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  1. Storen saves the day in return to closer’s role

    Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  2. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Phillies 2

    Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  3. Nats keeping watchful eye on Roark’s workload

    Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  4. Game 141: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  5. Flustered by the Phillies

    Sep 6, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  6. Instant analysis: Phillies 3, Nats 1

    Sep 6, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  7. Soriano out for now as closer, no replacement named

    Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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,…

  8. Taylor, Mattheus called up

    Sep 6, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    With the Syracuse Chiefs getting eliminated from the International League playoffs on Friday night, the Nationals called up two more players to expand their roster to 34. Outfielder Michael A. Taylor – 2014 MVP of the Double-A Eastern League – and right-hander Ryan Mattheus – a member of the team’s 2012 NL East division champion…

  9. Game 140: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 6, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  10. Explaining the Harper-Span collision

    Sep 6, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    There were several mistakes made along the way in the Nationals’ 9-8 loss to the Phillies in 11 innings on Friday,¬†one in which the Nats blew a four-run lead overall and a three-run advantage in the ninth alone. The most surprising, however, had to be the collision between Bryce Harper and Denard Span in the…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
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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