Aug 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Call it desperation. Call it a hunch. Call it a calculated gamble. Whatever you want to call it, the lineup card Matt Williams filled out Tuesday in Colorado was unlike any he had attached his signature to since becoming manager of the Nationals last year. Jayson Werth, owner of a .261 on-base percentage (.203 in…
Aug 18, 2015, 5:12 PM EDT
It’s been just a bit of rough 48 hours for the Nationals, who since last playing Sunday in San Francisco have been excoriated throughout the baseball world for … well, you name it. Their sub-.500 record. Their struggling lineup. Their under-performing rotation. Their under-fire manager. Their roster-constructing GM. Tonight in Denver, the Nats get back…
Aug 18, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
If it feels like you’ve been watching the Nationals’ worst stretch of baseball in a long time … well, you’re absolutely right. This team has gone 4-13 over the last 2 1/2 weeks, the franchise’s worst 17-game stretch since 2011. That’s also the last time the Nats finished with a losing record, a fact that…
Aug 16, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT
In the middle of a month filled with negative developments, something positive actually is happening for the Nationals on Sunday: Denard Span is beginning a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac. The injured center fielder and leadoff man, on the disabled list since July 10 with lower back pain, is expected to be in the…
Aug 15, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Mets had already lost in extra innings to the Pirates, cracking open the window ever so slightly for the Nationals to gain a game back in the standings. Max Scherzer was on the mound in San Francisco, handed a 1-0 lead before he ever took the mound. And the Nats would wind up adding…
Aug 14, 2015, 6:44 PM EDT
At this point, there’s not much else to say except for the obvious: The Nationals need to start playing better baseball, and as a result start winning more games, before their deficit to the surging Mets becomes too steep to overcome. They’ll try again tonight in San Francisco, hoping both that Max Scherzer can put…
Aug 14, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
This space could be devoted to a breakdown of Thursday night’s 3-1 loss in San Francisco, with mentions of Stephen Strasburg’s rocky first inning but impressive rebound after that, Yunel Escobar’s game-opening homer followed by a complete lack of offense by the Nationals after that and yet another case of this bullpen’s inability to keep…
Aug 13, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT
Stephen Strasburg’s return from the DL five nights ago in D.C. went as well as anyone could have possibly hoped: seven innings of 1-run, 3-hit, 12-strikeout ball to beat the Rockies. Boy, could the Nationals use another start like that tonight in San Francisco from Strasburg. The Mets already trounced Colorado this afternoon to sweep…
Aug 13, 2015, 11:12 AM EDT
Reed Johnson, out since late April with a torn tendon in his left foot, will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on Thursday night, putting the veteran outfielder on track potentially to join the Nationals’ roster for the season’s final month. Johnson hasn’t played since April 28, when he felt something pop in…
Aug 12, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals faced a tough enough challenge Tuesday night with Zack Greinke on the mound for the Dodgers. That they wound up having to face the Cy Young frontrunner without the services of Bryce Harper was downright unfair. The absence of Harper from the Nationals’ lineup due to a sore left knee proved significant during…
Aug 11, 2015, 8:21 PM EDT
The Nationals were forced Tuesday night to go up against baseball’s best pitcher this season without the services of baseball’s best hitter this season. Bryce Harper was scratched from the Nationals’ lineup with left knee soreness, the club announced about two hours before first pitch at Dodger Stadium, leaving the rest of the team to…
Aug 11, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT
The Nationals did their part last night in winning their series opener against the Dodgers. Now we find out if that carries over at all to tonight’s contest, in which they’ll be facing a far more imposing man on the mound: Zack Greinke. Greinke dominated the Nats three weeks ago, holding them to three hits…
Aug 11, 2015, 1:07 PM EDT
The Nationals have signed journeyman outfielder Tony Campana to a minor-league contract, taking a flyer on the speedy 28-year-old coming off reconstructive knee surgery. The deal hasn’t been announced yet, but a club source confirmed the signing, first reported by CBSsports.com. The contract runs through the 2016 season. Campana will report to the Nationals’ spring…
Aug 11, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
It’s just one game at the start of a very tough road trip, and it came against a Dodgers club exhausted after playing Sunday night in Pittsburgh that decided to sit several key regulars. That doesn’t make Monday night’s 8-3 victory in Los Angeles any less important for the Nationals. Truth be told, they had…
Aug 10, 2015, 6:15 PM EDT
Long West Coast trips always make for a tough challenge. Long West Coast trips on the heels of a disappointing homestand make for an even tougher challenge. But, alas, this is the challenge facing the Nationals right now, with a 3-city, 9-game trip opening tonight at Dodger Stadium. With Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke set…
Aug 9, 2015, 12:13 AM EDT
Nights like this, when Stephen Strasburg takes complete ownership of a baseball game and renders any opposing lineup (no matter the talent within it) helpless, can leave you with mixed emotions. Yes, this kind of performance — 12 strikeouts, zero walks, one run allowed over seven innings — causes a crowd of 37,115 to rise…
Aug 8, 2015, 9:44 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The sight of Stephen Strasburg taking the mound this season has produced plenty of emotions, unfortunately far too many of them negative after four months of struggles, injuries and some downright bizarre outings. But by the end of this night, after Strasburg had thoroughly dominated the Rockies in his return from…
Aug 8, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT
The Nationals’ season-long hopes of fielding a completely healthy lineup took another blow when Denard Span suffered a setback this weekend in his attempt to return from a lingering back injury, one that leaves his status for the rest of the year in question. Span, on the disabled list since mid-July, tried to ramp up…
Aug 8, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT
It has been exactly five weeks since Stephen Strasburg last took the mound at Nationals Park, when a strained left oblique muscle sent the right-hander back to the DL only a couple of weeks after he returned from a neck injury. Now, Strasburg returns, on the heels of a dominant rehab start at Class AAA…
Aug 8, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
The shock of Carlos Gonzalez’s grand slam off Drew Storen in the top of the eighth was still fresh in everyone’s mind inside Nationals Park late Friday night, but all hope wasn’t lost quite yet. Because there was still time for a last-ditch rally, and Bryce Harper was stepping to the plate. And the man…
Aug 7, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Everything was going according to plan for the Nationals. Jordan Zimmermann dominated on the mound. Several key members of the lineup delivered big hits to give their team the lead. All that was left was for the back end of the bullpen to finish it off. But that’s when things stopped…
Aug 7, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT
The Nationals open a 3-game weekend series tonight against the Rockies, hoping to build off the momentum of yesterday’s 8-3 trouncing of the Diamondbacks and keep themselves on an upward track. To do that, they’ll need Jordan Zimmermann to keep a potent Colorado lineup in check. The Rockies lead the NL in runs, batting average,…
Aug 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Joe Ross wasn’t on anybody’s radar when the season began, barely even known by members of the Nationals major-league coaching staff. He was “The Other Guy Acquired in the Trea Turner Deal,” a young right-hander with some upside but not a pitcher who figured into the picture in 2015. Which makes Thursday’s events all the…
Aug 6, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After an embarrassing loss Wednesday night, Matt Williams gathered his players together before Thursday’s game with a simple message: Play the game their way, aggressively, and good things would be more likely to happen. They did display some of that in their series finale against the Diamondbacks, swiping some bases and…
Aug 6, 2015, 3:41 PM EDT
Stephen Strasburg is likely to come off the disabled list and start Saturday night against the Rockies, a potential boost to a Nationals rotation that has yet to live up to its sky-high expectations this season. Though the club hasn’t made an official announcement yet, manager Matt Williams acknowledged that Strasburg is lined up to…
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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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