Aug 25, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals arrived in Philadelphia sky-high after a 9-1 homestand that left them the hottest team in the majors. Now they faced the opener of a tough, 3-city, 9-game road trip, hoping to carry over some of the positive momentum from D.C. That proved more difficult than anticipated tonight, thanks to…
Aug 21, 2014, 9:11 PM EDT
It has become an almost nightly occurrence for the Nationals to find themselves tied late in a game, whether it be the bottom of the ninth or in extra innings. Night after night after night, the Nationals have been put in position to have one pitch decide the outcome of an entire day. On Thursday…
Aug 21, 2014, 12:57 AM EDT
This shouldn’t be happening, not like this. It’s not that the Nationals have won nine straight games. And it’s not that they’ve won in walk-off fashion four of the last five nights. It’s that they’ve won three of the last four nights after blowing a lead in the eighth or ninth inning. Really, who does…
Aug 20, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
Only once in their nearly 10 seasons of existence have the Nationals rattled off at least nine straight wins (they did it in June 2005, then added one more for the even 10, establishing the club record). Tonight, they’ll try to make it nine in a row, riding the high of last night’s 8-1 thumping…
Aug 13, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
With the Nationals and Braves locked in a race for the NL East division crown, it’s easy to overlook the individual performances that helped earn Washington a first place standing here in the second week of August. I was asked on the radio last week whether Anthony Rendon deserved any MVP consideration and it got…
Aug 8, 2014, 11:34 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They came to Atlanta feeling good about themselves, while the Braves returned home reeling from an 0-8 West Coast trip. And then within minutes, the script had flipped back to a familiar (and frustrating) one for the Nationals. The Braves rocked Stephen Strasburg for six runs in the first two innings,…
Aug 2, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT
By the fourth inning, the Nationals led by 11 runs, turning the Phillies pitching staff into mincemeat and allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief and just play out the string under no pressure. But when Saturday night’s game was only two batters into the bottom of the first, when the outcome was still…
Aug 2, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: How about we just do “Game in a word” tonight? The answer is: Rout. OK, a few more details than that. The Nationals annihilated the Phillies pitching staff, starting with A.J. Burnett, who let six of the 11 batters he faced reach safely, capped by Anthony Rendon’s 3-run homer in the…
Jul 30, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long trip that started off fantastic but hit a snag in recent days, the Nationals desperately needed a victory in their series finale against the Marlins. They got one, thanks to another big-time performance from Tanner Roark and some long-awaited clutch hits late. Roark tossed seven…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
They managed to keep their healthy lineup intact for 17 games before injury once again befell the Nationals last night. Ryan Zimmerman strained his right hamstring legging out a grounder in the top of the sixth at Coors Field, hustle that allowed a run to score and ultimately helped the Nationals secure a 7-4 victory…
Jul 20, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
They spend hours before each series preparing for the upcoming opponent, studying the pitchers they’ll face, going over each outfielder’s strengths and weaknesses. Oftentimes, all the preparation is for naught. But sometimes, the perfect situation presents itself to use all that advanced scouting and apply it with the game on the line. That situation came…
Jul 12, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A high-profile pitching matchup produced a low-scoring game, though neither Stephen Strasburg nor Cole Hamels would likely have called this one of their best outings of the season. Strasburg carried a shutout into the sixth but couldn’t finish that inning after his pitch count skyrocketed to 117. Hamels, meanwhile, gave up…
Jul 10, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT
With a left-handed pitcher in Wei-Yin Chen on the mound starting for the Orioles, Nationals manager Matt Williams made a bit of a surprise decision to start Kevin Frandsen at second base on Thursday. Danny Espinosa had fared well the night before in his first start since June 27, and he hits .47 points higher…
Jul 10, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .265/.317/.451 Team ERA: 3.38 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Jayson Werth, OF: .389 AVG/ 2 HR/ 6 RBI If Werth keeps hitting like this, he’ll probably never want July to end. After an albatross of a June in which he hit .212…
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 1, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With the hubbub (and a dash of controversy) of Monday night behind them, the Nationals got down to business tonight and resumed the grind of the season with their healthy lineup still intact. On a sweltering night at the ballpark, they picked up right where they left off Monday, pounding the…
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 28, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT
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…
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 22, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
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…
Jun 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
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…
Jun 21, 2014, 1:20 AM EDT
As the ball went screaming off Anthony Rendon’s bat and soared toward the bullpen in deep left-center field, anything seemed possible, from the Nationals’ standpoint, for the first time in a long time. What’s that about this team’s mental hurdle trying to beat the Braves? How about a game-tying, 2-out, bottom-of-the-ninth homer off Craig Kimbrel…
Jun 19, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 2-4 Team slash: .214/.308/.277 Team ERA: 4.42 Runs per game: 2.66 STOCK UP Rafael Soriano, RP: 3 GP, 3.0 IP/2 SV/0.00 ERA He might frighten fans every time he comes in a game during a save situation, but Soriano still finds a way to get it…
Jun 18, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT
Matt Williams shed some more light on his plan once Bryce Harper returns from the disabled list in a few weeks, a plan that could see several regular members of the lineup bounce around from position to position on a daily basis to maximize everyone’s playing time. Harper’s return from surgery to repair a torn…
Jun 18, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
Any fears that the weekend slump that befuddled the Nationals would carry over into arguably their most-important homestand of the season to date were erased five batters into the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night. Three hits off talented Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, two of them RBI doubles, gave the Nats an early 2-0…
NL EAST STANDINGS
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
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
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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