Oct 1, 2015, 3:42 PM EST
ATLANTA — The forecast here tonight is lousy. It’s supposed to start raining sometime around first pitch, and once it starts it’s not supposed to stop. But they’ve apparently have sold 38,000 tickets to tonight’s game, not because 38,000 people are excited to watch the Nationals and Braves but because somebody named Sam Hunt is…
Oct 1, 2015, 10:00 AM EST
ATLANTA — What looked like close to a sure thing only a few days ago — a batting title for Bryce Harper — is now completely up for grabs over the season’s final four days. Harper has seen his lead over the Marlins’ Dee Gordon shrink to a mere two-thousandths of a point during his…
Sep 30, 2015, 11:23 PM EST
ATLANTA — He didn’t arrive in D.C. with the hype that surrounded Stephen Strasburg. He doesn’t own a major award like Max Scherzer. He has never won 20 games like Gio Gonzalez. And he certainly didn’t display flair on and off the field like Livan Hernandez. None of that mattered, though, with Jordan Zimmermann. Simply…
Sep 30, 2015, 9:22 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals aren’t exactly putting forth their best performance in the waning days of a lost season. For the second straight night, they were shut down by a Braves pitching staff that has ranked among the league’s worst all year. Despite a bunch of golden opportunities early against Williams Perez, they…
Sep 30, 2015, 6:18 PM EST
ATLANTA — Matt Williams defended himself Wednesday against a new round of harsh criticism levied at him, saying “all of the facts aren’t out there” but declining to go into more detail at this point, with five games still remaining on the Nationals’ schedule. Responding to a question about a Washington Post expose detailing the…
Sep 30, 2015, 3:48 PM EST
ATLANTA — Jordan Zimmermann made his final start at Nationals Park last Friday night, an event that drew plenty of attention, in part because it didn’t end the way anyone would have liked for it to end. But the right-hander still had one more start to make in a Nationals uniform, and it will come…
Sep 30, 2015, 10:03 AM EST
ATLANTA — The jokes were flying around the Nationals’ clubhouse Tuesday night, with teammates taking every opportunity they could to turn Trea Turner’s first career homer into an excuse to make fun of his boyish looks and physique. “For 135 pounds soaking wet, he hit that ball a long way,” Ian Desmond cracked. “He might…
Sep 29, 2015, 11:36 PM EST
ATLANTA — It was a loss, one of seven he has suffered this season, one of 77 the Nationals collectively have endured in 2015. So Tanner Roark couldn’t exactly be all smiles in the clubhouse at Turner Field after Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Braves. Roark, though, did his share of…
Sep 29, 2015, 9:40 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After the chaos that accompanied their final homestand of the season, the Nationals opened their final road trip Tuesday night, hoping matters would calm down and focus would return to baseball. It did, but that didn’t necessarily translate into winning baseball. A.J. Pierzynski’s two home runs off Tanner Roark proved the…
Sep 29, 2015, 6:40 PM EST
ATLANTA — It comes as no surprise at this point, but Ryan Zimmerman won’t have enough time to return from a strained oblique muscle to play before the end of the season. Sidelined for three weeks with the ailment, Zimmerman has been trying to get himself feeling well enough to return to the field before…
Sep 29, 2015, 3:30 PM EST
ATLANTA — And a good afternoon to you from Turner Field, where the tarp is on the field and the rain has been falling all day. The forecast does appear to improve some as the night progresses, but there’s at least a 50 percent chance of rain each of the next three days here in…
Sep 29, 2015, 6:06 AM EST
The Nationals took swift action Monday to address Jonathan Papelbon’s short-term future with the organization, suspending the volatile closer for the remainder of the season after his dugout attack on Bryce Harper the previous afternoon. The organization’s long-term plan for Papelbon, though, remains quite murky. Papelbon is under contract for another season; that was among…
Sep 28, 2015, 7:44 PM EST
Mike Rizzo further justified the Nationals’ decision to suspend Jonathan Papelbon four games and bench Bryce Harper one game Monday evening, citing the disparity in punishments between the two players as “equitable” given their roles in Sunday’s dugout fight. “You could see, by the type of discipline we placed on both players, which we thought…
Sep 28, 2015, 5:42 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Given everything that has transpired over the last week — official elimination from the NL East race, the plunking of Manny Machado, the dugout brawl between Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper — there seemed little reason to pay attention to what actually was going to take place on the field Monday…
Sep 28, 2015, 4:25 PM EST
Matt Williams admitted fault for not recognizing the severity of Sunday’s dugout fracas between Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper and for letting his now-suspended closer re-take the mound after the incident. “I take responsibility for that,” Williams said Monday afternoon. “I could have gotten more information in that regard. I could have gotten more specifics…
Sep 28, 2015, 2:42 PM EST
Well, they’ll still be playing a ballgame here today. It’s the final home game of the season, and a bizarre one at that, considering it’s one game against the Reds, who had to fly into town just for this makeup after their July 8 game was rained out. It means nothing in the standings. And…
Sep 28, 2015, 1:19 AM EST
Had Sunday afternoon’s dugout fracas at Nationals Park been a purely isolated incident, it might be easy to shrug it off as one of those unfortunate things that happens every once in awhile in sports. Teammates get into a heated argument, one goes after the other, everybody else rushes in to break it up. This…
Sep 25, 2015, 11:40 PM EST
Jordan Zimmermann and Matt Williams are many things, but sentimental men they most certainly are not. Both the Nationals right-hander and his manager care too much about the competition at hand to get caught up in emotions. So the fact neither made much of the manner in which Zimmermann departed Friday night’s 8-2 loss to…
Sep 25, 2015, 9:35 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals already were moving ever closer to elimination when they took the field for the opener of a weekend series with the Phillies. The crowd of 31,019 that gathered on South Capitol Street did so knowing the outcome of the game would be secondary to the reception the man on…
Sep 25, 2015, 3:30 PM EST
Jordan Zimmermann made his first career start at Nationals Park on April 20, 2009, in front of a sparse gathering of a few hundred fans who waited out a 2-hour, 10-minute rain delay to see a promising rookie right-hander beat the Braves, 3-2. Tonight, Zimmermann takes the mound at Nationals Park for the 94th time…
Sep 25, 2015, 1:37 PM EST
Updated at 5:27 p.m. Major League Baseball has suspended Jonathan Papelbon three games and fined the Nationals closer an undisclosed amount for intentionally throwing at Manny Machado during Wednesday night’s loss to the Orioles. Papelbon has appealed the ruling and will remain eligible to pitch until his case is heard, the Nationals said. He declined…
Sep 25, 2015, 10:00 AM EST
There have been no shortage of remarkable Bryce Harper stats this season, but among the more remarkable ones was this little nugget: He hadn’t gone hitless in three straight games at any point in 2015. Until Thursday. Yes, that impressive streak came to an end when Harper grounded out to short to conclude the Nationals’…
Sep 24, 2015, 9:11 PM EST
Matt Williams was asked, after yet another dagger of a loss Thursday evening, whether it’s fair to pin the Nationals’ overall predicament on a bullpen that seems to be at the center of just about every one of these. “I wouldn’t believe that that would be fair,” the manager said, “to point at one thing…
Sep 24, 2015, 7:10 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: There’s nothing more harrowing for the Nationals these days than a close ballgame in the seventh inning, a frame that more than any other has left this underachieving ballclub on the precipice of elimination. But when they actually strung together a rally in the bottom of the seventh this afternoon, turning…
Sep 24, 2015, 3:38 PM EST
Danny Espinosa won’t have enough time to return from a slight right hamstring tear to play before the end of the Nationals’ season, leaving the versatile infielder the latest member of the roster to finish the year injured. Out since Sept. 17, Espinosa had an MRI on the hamstring earlier this week which revealed a…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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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