Sep 10, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT
The Nationals have an opportunity today to do something they haven’t done in quite some time: sweep the Braves. They haven’t done it since May 2012 at Turner Field, when Chien-Ming Wang got the win in relief, Steve Lombardozzi led off and played left field, Rick Ankiel drove in two runs and Jesus Flores was…
Sep 10, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT
There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Nationals could do no right when placed on the same baseball diamond as the Braves. They gave up runs in bunches. They failed to deliver hits with men on base. They botched plays in the field. If there was a way to lose a…
Sep 9, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a chance to put another nail in the Braves’ coffin, the Nationals broke out the hammer right away tonight. They scored four runs in the bottom of the first off Ervin Santana, then added another in the second to open up a commanding 5-0 lead and leave their NL East…
Sep 9, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman took a significant step in his return from a major hamstring injury Tuesday, taking batting practice on the field with the rest of his teammates before the Nationals’ game against the Braves. Zimmerman, who suffered a Grade 3 right hamstring strain July 22, took swings in the cage with Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper…
Sep 9, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT
In a sense, the only thing the Nationals really needed to do this week was beat the Braves once. They did that last night, so if you want to look at it this way, anything they do now is gravy. Matt Williams and Co., of course, don’t think of things that way, so don’t expect…
Sep 9, 2014, 12:27 AM EDT
Matt Williams popped out of the dugout and walked toward the mound, which could only mean one thing as far as the crowd of 25,448 was concerned. Doug Fister’s night was done with two outs in the seventh, and the Nationals’ bullpen was going to need to finish off this victory over the Braves. Fans…
Sep 8, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You want tense, September pennant-race drama against a division rival? You got it tonight when the Nationals and Braves opened a big, 3-game series that will go a long way toward either moving the Nats a step closer to the NL East title or allow Atlanta to sneak its way back…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman was on the field during batting practice Monday, taking light grounders, jogging and throwing. The injured Nationals third baseman, though, still hasn’t been cleared for full running or swinging a bat, leaving him less and less time to get himself back in reasonable good shape for the end of the regular season. “The…
Sep 8, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
The Nationals will open their 2015 season at home against the Mets and will face all AL East teams in interleague play, including a potentially huge late-September showdown with the Orioles on South Capitol Street. Major League Baseball released the entire regular-season schedule this afternoon, one that features plenty of familiar matchups but also includes…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Cole Hamels said it Sunday afternoon after taking a loss to the Nationals. “If they maintain the way they are playing right now,” the Phillies ace said, “they are going to be walking in a parade somewhere.” Strong words from a rival player, but one who has seen the Nationals enough this season (and especially…
Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EDT
The door to the right-field bullpen swung open, and as the crowd of 29,108 began to recognize a familiar figure and a familiar walk-in song emerging, applause began to circulate around Nationals Park. And by the time Drew Storen had two outs on Ryan Howard, finishing off the Phillies slugger with a devastating, 3-2 change-up…
Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Having lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five straight to the Phillies, and now needing to beat Cole Hamels to avoid a sweep, the Nationals weren’t exactly in an ideal situation this afternoon. But they came through with a strong, if not flawless, performance in this…
Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT
Well into spring training, Tanner Roark didn’t know if he’d even be a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation. He might have broken camp as a reliever. He might have begun the season in Syracuse. Roark, of course, did make the rotation and hasn’t ceded his spot since, pitching exceptionally well. But he’s also…
Sep 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
They’ve lost five straight games to the last-place Phillies, and if the Nationals are going to stop that surprising streak, they’re going to have to beat Cole Hamels this afternoon. That’s not something they’ve done on a regular basis in the past. The left-hander is 15-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 31 career starts against…
Sep 6, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT
The Nationals, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s best teams not only this season but particularly over the last month. The Phillies, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s biggest disappointments, having held a firm grip on last place in the NL East since late June. How, then, to explain what has transpired when…
Sep 6, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a demoralizing loss Friday night that cost Rafael Soriano the closer’s job, for at least a little while, the Nationals faced a longtime nemesis this afternoon, and didn’t fare much better than they had in the past. A.J. Burnett once again dominated this lineup, allowing just one…
Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
Rafael Soriano, stuck in one of the worst pitching slumps of his career, will take at least a couple days off to refine his mechanics and clear his mind, leaving Nationals manager Matt Williams to pick a new closer from a pool of several bullpen candidates, at least on a temporary basis. Williams would not,…
Sep 6, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, where the home team will try to brush off the sting of last night’s disastrous loss to the Phillies. The question on everyone’s mind, of course: Who will close today if the opportunity presents itself? We’ll see if Matt Williams reveals a definitive answer during his pregame media…
Sep 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
And so the home stretch is upon us, the final sprint to the finish line for the Nationals, who spent most of the first half of the season hanging near the front of the pack but over the last month have burst out to take a big lead coming around the turn. (Sorry for all…
Sep 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Ample time has now passed since the Nationals wrapped up their 8-5, 14-inning win in Los Angeles yesterday evening, enough time to process everything that happened during the longest game in club history (5 hours, 34 minutes). And the primary takeaway continues to be this notion: That was simply an epic baseball game, no matter…
Sep 3, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long roller coaster of a road trip, the Nationals needed to beat the Dodgers to capture their second straight series out west against a contending opponent and salvage a 4-5 record overall on a 10-day jaunt that began with a surprising sweep in Philadelphia. But they…
Sep 3, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
Last night’s 4-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and Co. may have been frustrating, but the Nationals still find themselves in an advantageous position today, with a chance to win this series from the Dodgers with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against rookie right-hander Carlos Frias (making his first career start after five relief appearances). Zimmermann…
Sep 3, 2014, 12:51 AM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the season, and it lived up to the billing for awhile. Clayton Kershaw and Doug Fister swapped zeroes into the fifth inning, leaving everyone with the sense one crucial mistake might prove the difference in the game. Turns out a…
Sep 2, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT
We’ve been anticipating this one for awhile now, ever since the pitching probables came out. It’s Doug Fister vs. Clayton Kershaw tonight in one of the premier matchups of the season, between the NL’s two best clubs. How good has Kershaw been? Well, consider that over his last 18 starts, he is 14-2 with a…
Sep 2, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ aren’t the best home-run-hitting team in the majors. Far from it. They didn’t even rank among MLB’s top-10 home run clubs entering play Monday. And the Nationals don’t boast one of the most-prodigious home-run hitters in baseball. Ian Desmond currently leads the way with 22 homers, and it’s unlikely anybody on the roster…
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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