Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EST
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…
Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EST
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…
Sep 6, 2014, 1:27 AM EST
It was a crossroads many spotted from a distance. Despite a first place record and a near-lock for an NL East division title, the 79-60 Nationals have a problem brewing in the back of their bullpen. And after Friday’s 9-8 loss in 11 innings to the Phillies, it may finally be coming to a head. Manager…
Sep 5, 2014, 11:40 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals returned home on Friday night to face the Phillies, and in doing so carried over just about everything from their memorable road trip out west. At least at first they did. Stephen Strasburg was brilliant once again, just as he was in his previous outing in Seattle. And Adam LaRoche…
Sep 5, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Adam LaRoche’s 5-RBI performance in Wednesday’s 14-inning win over the Dodgers was already impressive at face value, but to hear him talk about what he was going through that day now 48 hours later is pretty extraordinary. LaRoche of course didn’t start the game because of tightness in his back. That, however, was just part of…
Sep 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Ample time has now passed since the Nationals wrapped up their 8-5, 14-inning win in Los Angeles yesterday evening, enough time to process everything that happened during the longest game in club history (5 hours, 34 minutes). And the primary takeaway continues to be this notion: That was simply an epic baseball game, no matter…
Sep 3, 2014, 1:04 PM EST
Last night’s 4-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and Co. may have been frustrating, but the Nationals still find themselves in an advantageous position today, with a chance to win this series from the Dodgers with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against rookie right-hander Carlos Frias (making his first career start after five relief appearances). Zimmermann…
Sep 2, 2014, 5:51 PM EST
We’ve been anticipating this one for awhile now, ever since the pitching probables came out. It’s Doug Fister vs. Clayton Kershaw tonight in one of the premier matchups of the season, between the NL’s two best clubs. How good has Kershaw been? Well, consider that over his last 18 starts, he is 14-2 with a…
Sep 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
And so, August has come to an end, and what a month it was for the Nationals. It began with this team 10 games over .500, clinging to a 1 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East. It ended with this team 19 games over .500, now up 6 games (though that number…
Aug 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA — Adam LaRoche returned to the Nationals lineup Wednesday, confident the minor back injury that sidelined him Tuesday won’t be a major long-term problem. “I’ve had it before, and it’s not something where if I go play it can get much worse,” he said. “I know that from experience. I don’t have any fear…
Aug 27, 2014, 3:23 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA — The last thing the Nationals want, on the heels of a 9-1 homestand, is to open this 9-game road trip by getting swept by the Phillies. But they’ll need a win in tonight’s series finale to prevent that from happening. The good news: Doug Fister is on the mound for the Nats, and…
Aug 26, 2014, 6:41 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA — Adam LaRoche was out of the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday night. Not because left-hander Cole Hamels was on he mound for the Phillies, but because of tightness in his back. “He’s been dealing with a tight back for three or four days,” manager Matt Williams said. “Today it’s a little worse. It’s an opportunity…
Aug 24, 2014, 7:59 PM EST
You know a team has done something special when two of its most seasoned veterans – in this case Adam LaRoche and Scott Hairston, who have a combined 22 MLB season between them – say they’ve never seen anything like it. Sure, teams have closed 10-game homestands at 9-1 before. That’s rare, but not extraordinary. Five…
Aug 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
This week’s episode of ‘The Baseball Show’ featured a look at several key contributors for the Nationals during the month of August. The first video focuses on Adam LaRoche and how good the Nats first baseman has been all season. LaRoche is enjoying another solid year with 19 home runs, 68 RBI and a career-high .375…
Aug 23, 2014, 12:42 AM EST
There was a point late in Friday night’s game on South Capitol Street when the Nationals and a crowd of 33,718 felt like a comeback was possible, maybe even likely. Shoot, that’s all anyone around here had known for the previous week-and-a-half, when the hottest team in the majors kept finding ways to win ballgames,…
Aug 20, 2014, 2:07 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 7-0 Team slash: .271/.343/.421 Team ERA: 2.01 Runs per game: 5 STOCK UP Adam LaRoche, 1B: 3 HR/ 7 RBI/.419 OBP When the Nationals are rolling like this, you could probably make a case for any number of guys being in this spot.…
Aug 19, 2014, 12:21 AM EST
It used to cross Adam LaRoche’s mind when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, or later, and realized a home run would win the game for his team. But at some point over the last 11 years, he realized it was doing him no good to worry about it.…
Aug 17, 2014, 12:44 AM EST
It began innocently enough, a leadoff walk drawn by rookie Michael Taylor with the Nationals trailing the Pirates by three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The sellout crowd of 41,880 applauded the effort but hardly sensed what that plate appearance was about to trigger. The vibe picked up more after Denard Span singled,…
Aug 16, 2014, 12:05 AM EST
One by one, they stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first, hoping to put together quality at-bats but fully aware the percentages said more of them would make outs than didn’t. But then Denard Span beat out an infield single to get things started. And then Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk to…
Aug 13, 2014, 1:01 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .257/.313/.462 Team ERA: 2.82 Runs per game: 5 STOCK UP Doug Fister, SP: 2-0/ 14.1 IP/ 0.00 ERA As he has for most of this season, Fister continues to be the rock of the Nationals’ rotation. In fact, it might be…
Aug 11, 2014, 10:09 AM EST
ATLANTA — In the wake of yet another series loss at Turner Field, it’s easy to look at the Nationals and declare that they squandered an opportunity to step on the reeling Braves’ throats and create some major distance between themselves and their NL East rivals. And, to be sure, the Nats would have loved…
Aug 10, 2014, 2:29 AM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They were all set to play at Turner Field on Friday night. Pitchers warmed up. Players stretched. They sang the national anthem. And then at 7:03 p.m., 7 minutes before scheduled first pitch, they rolled out the tarp in anticipation of heavy rain which arrived a few minutes later. Little did…
Aug 7, 2014, 5:15 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After breaking out of a disappointing stretch with a lopsided win over the Mets on Wednesday night, the Nationals followed up with a second straight victory over New York, setting the stage for a huge series against the Braves in Atlanta this weekend. This one came in extra innings and was punctuated…
Aug 7, 2014, 12:07 AM EST
Debate all you want whether he’s the ace of the Nationals’ staff, the stopper, the best starter, whatever designation comes to mind. Doug Fister doesn’t care what title he holds right now. The only thing that matters to the right-hander is that he keeps winning games for his team. And that’s something Fister’s teammates notice,…
Aug 6, 2014, 9:37 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a tough loss, who do the Nationals give the ball to? Doug Fister. The formula has worked all season, and it worked again tonight. Fister was dominant yet again, shutting out the Mets into the eighth inning without so much as breaking a sweat before getting charged…
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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