, who can only be DH.

  74. Andrew - May 21, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    Who has access to the Elias Sports Bureau? I wonder if anyone has ever had a Walk, HBP, Single, Triple and Home Run in one game. Sure, Ramos was a double short of the cycle but he did get the double play at the end.

  75. Doc - May 21, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Time for Riggs and McCatty to think about putting HRod into the rotation next year. He started there in the minors, then was switched to relief. He probably wouldn't hit his 101 mph all game long, like he did for 3 innings tonight, but right now he's being wasted in long relief. Three pitches that are all waaaaaaaaaaaay above-average. WOW!SS, JZim, HRod and some others–what a rotation!

  76. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    This was just post up on MLBTradeRumors:•Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said offseason negotiations with the Orioles never got serious enough that his decision to sign with Washington was especially tough, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Not to pile on the O's, but Mark Teixeira echoed a sentiment similar to LaRoche's a couple days back.

  77. Anonymous8 - May 21, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    Jason Marquis is a class guy. Said all the right things in the post-game interview. Love his fire!

  78. natsfan1a - May 21, 2011 at 3:10 AM

    Well, that was fun! btw, I called the Espinosa dinger, and the offensive outburst that followed it. Hope they saved some runs for tomorrow, 'cause we might need them.Dang, I turned it off too soon and missed the Marquis interview.

  79. Feel Wood - May 21, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    ""Every time they do this combo TV you see how much a second class treatment the Nats get at MASN"Oh, brother. They win 17-5 and we're still whining."Before the game, I sent this e-mail to MASN, mainly because I wanted to let them know that not everyone is crazy about their combined broadcast booth.Loyal MASN viewer since Day One. Absolutely despise the combined Orioles-Nationals broadcast booth. Hate hate hate it. Why do you continue to inflict this travesty on us year after year?Within the hour, here's the response I got:Dear Feel Wood,Thank you for contacting MASN, the local leader in live sports entertainment.MASN is televising a unique mixed-booth broadcast during inter-league play between the Nationals and the Orioles. During this weekend's series when the Orioles host the Nationals, Nats announcer Bob Carpenter and O's announcer Jim Hunter will split duties calling the play-by-play action. Both F.P. Santangelo and Mike Flanagan will provide color analysis in the booth.O's Xtra will be televised live from Oriole Park before and after the game on MASN and MASN HD. Nats Xtra will be produced separately, airing live from MASN's permanent studio on MASN 2 and MASN 2 HD before and after each game.MASN is fortunate not only to be able to televise every game of both teams, but to have assembled the finest broadcasting team of any network in the country. MASN's mixed-booth broadcasts give Orioles and Nationals fans the opportunity to hear the insights of both teams' All-Star announcers.Thank you again for contacting MASN.Sincerely,Your Friends at MASNAlthough I did appreciate their prompt response, I'm sure if they'd taken their time with it they could have been even more condescending. Although probably not much.

  80. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    FS said… "I think if Nats win the world series, we will still have few whiners around."To borrow from a Caps board, if the Nats won the World Series, some posters would complain about the parade route.

  81. Grandstander - May 21, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    Early in the game, Mike Flanagan asked FP, "what do you do to get out of a slump like this?"FP said something to the effect of, "well, you put your nose in there and do the right things, move runners over and you score some runs." Yeah.I didn't like the move with Marquis, but I didn't hate it either. He clearly didn't have his stuff and Riggs is paid to win games, not give his pitchers chances to pad their stats. If it had gone the other way, people would be calling for his head. Perfectly fine with his call.HRod, FINALLY, looking like a serious major leaguer. Until his last start, I thought Rizzo was thoroughly fleeced by Billy Beane. After tonight, I think it's a decent trade. Hopefully he can remain consistent, because then it will start to look really good.LaRoche drawing some walks, nice, still like to see a little more there, but holy crap salad, Matt Stairs needs to be released. They're not going to do it until Ankiel gets activated, but can we at least let him fester on the bench until then? I was willing to give him the series but after tonight I think it's done. Release him and move on FFS.

  82. Anonymous - May 21, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    I LOVE the Marquis removal. There was no indication that he was going to stop giving up runs. Prudence required that he be removed from the game. Every time he had a chance for a shutdown inning after getting a lead, he gave up runs. It was a horrible performance.He didn't pitch well enough to win this game AND risk the team losing the game by his poor performance.

  83. Drew8 - May 21, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    The game was great fun, but ol' Matt is buying the Stairway to Heaven. Gotta think he and Bixler will get bus tickets when Ankiel and Zim return.Speaking of offense, there have been some understandably cautionary comments here about the jump from Hagerstown to High A. Well, Potomac CF Eury Perez seems to be doing swimmingly.At Hagerstown last year he hit .299 with 64 steals. In 24 games at Potomac, he's hitting .356 with 14 stolen bases.Kid looks like a playa.

  84. Grandstander - May 21, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    Not to belabor the point, but in a 17 run game, you go 0 for 4 with 2 Ks and 5 LOB? So bad you get PH as a DH? And that guy gets a hit!?!?I'm sure Rizzo went into this series and was like "let's see what he does with some ABs and see if he can put it together."But after tonight, I'll have to question his sanity in putting him back on the roster, let alone the lineup.

  85. Drew8 - May 21, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    P.S. Robbie Ray had a third superb outing at Hagerstown, allowing 1 earned over 6.That's his only earned run in 17 innings pitched, for a sparkling 0.53 ERA.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 19.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.5 +1.5
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter