Apr 12, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Danny Espinosa spent the entire spring hitting right-handed against right-handed pitching, acknowledging his long-term struggles from the left side of the plate, recognizing his best (and possibly only) hope of sticking in the big leagues was to give up switch-hitting. But when given his first opportunity of the season to face a right-handed…
Apr 12, 2015, 12:32 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — The theme inside the Nationals’ clubhouse following Saturday night’s 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Phillies — a loss that left this team a surprising 1-4 to begin a season of sky-high expectations — was universal. “I think we’ll be fine,” manager Matt Williams said. “That’s all I’m going to say about it. I…
Apr 11, 2015, 10:33 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: This may sound familiar: The Nationals got an early home run, couldn’t do much else at the plate and then left little margin for error for their bullpen, which couldn’t hold a late lead. Wilson Ramos provided the early homer, an opposite-field shot in the top of the fourth off Cole…
Apr 11, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Jayson Werth homered during his rehab appearance with Class A Potomac on Saturday and appears to be on track to make his season debut for the Nationals on Monday in Boston. Werth, rehabbing from January surgery on his right shoulder, launched a solo homer off Lynchburg right-hander Adam Plutko to left field, the…
Apr 11, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — In their search for some semblance of offense, the Nationals are giving a couple of guys their first opportunity to start a game tonight: Reed Johnson and Danny Espinosa. The logic behind it: Both hit left-handers well. Johnson owns a career .310 batting average and .818 OPS against lefties, while Espinosa hits .271…
Apr 11, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Had Matt Williams, on April 10, 2014, found himself in the exact same situation he found himself in during the seventh inning on April 10, 2015 — bases loaded, one out, the Nationals clinging to a 1-run lead — he wouldn’t have needed to think much about which member of his bullpen to…
Apr 10, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — It’s easy to point to the fateful bottom of the seventh inning as the turning point of Friday night’s game, with the Nationals’ pitching staff imploding and turning a 1-0 lead into a 4-1 deficit in the blink of an eye. And certainly there are questions this team must answer when it comes…
Apr 10, 2015, 9:37 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a tough season-opening series against the Mets’ talented rotation, the Nationals may have thought they were due for some more fireworks against journeyman Jerome Williams. And when Michael Taylor led off the game with a home run down the left-field line, everybody in the visiting dugout perked up. But then…
Apr 10, 2015, 6:24 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Matt Williams talked this spring about the need for better “offensive efficiency” from his Nationals lineup this season, making the most of the opportunities presented to manufacture a run or two. Three games in, the Nats haven’t looked particularly impressive in that department. They entered Friday night’s game against the Phillies just 3-for-19…
Apr 10, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — It’s pretty remarkable to consider where the Nationals and Phillies stood as franchises only four years ago, then to consider where they both stand now. It’s been a complete 180-degree turn for both (though at least by 2011 the Nats had some glimmer of short-term hope, where these Phillies have very little). We’ll…
Apr 10, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The first series of the baseball season is perhaps the worst of them all, because it lends itself to over-analysis and the drawing of conclusions way before it’s appropriate to do that. Think about it: We don’t make too big a deal out of a 3-game series in mid-June, calling for roster moves or lineup…
Apr 9, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Blake Treinen made 15 appearances for the Nationals last season, many of them impressive outings that turned some heads within the organization. But he never really found himself in a situation like the one he was thrust into Wednesday night: the eighth inning of a 1-run game, asked to protect the Nats’ 2-1 lead against…
Apr 8, 2015, 10:22 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If the season’s first two games are a sign of things to come, the Nationals are going to be playing a bunch of low-scoring, tight affairs this month. Which means they’re going to need timely hits, mistake-free defense and a lock-down bullpen. They got all three on Wednesday night, and because…
Apr 8, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT
We’re 48 hours removed from Opening Day, but the weather suggests it feels like even more time has passed than that. After mid-70s and sunshine on Monday, it’s low-50s and rain tonight for the second game of the series between the Nationals and Mets. Hard to say if the rain will be significant enough to…
Apr 8, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals opened the 2015 season with a club-record $163 million payroll, sixth-highest in Major League Baseball. The Associated Press, in its annual calculations of Opening Day salaries, pegged the Nationals’ exact payroll at $163,264,559. That figure includes the salaries and prorated bonuses given to everyone on the 25-man roster and major-league disabled list. The…
Apr 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
As his team gathered in Viera seven long weeks ago, Matt Williams outlined the areas he felt the Nationals most needed to improve upon in 2015. Near the top of the list: Offensive efficiency. “We want to pick up the RBI that are given to us,” Williams said way back on Feb. 21. “For example,…
Apr 6, 2015, 6:44 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After an elaborate pregame ceremony that included award presentations, the announcement of the 2018 All-Star Game coming to D.C. and a slightly delayed flyover at the end of the national anthem, the Nationals opened the 2015 season with anticipation sky-high. And after Bryce Harper homered and Max Scherzer retired 15 in…
Apr 6, 2015, 11:52 AM EDT
Updated at 4:05 p.m. Commissioner Rob Manfred officially awarded the 2018 MLB All-Star Game to Washington on Monday, making the announcement just hours before the Nationals hosted the Mets on the club’s 11th Opening Day. “Nationals Park has already hosted a postseason,” Manfred said in a pregame news conference. “This is another opportunity to to…
Apr 6, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT
And so it begins. The 11th season of Nationals baseball is the most-anticipated yet, with a ballclub trying not only to win its third division title in four years but advance in October for the first time. And you couldn’t ask for a better setting on this Opening Day. There isn’t a cloud in the…
Apr 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The day has arrived. At long last we can say what we’ve waited six long months to say: It’s baseball season. The Nationals host the Mets later this afternoon, and once Max Scherzer throws his first pitch around 4:05 p.m., a hugely anticipated season in D.C. begins. Which means it’s time to continue our annual…
Apr 5, 2015, 4:59 PM EDT
The Nationals officially set their Opening Day roster and DL on Sunday afternoon, a roster that includes a few players who were afterthoughts when spring training began and two outfielders who weren’t even in the organization a week ago. Saturday’s final cuts of first baseman Mike Carp and left-hander Rich Hill all but established the…
Apr 5, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
We are about 24 hours away from the start of the baseball season here in D.C., but the MLB season does begin later this evening when the Cubs host the Cardinals at half-refurbished Wrigley Field. So it’s time to make some league-wide predictions. (For those wondering about the annual Nats beat writer season predictions, rest…
Apr 4, 2015, 9:24 PM EDT
New commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to officially award the 2018 MLB All-Star Game to the Nationals on Monday, according to league and club sources, bringing the Midsummer Classic to the District for the first time in 49 years. Manfred, who is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals’ season opener…
Apr 2, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
If you predicted back on Feb. 19 that the Nationals’ Opening Day lineup would likely include Michael Taylor, Tyler Moore and Dan Uggla; and that their Opening Day roster would likely include Matt den Dekker, Reed Johnson, Clint Robinson and Rich Hill; and that their Opening Day disabled list would likely include Denard Span, Anthony…
Apr 1, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — The Nationals brought more clarity to the final makeup of their Opening Day bench and bullpen Wednesday when they re-assigned infielder Ian Stewart and right-hander Rafael Martin to minor-league camp. Those moves, along with Wednesday morning’s cuts of Kevin Frandsen and Tony Gwynn Jr. leave the Nationals with only 27 remaining healthy…
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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