Apr 28, 2015, 3:10 PM EDT
ATLANTA — Needing to clear a spot on their roster for A.J. Cole to make his big-league debut Tuesday night, the Nationals optioned reliever Rafael Martin to Class AAA Syracuse. Martin, 30, became the odd man out when the Nationals needed to drop someone to account for Cole’s promotion, necessitated by Max Scherzer’s scratch from…
Apr 28, 2015, 10:23 AM EDT
ATLANTA — Amid the uproar over Andrelton Simmons’ questionable takeout slide that injured Yunel Escobar, the back-and-forth between the Nationals and Braves that ensued and then news of prospect A.J. Cole getting called up to make his major-league debut in place of the injured Max Scherzer, everyone seemed to gloss over a teeny little fact…
Apr 28, 2015, 12:30 AM EDT
Updated at 12:30 a.m. ATLANTA — Yunel Escobar is expected to miss a day or two after his left hand was cut in multiple places on a late, hard slide by Andrelton Simmons during Tuesday night’s game that left several Nationals teammates fuming over what they perceived as a dirty play by the Braves shortstop.…
Apr 27, 2015, 11:36 PM EDT
Updated at 11:36 p.m. ATLANTA — With Max Scherzer’s sprained thumb not healed enough to make his scheduled start Tuesday night, the Nationals will send prospect A.J. Cole to the mound to make his major-league debut against the Braves. Cole, 22, is the organization’s top-rated, upper-level pitching prospect, rated the 30th-best prospect in the entire…
Apr 27, 2015, 10:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals showed up at Turner Field on Monday, hoping a change of scenery would be the impetus for a change of fortunes. Instead, they dug themselves into an even deeper hole with another ugly performance that extended their losing streak to six games and may have cost them their starting…
Apr 27, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT
ATLANTA — Anthony Rendon was scratched from the lineup at Class AA Harrisburg on Monday after feeling fatigued during afternoon workouts, the Nationals said, a hiccup in the infielder’s rehab from a sprained left knee. Rendon was scheduled to play 7-to-9 innings at second base and bat third for the Senators but was pulled out…
Apr 27, 2015, 3:39 PM EDT
ATLANTA — Hello from Turner Field, where the Nationals arrive reeling from a 5-game losing streak and weekend sweep in Miami, hoping tonight is the night things take a turn for the better. They’ll of course need a better offensive showing against Braves left-hander Eric Stults than they had over the last few days against…
Apr 27, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
MIAMI — There are no shortage of reasons for the Nationals’ slow start to 2015, but above all else, the lack of consistent offensive production must be considered reason No. 1. Three weeks into the season, the Nationals rank 28th out of 30 MLB clubs in batting average, 26th in on-base percentage, 25th in slugging…
Apr 26, 2015, 5:56 PM EDT
MIAMI — You’re never as bad as you look during a long losing streak, and you’re never as good as you look during a long winning streak, but at what point does the losing start becoming an actual reflection of what you are as a ballclub? Not after a mere 19 games, the Nationals insist.…
Apr 26, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Losers of four straight and in danger of a sweep in Miami, the Nationals desperately needed a good, all-around performance this afternoon. They’re still searching for one after another poorly played ballgame, in every facet. On the mound, Gio Gonzalez was roughed up for six runs over five erratic innings. In…
Apr 26, 2015, 12:28 PM EDT
MIAMI — There are no must-win games in April, right? Right? If that’s true, what should we call today’s series finale against the Marlins? Let’s just say the Nationals really, really, REALLY want to win this one and avoid a sweep, a 5-game losing streak and the potential for falling even farther back in the…
Apr 26, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT
Updated at 5:03 p.m. MIAMI — The odds of Max Scherzer making his scheduled start Tuesday night in Atlanta look slim after the Nationals ace was unable to throw Sunday morning without feeling discomfort in his right thumb, which he suggested is the byproduct of a sprained ligament. Scherzer, who jammed the thumb while hitting…
Apr 25, 2015, 8:27 PM EDT
MIAMI — It would be one thing if there was an obvious lack of effort, if players’ heads didn’t seem to be in the game. But that’s not the case right now for the Nationals. They’re simply not playing well. Which, in some ways, could cause frustration levels to rise even higher. “The intent is…
Apr 25, 2015, 6:46 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Losers of three straight, the Nationals knew they needed to string together some hits and plate more than a couple runs Saturday off Tom Koehler. That proved far more challenging than they could’ve anticipated, forcing Stephen Strasburg to be near-perfect to have a chance to win this game. Strasburg wasn’t perfect…
Apr 25, 2015, 3:23 PM EDT
MIAMI — Max Scherzer’s right thumb remains swollen, enough that the Nationals ace couldn’t throw his standard between-starts bullpen session Saturday, leaving his status for his next start somewhat in question. Scherzer was jammed while hitting during Thursday’s game against the Cardinals. He remained in the game for two more innings but was pulled with…
Apr 25, 2015, 12:46 PM EDT
MIAMI — Good afternoon once again from Marlins Park, where the roof was open for awhile, making this place look completely different than it otherwise does. They’ve now closed it, though, so they can crank up the AC and avoid any sudden rain that may strike, as it so often does here in South Florida.…
Apr 24, 2015, 11:36 PM EDT
MIAMI — Baseball has a reputation for being among the most complex major sports in the world, but sometimes it’s actually a rather simple game. Take the Nationals, who after a 3-2 loss to the Marlins on Friday night are now a disappointing 7-10 on the season, the vast majority of those losses coming in…
Apr 24, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s only April 24, but the Nationals recognize this 3-city, 10-game road trip through the NL East presents a real opportunity to make up some ground in the division. So they took the field at Marlins Park tonight with a sharp effort, getting dominant and efficient work from Jordan Zimmermann, some…
Apr 24, 2015, 6:49 PM EDT
MIAMI — From the day he was drafted, Bryce Harper seemed like a strong candidate to lead the majors in something before long, whether home runs, slugging percentage, outfield assists or something along those lines. It may come as a bit of a surprise, though, that Harper currently leads all MLB hitters in a stat…
Apr 24, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT
MIAMI — Hello from the one and only (which is probably a good thing) Marlins Park, where tonight the Nationals open a 10-game road trip with the first of three against the Marlins in this amusement park of a baseball stadium. Miami, which entering the season appeared to be the Nats’ biggest challenger in the…
Apr 24, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals have now played 16 games, which is one-tenth of their regular season. That’s still a very small fraction, but it’s not so insignificant that we can’t examine a few big-picture issues. So with that in mind, here are some things we’ve learned about the 2015 Nationals so far… The rotation is good as…
Apr 23, 2015, 7:56 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, a painful condition that left the Nationals first baseman noticeably limping around the field during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Cardinals. Zimmerman said he first noticed the problem about four or five days ago, but the condition was worse Thursday, as was apparent for…
Apr 23, 2015, 6:36 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Max Scherzer vs. Michael Wacha looked like a good pitching matchup on paper, and it proved to be just that. In the end, Wacha was just a little better than Scherzer, with the Cardinals also benefiting from some Nats defensive hijinks late. Scherzer allowed two runs over seven innings, retiring 16-of-17…
Apr 23, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT
The final game of this series features the best pitching matchup of the three: Max Scherzer vs. Michael Wacha. Scherzer, the St. Louis native, has been outstanding so far in his D.C. tenure, with an NL-leading 0.83 ERA in his first three starts. Wacha, meanwhile, has a 1.35 ERA so far and came within one…
Apr 23, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Matt Grace was at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, wearing his Chiefs uniform, looking forward to a matinee against Rochester that would begin 30 minutes later. Ten hours later, Grace found himself in the clubhouse at Nationals Park, a pack of reporters surrounding him and asking about the scoreless inning of…
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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- Harper showing he can excel at 'the little things'
- Advice from teammates helps Gio get back on track vs. Phillies
- Anthony Rendon to take big step forward in rehab this week
- Strong Gio start secures another series win for Nats
- Nationals aim for another series win against Philly
- Still no answer for Strasburg's woes