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Mark Zuckerman

  1. Decision time

    Jun 30, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

    AP

    For more than two months, Matt Williams has been waiting to fill out a lineup card that includes Bryce Harper in it. And for several weeks, the Nationals’ first-time manager has been contemplating just how much he wants to shake up the rest of his lineup as a result of Harper’s return. The time has…

  2. After 81 games, Nats are in good (not great) shape

    Jun 29, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — The optimist will look at the fact the Nationals are tied for first place, with the best pitching staff in baseball, sporting a +39 run differential despite the fact they had their full, Opening Day lineup together for all of seven innings … on Opening Day. The pessimist will look at the fact…

  3. Trip salvaged, now Nats ready for Harper’s return

    Jun 29, 2014, 12:33 AM EDT

    AP

    CHICAGO — Forget who you’re playing or what the circumstances suggest, a doubleheader sweep is no sure thing. Now play that doubleheader at the end of a 7-game road trip, in sweltering humidity interrupted only by a 55-minute downpour, needing to win both ends of the twinbill to salvage a series split and maintain your…

  4. Instant analysis: Nats 7, Cubs 2

    Jun 28, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If you’re going to spend the entire day and night at the ballpark, might as well win two ballgames. The Nationals will leave Chicago exhausted but happy to have taken both ends of their doubleheader with the Cubs, salvaging a 4-game series split at Wrigley Field. And few will be happier…

  5. Game 81: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 28, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — And we’re back for our second game of the day here at Wrigley, the final game of this series. The Nationals need another win to salvage a 4-game split, and to do that they’ll need to beat Jeff Samardzija and finally provide some run support for Blake Treinen. Treinen returns from Syracuse as…

  6. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Cubs 0

    Jun 28, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a long day of baseball staring them in the face, the Nationals knew they needed to pour everything they had into the opener of today’s doubleheader at Wrigley Field, lest they drop their third straight to the Cubs (fourth straight overall) and face the daunting task of needing to beat…

  7. Williams has plan ready for Harper’s return

    Jun 28, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Matt Williams today acknowledged, for the first time, that he knows what he’s going to do with the Nationals’ starting lineup once Bryce Harper returns. He’s just not ready to tell everyone what exactly that plan is. “Yeah, I’m not going to share it just yet,” the rookie manager said prior to Saturday’s…

  8. Game 80: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 28, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — Ernie Banks, as far as I know, isn’t here today. So I’ll just go ahead and say it: Let’s play two! Yes, the Nationals and Cubs have a day-night doubleheader on the docket, beginning with a 1:05 p.m. EDT opener and concluding with a 7:15 p.m. EDT nightcap (on Fox, FYI). If you…

  9. Early missed opportunity haunts Nationals late

    Jun 27, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    AP

    CHICAGO — It was still very early in a long ballgame, and there was plenty of time left for plenty more to develop at Wrigley Field. But when Ryan Zimmerman was thrown out at the plate in the top of the second inning Friday afternoon, and certainly when Danny Espinosa struck out with two men…

  10. Instant analysis: Cubs 7, Nats 2

    Jun 27, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a frustrating loss in the fog, the Nationals returned to Wrigley Field today hoping that blue skies would produce a happier result. Instead, they dropped another game to the last-place Cubs, this time in unsightly fashion. The Nats were held to two runs by Jason Hammel, who…

  11. Desmond avoiding day off despite recent struggles

    Jun 27, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Way back on Sunday, as the Nationals wrapped up their homestand, Matt Williams mentioned that Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth were very much in need of a day off. Well, five days later, Werth has taken his break, sitting out the Nats’ series finale in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon. Desmond, though, has remained…

  12. Game 79: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 27, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — Hey, we can actually see the rooftops here today! There’s still some fog lingering way off in the distance, closer to Lake Michigan, but the skies are mostly clear directly over Wrigley Field, a pleasant change from last night’s surreal scene. It’s Tanner Roark on the mound today for the Nationals, and just…

  13. Caught in a fog

    Jun 27, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Denard Span saw the ball go off Luis Valbuena’s bat, looked up to the sky and saw nothing but a cool fog that had enveloped Wrigley Field in the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday night. So the Nationals center fielder did the only thing he could in that moment: Throw his arms…

  14. Instant analysis: Cubs 5, Nats 3

    Jun 26, 2014, 10:46 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On a strangely fog-filled June evening at Wrigley Field, it wasn’t always easy to see things clearly. This much was clear, though: The Nationals weren’t in top form in their series opener against the last-place Cubs. Doug Fister labored, especially during a 3-run fourth inning, and allowed way more balls to…

  15. Harper could return as soon as Monday

    Jun 26, 2014, 7:34 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Bryce Harper could be back in the Nationals’ lineup as soon as Monday, manager Matt Williams said. Harper, out since April 26 when he tore a ligament in his left thumb, is continuing his rehab assignment tonight, playing seven innings in right field for Class AA Harrisburg at Akron. He’s scheduled to play…

  16. Game 78: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 26, 2014, 4:39 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — Hello from the one and only Windy City, where it’s a very pleasant late-June afternoon along Lake Michigan. The Nationals made the short drive down from Milwaukee after yesterday’s loss and now face an unusual, 4-games-in-3-days series against the Cubs. The schedule refresher: Night game today, mid-afternoon game tomorrow, day-night doubleheader Saturday, off…

  17. Ramos activated off DL, Leon sent down

    Jun 26, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Wilson Ramos, as planned, was activated off the 15-day disabled list today and will be behind the plate when the Nationals open a 4-game series with the Cubs tonight at Wrigley Field. The oft-injured catcher missed the last two weeks with a hamstring strain — his third in two seasons — but emerged…

  18. ZZZZZZZZZZimmerman saves the day for Nats in 16th

    Jun 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    If you couldn’t stay up til the final out was recorded at 1:34 a.m. EDT — or if you simply gave up after your TV inexplicably switched to a tummy tuck infomercial in the 14th inning — you missed a heck of a ballgame in Milwaukee last night/this morning. There were highlight-reel catches all over…

  19. Game 76: Nats at Brewers

    Jun 24, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jordan Zimmermann grew up in tiny Auburndale, Wisc., about 180 miles northwest of Milwaukee. And tonight when the right-hander pitches for the Nationals at Miller Park, it’s believed the vast majority of his hometown will be there to watch in person. If history holds true, they’re in for a treat, because in two previous starts…

  20. Taylor, Giolito selected for All-Star Futures Game

    Jun 24, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

    AP

    Outfielder Michael A. Taylor and right-hander Lucas Giolito were selected as the Nationals’ representatives at next month’s All-Star Futures Game, confirmation of both prospects’ development and performance this season in the minor leagues. Taylor, who plays at Class AA Harrisburg, and Giolito, who plays at low-Class A Hagerstown, were named to the U.S. team that…

  21. Harper reaches base twice, Ramos homers at Potomac

    Jun 23, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Bryce Harper reached base in both of his plate appearances, and Wilson Ramos went 3-for-4 with a 3-run homer Monday night in a rehab game with Class A Potomac for both members of the Nationals’ starting lineup. Harper, making his first game appearance since tearing a ligament in his left thumb on…

  22. Game 75: Nats at Brewers

    Jun 23, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals left town yesterday evening feeling a whole lot better about themselves than they did after losing Friday night’s heartbreaker in 13 innings, having re-established their 1 1/2-game lead in the NL East. But now comes a new challenge on the road against a Brewers club that currently owns the NL’s best record and…

  23. A complete pitcher

    Jun 22, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As he walked off the mound and back toward the dugout following his 117th pitch of the night, not a single one of them having led to an Atlanta Brave crossing the plate, Doug Fister finally let himself move out of the moment and consider the bigger picture. There may be no member of the…

  24. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Braves 0

    Jun 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After heartache last night, would this finally be the night the Nationals would get past that oh-so-pesky roadblock known better as the Atlanta Braves? In a word, yes. Doug Fister was brilliant, tossing eight scoreless innings in a big-time start by the big right-hander. And the Nationals lineup delivered three clutch…

  25. Harper at Potomac on Monday, Ramos homers at Harrisburg

    Jun 21, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 8:21 p.m. Bryce Harper will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on Monday, according to a source familiar with the Nationals’ plan for their injured outfielder, and begin the final stage of recovery process that should have him back in the big leagues on or around July 2. Harper, out since…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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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