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  1. State of the Nats: Close to clinching

    Sep 15, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Magic number is at 4 – Thanks to a successful weekend in New York for the Nationals and a Texas Rangers’ sweep of the Braves, the Nats have a very good chance to clinch the NL East in Atlanta this week. The magic number is at 4, meaning they would secure the division with…

  2. Can the Nats clinch in Atlanta?

    Sep 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It seemed like a long shot at best, clinching the NL East title in Atlanta on the turf of the club that wore last year’s division crown and has been a thorn in the side of this franchise for some time. Yet here the Nationals find themselves, opening a 3-game series at Turner Field tonight,…

  3. Soriano returns to pitch vs. Braves

    Sep 11, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

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    Five days after getting temporarily removed from his job as closer, and two days after throwing a bullpen to tweak his mechanics, Rafael Soriano appeared in the Nats’ 6-2 loss to the Braves on Sunday in a low-leverage situation to continue searching for a fix. It was the top of the eighth inning and it…

  4. Nats can’t sweep Braves, but still sitting pretty

    Sep 10, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Say this for Matt Williams: His never-look-back, never-look-ahead mantra has permeated through the entire Nationals clubhouse in his first season as manager. Williams has refused throughout to discuss much of anything involving events or decisions that come on future dates, and his players have picked up on it along the way, never letting themselves get…

  5. Instant analysis: Braves 6, Nats 2

    Sep 10, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s not often the Nationals find themselves with an opportunity to sweep the Braves. They hadn’t actually pulled that feat off since 2012, not at home since 2008. They still haven’t done it after a fairly lifeless performance this afternoon in the series finale against their division rivals. With Ian Desmond…

  6. Rendon, Desmond sit vs. Braves

    Sep 10, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With their series against the Braves in hand, and an 11-game road trip up ahead, the Nationals are resting both Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond on Wednesday with minor ailments. Rendon has flu-like symptoms, similar to what sidelined Adam LaRoche a week prior. Desmond is out with lower back tightness after leaving Tuesday’s game with…

  7. Game 144: Braves at Nats

    Sep 10, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals have an opportunity today to do something they haven’t done in quite some time: sweep the Braves. They haven’t done it since May 2012 at Turner Field, when Chien-Ming Wang got the win in relief, Steve Lombardozzi led off and played left field, Rick Ankiel drove in two runs and Jesus Flores was…

  8. In total control

    Sep 10, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Nationals could do no right when placed on the same baseball diamond as the Braves. They gave up runs in bunches. They failed to deliver hits with men on base. They botched plays in the field. If there was a way to lose a…

  9. Instant analysis: Nats 6, Braves 4

    Sep 9, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a chance to put another nail in the Braves’ coffin, the Nationals broke out the hammer right away tonight. They scored four runs in the bottom of the first off Ervin Santana, then added another in the second to open up a commanding 5-0 lead and leave their NL East…

  10. Game 143: Braves at Nats

    Sep 9, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In a sense, the only thing the Nationals really needed to do this week was beat the Braves once. They did that last night, so if you want to look at it this way, anything they do now is gravy. Matt Williams and Co., of course, don’t think of things that way, so don’t expect…

  11. Around the NL East: Time running out?

    Sep 9, 2014, 1:06 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  With just 18 games left on the schedule, the time is now for Atlanta to make a late-season push to get to the playoffs. Hopes of winning a division title for the second straight year are rapidly fading with the Nationals leading the NL East by eight games, but the wild card is…

  12. Williams gets creative with Nats’ bullpen

    Sep 9, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    Matt Williams said before Monday’s game he wouldn’t manage late-inning situations any differently despite a bullpen in flux, extra options due to September roster expansion and the night’s opponent being the Atlanta Braves. But then the game unfolded and, with a two-run lead entering the eighth inning, the circumstances called for a little creativity. Up 2-0…

  13. Williams’ faith in Fister is rewarded

    Sep 9, 2014, 12:27 AM EDT

    AP

    Matt Williams popped out of the dugout and walked toward the mound, which could only mean one thing as far as the crowd of 25,448 was concerned. Doug Fister’s night was done with two outs in the seventh, and the Nationals’ bullpen was going to need to finish off this victory over the Braves. Fans…

  14. Instant analysis: Nats 2, Braves 1

    Sep 8, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You want tense, September pennant-race drama against a division rival? You got it tonight when the Nationals and Braves opened a big, 3-game series that will go a long way toward either moving the Nats a step closer to the NL East title or allow Atlanta to sneak its way back…

  15. Game 142: Braves at Nats

    Sep 8, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    So it begins: with just 21 games left on their regular season schedule, the Nationals will kick off a stretch where they play six of their next 10 against the second-place Atlanta Braves on Monday night. Seven games separate the two, giving the Nationals a big opportunity to put their rivals down for good. Doug…

  16. State of the Nats: Three weeks until October

    Sep 8, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Braves in town – The Nationals have 21 games remaining and a seven-game lead in the NL East, but six of their next 10 will come against the Atlanta Braves. If the Braves have any prayer whatsoever of getting back in this thing, their run has to begin on Monday night when they start…

  17. Can the Nats put away the Braves once and for all?

    Sep 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Cole Hamels said it Sunday afternoon after taking a loss to the Nationals. “If they maintain the way they are playing right now,” the Phillies ace said, “they are going to be walking in a parade somewhere.” Strong words from a rival player, but one who has seen the Nationals enough this season (and especially…

  18. The home stretch

    Sep 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    And so the home stretch is upon us, the final sprint to the finish line for the Nationals, who spent most of the first half of the season hanging near the front of the pack but over the last month have burst out to take a big lead coming around the turn. (Sorry for all…

  19. Around the NL East: Braves hanging around

    Sep 2, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  The Braves enter the regular season’s final month very much alive for a chance to play October baseball. Despite the early season injuries, the inconsistency, the losing streaks and all the other turmoil, they’ve weathered the storm with a solid late-August run to keep themselves afloat.  After a 4-3 week that included back-to-back…

  20. Around the NL East: Giancarlo building MVP case

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  With the way the Nationals have played the last two weeks, it’s pretty established they’re the cream of the NL East crop. Trailing Washington by 7.5 games, hopes of a division title seem slim if you’re the Braves. However, Atlanta is still in pretty good position for a wild card berth, sitting just…

  21. Around the NL East: Surprise contenders?

    Aug 19, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  The good news for the Braves is that, after suffering through a brutal stretch, they’ve managed to rebound nicely by winning four straight games that included a sweep of the MLB-best Oakland Athletics. The bad news? The Nationals, the team they’re chasing in the division, have been scorching-hot and have won seven in…

  22. Are Marlins the bigger threat?

    Aug 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Though the Atlanta Braves have somehow figured out the formula to dominate the Nats in head-to-head matchups, lately they’ve had much bigger things to worry about. Since beginning the season 17-7, Atlanta is 44-53 in the time since. As Mark Zuckerman noted on Thursday, only the Phillies and Rockies have been worse among NL teams.…

  23. Baseball in the District – Michael Taylor

    Aug 14, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

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    This week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District’ featured three different guests for the very first time. The first was Nats outfielder Michael Taylor, the second was Kevin McAlpin from the Braves radio network and the third was WTOP’s Ben Raby. Taylor talked with Tim Murray about his memorable debut on Tuesday night in an…

  24. Around the NL East: Braves’ woes continue

    Aug 12, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  After coming off a disastrous road trip in which they lost all eight games they played, the Braves briefly staved off more disappointment with a series win against the Nationals over the weekend. But one series win doesn’t mean they’re all of a sudden out of the woods — not even close. Atlanta…

  25. State of the Nats: Pennant race set to heat up

    Aug 11, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Pennant race should heat up – Though it was technically an early-August series between the Nationals and Braves, this past weekend sure felt like the beginning of the pennant race. There are seven weeks left in the 2014 season, the Nats have 46 games remaining while the Braves have 45. By the end of the…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
WASHINGTON4335
NEW YORK40393.5
ATLANTA37416.0
MIAMI334610.5
PHILADELPHIA275317.0
*Through Wednesday's games

THE BASEBALL SHOW

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to recap everything happening with the Nats and across baseball.

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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