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Game 35: Cubs at Nats

May 10, 2013, 7:39 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Cubs open a three-game series tonight at Nationals Park.

As Dan Haren put it yesterday: "We've come a long way in a week." Sure enough, a Nationals club that was approaching panic-mode not all that long ago enters this weekend's series against the Cubs having won six of seven to improve to 19-15 overall. They're hitting better, they're pitching better, they're playing better defense and they're obviously feeling much better about themselves because of it.

And after a tough stretch that saw them face five consecutive teams with winning records, the Nats now get a three-game set against the Cubs, who are โ€” how shall we put this? โ€” downright awful. Jeff Samardzija, tonight's starter, is solid. And Anthony Rizzo looks like a big piece of their future. But the rest of that roster leaves plenty to be desired.

Ross Detwiler will try to take advantage of that fact in tonight's series opener. No lineup yet from Davey Johnson, but Jayson Werth is expected to be out one last time with his tight hamstring. [UPDATE AT 4:45 P.M. โ€” Not only is Werth out of the lineup again, but Davey says he's likely headed to the DL, still suffering spasms in his hamstring. And on top of all that, Bryce Harper is also out of the lineup tonight after having a procedure to have an ingrown toenail removed. So the Nats are down two men tonight.]

Updates to come…

CHICAGO CUBS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WNEW (99.1 FM), XM 183
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (19-15)
CF Denard Span
RF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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.

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