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  1. Bryce Harper benched in Nats’ loss to Cardinals for ‘lack of hustle’

    Apr 19, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT

    AP

    [Updated 5:15 p.m.] Just 18 games into the Nationals’ 2014 season, rookie manager Matt Williams has made his first big statement as skipper. Bryce Harper was benched before the beginning of the seventh inning in the Nationals’ loss to the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon. Williams said it was because he failed to hustle out a groundball…

  2. Instant Analysis: Cardinals 4, Nats 3

    Apr 19, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Facing a team that has had their way with him in the past, Jordan Zimmermann pitched well enough against St. Louis to give the Nationals a chance to win on Saturday. But again, as they did two nights ago, the Nats committed defensive mistakes early in the game that cost them. This…

  3. Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals reinstated center fielder Denard Span off the 7-day disabled list on Saturday, and optioned Steven Souza, Jr. back to Triple-A Syracuse. Span had been out since April 11 after sustaining a concussion in Atlanta in a game against the Braves. He made two rehab appearances with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns before rejoining the…

  4. Game 18: Cardinals at Nats

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With a quick turnaround after their 3-1 win the night before, the Nationals will send Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 5.27) out to the mound on Saturday to face a St. Louis Cardinals team that has given him trouble in the past. Zimmermann is 0-3 with a 8.27 ERA in eight career starts against the Cards. He’s…

  5. Drew Storen comes through in Nats’ 3-1 win over Cardinals

    Apr 19, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Nursing a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals – a team they had not beaten in eight consecutive tries – the Nationals nearly saw it slip away. Struggling relief pitcher Tyler Clippard took over for starter Gio Gonzalez to begin the inning, and needed 26 pitches to…

  6. Nationals respond to Williams’ challenge

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Matt Williams wanted his players to be upset at themselves after Thursday night’s debacle of a loss. But the first-year manager also wanted them to forget all about that game the moment they left Nationals Park and return Friday committed to making things better. So what transpired over the course of 2 hours and 31…

  7. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Cardinals 1

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an atrocious performance Thursday night, Matt Williams challenged his players to return to the park Friday with renewed focus and desire. The Nationals responded in kind, delivering the kind of well-played ballgame Williams had been seeking all along. Gio Gonzalez and Michael Wacha matched pitch-for-pitch, with Wacha…

  8. Span to join Nats on Saturday after second rehab game

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:42 PM EDT

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    [Updated 10:40 p.m.] Nationals center fielder Denard Span completed his second rehab assignment game with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns on Friday night as he aims for a weekend return from the seven-day disabled list. Span, who is recovering from a concussion sustained on April 11 in Atlanta, went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. He…

  9. Ramos takes first swings since hand surgery

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

    AP

    Wilson Ramos took a key step Friday in his return from a broken bone in his left hand, taking light swings for the first time since suffering the injury on Opening Day and reporting no discomfort. “No pain,” the Nationals catcher said. “Not sore. It just feels a little weak.” Ramos broke the hamate bone…

  10. Nats call up Xavier Cedeno, send Blake Treinen to Syracuse

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Washington Nationals recalled lefty relief pitcher Xavier Cedeno on Friday afternoon and optioned right-hander Blake Treinen back down to Triple-A Syracuse. Treinen, 25, will return to a starter’s schedule now after serving a week as the Nationals’ long reliever. “The plan for him outside of the major league team is for him to start…

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Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris 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.

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