Aug 19, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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…
Aug 6, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Bryce Harper is searching at the plate, this much is obvious. Every time it appears the young slugger is headed on the right track, he falls back into a mini-slump and starts flailing at pitches he has little chance of hitting with authority. Harper now has stepped to the plate 205 times this season, a…
Jul 29, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT
MIAMI — The 2014 Nationals really haven’t had to deal with losses like this, gut-punch losses in which a 6-run lead somehow turns into a 7-6 loss before anyone has sufficient time to process the carnage. The mood inside the visitors clubhouse at Marlins Park on Monday night was one of disbelief, a group of…
Jul 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
There seems to be a sense among many that the Nationals haven’t really taken off as a team this season, that there’s a much higher level of success yet to reach for a talented ballclub that hasn’t achieved its full potential. And perhaps that’s true. Maybe the Nationals are still capable of going on some…
Jul 9, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
For the last week, Matt Williams has faced a nightly lineup decision, the crux of which has boiled down to the question of who would start at third base. For the next two nights, Williams will face another lineup decision. This time, though, the Nationals manager has another position to consider: designated hitter. With the…
Jul 6, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
A Nationals club that boasts the NL’s fourth-best record but fewer dominant performances by individuals so far this season received only one All-Star selection Sunday evening: right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. There’s still a chance of more Washington representation at Minnesota’s Target Field on July 15, with infielder Anthony Rendon one of five candidates in the NL’s…
Jul 2, 2014, 1:17 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .229/.304/.358 Team ERA: 3.43 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Gio Gonzalez, SP: 1-0 / 7.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA It might be too early to make any grand proclamations, but perhaps we’re in the midst of witnessing a midseason rebound for Gonzalez. He…
Jun 30, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Top storylines: Harper’s return – It’s been over two months since Bryce Harper last took the field with the Nationals, but his long recovery from a torn ligament in his left thumb is just about over. Barring something unforeseen, Harper is expected to be in the Nats’ lineup to face the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. Harper…
Jun 29, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT
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…
Jun 29, 2014, 12:33 AM EDT
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…
Jun 26, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-3 Team slash: .211/.272/.219 Team ERA: 2.85 Runs per game: 2.85 STOCK UP Tanner Roark, SP: 1-0/5.1 IP/1.69 ERA Roark showed great moxie during his start in the weekend series against the Braves, limiting them to just one earned run in 5.1 innings and earned the…
Jun 22, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In a season of 162 games, it’s not often a team experiences ups and downs as dramatic as the Nats have over the last four days. Entering their four-game series with the rival Braves, the Nationals lost their first two in frustrating fashion, briefly losing their grip on first place in the…
Jun 19, 2014, 11:52 PM EDT
It’s one thing to consistently lose to a good team. It’s quite another to consistently get beaten up at a rate that suggests there is a vast talent difference between the two clubs, which nobody believes is the case when the Nationals play the Braves. But the numbers don’t lie, and the numbers at this…
Jun 12, 2014, 9:32 AM EDT
The Nationals traveled to San Francisco this week looking to challenge the Giants and their best record in baseball, but so far through three games it’s been Washington who has looked like the better team. On Wednesday night they again beat the Giants in convincing fashion, controlling the game from start to finish. Tanner Roark outpitched Matt…
Jun 5, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
When it comes to this juncture of the 2014 season, the Nationals sure have good timing. Just days before they embark on a 10-game road trip mostly on the West Coast, they’ve put together their best stretch of baseball so far this year. Five wins in six games, all five as convincing as victories come.…
Jun 3, 2014, 3:07 PM EDT
The Nationals activated Ryan Zimmerman from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and optioned Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse as the corresponding move. Zimmerman is in the starting lineup at left field as the Nats take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the first of a three-game series. Once a Gold Glove third baseman, Zimmerman will be playing in…
Jun 1, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT
The excellence of Yu Darvish is not something many fans – or baseball players for that matter – in Washington, D.C. have been able to appreciate in his two-plus seasons in the majors. Darvish plays in the American League in a division out west where many of the games don’t even start until after 10…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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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