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  1. Both NL division series begin Thursday

    Oct 3, 2013, 2:12 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    PITTSBURGH PIRATES (94-68) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (97-65) Where: Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Gametime: 5:00 p.m. TV: TBS Radio: ESPN Radio Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, wind 15 mph Starting pitchers: PIT – A.J. Burnett (10-11, 3.30) / STL – Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94) Okay, enough of this one-game playoff stuff, now it’s time for the real postseason to…

  2. State of the Nats: Long offseason ahead

    Sep 30, 2013, 12:55 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: 86 wins – The Nationals finished their 2013 campaign with losses in five of their final eight games, leaving them with a total of 86 on the year. They ended up ten games behind the Braves in the NL East and four games behind Cincinnati in the wild card race. 86 is a respectable…

  3. MLB Power Rankings: Down to the wire

    Sep 26, 2013, 1:19 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Tigers have clinched a spot in the Division Series, but the AL Wild Card chase couldn’t be much closer, with the Rays, Rangers, and Indians all locked in a dogfight. On the flip side, recently eliminated teams like the Yankees and Nationals are left to ponder their offseason moves in an attempt to get…

  4. Nats’ loss clinches NL East for Braves

    Sep 22, 2013, 6:16 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals unveiled their 2012 NL East Champions banner on Opening Day and then proceeded to jump out to a quick lead in the division, winning four of their first five games. And then they dropped a game in Cincinnati on April 7 and fell behind the Braves in the standings. Little did they know…

  5. Nats beat Marlins to clinch winning season, want more

    Sep 20, 2013, 1:25 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The 2013 season for the Washington Nationals is on track to end without a trip to the postseason, as the playoffs are a longshot with nine games left and a five-game deficit to overcome. But with Thursday’s 3-2 victory over the Marlins, the Nats took home win No. 82 and ensured they will at the…

  6. Instant Analysis: Nats 3, Marlins 2

    Sep 19, 2013, 10:02 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Game in a nutshell: Gio Gonzalez had to pitch on Thursday night a day earlier than expected because of Stephen Strasburg being held out by Davey Johnson. It was also his 28th birthday. Though it may have been short notice, Gonzalez overcame a high pitch count after three innings to give the Nats six frames…

  7. Around the NL East: Looking into the future

    Sep 19, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The National League East has been one of the more competitive divisions in baseball since the turn of the century, fielding at least three 80-plus win teams in every season but one since 2001. Four of the division’s five teams have finished atop the standings in that time period, with Eastern parity reaching its height…

  8. One loss makes Nats’ challenge even tougher

    Sep 19, 2013, 1:29 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Any other time this season, under any other circumstance, the Nationals would have been perfectly satisfied to take two of three games from the Braves. Not right now. Not under these circumstances. “It’s just not enough,” manager Davey Johnson said. “We just can’t afford to lose. It’s that simple.” The Nationals’ 5-2 loss to Atlanta…

  9. Instant analysis: Braves 5, Nats 2

    Sep 18, 2013, 10:27 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: After taking both ends of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Nationals found themselves in position to go for a rare (but much-needed) series sweep of the Braves. They put themselves in position to pull it off, taking a 2-0 lead in a wild bottom of the fifth that saw Jayson Werth draw a…

  10. Game 152: Braves at Nats

    Sep 18, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Here’s a fortuitous position the Nationals find themselves in: After taking both games of yesterday’s doubleheader, they now have a chance to sweep the Braves in this three-game series. Who’d have thunk that 48 hours ago? To pull it off, the Nats will need a strong outing from Ross Ohlendorf, making one final start so…

  11. Roark making his mark with Nats

    Sep 18, 2013, 12:13 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Of all the surprises – both good and bad – of the Nationals’ 2013 season, perhaps the hardest to predict would be the development of rookie pitcher Tanner Roark. A former 25th round pick acquired in a 2010 trade for Cristian Guzman, Roark wasn’t even the Nats’ first choice among minor league starting pitchers this…

  12. Span extends hit streak to 28 games

    Sep 18, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    In many ways, the Nationals’ late-season surge has helped keep Denard Span’s mind where it should be. Right now, he can’t worry about his own individual performance, not when his team needs to win just about every game left on the schedule to reach the postseason. Perhaps that has allowed Span to remain relaxed at…

  13. Nats double up on Braves, take two

    Sep 18, 2013, 1:02 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals entered Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves with a unique range of potential outcomes. Anytime you play two against a team in one day it’s possible to double up or come away with two quick defeats. But in this particular case, two losses would mean a NL East division crown for the Braves.…

  14. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Braves 0

    Sep 17, 2013, 9:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: It had already been an emotional day for the Nationals when they took the field at 7:05 p.m., with two pregame ceremonies honoring the victims of yesterday’s Navy Yard shootings and a visit from Admiral James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Throw in their come-from-behind, walk-off win…

  15. Game 151: Braves at Nats

    Sep 17, 2013, 6:09 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Whew, what a game that was this afternoon. After that, are you all ready for another one? The Nats and Braves pick right back up after perhaps the wildest win of the Nationals’ 2013 season. Rookie Tanner Roark (6-0, 1.30) will look to keep the momentum going as Atlanta sends right-hander Freddy Garcia (4-6, 4.86)…

  16. Nats honor victims of Navy Yard shootings

    Sep 17, 2013, 1:02 PM EDT

    Associated Press

    The Nationals are used to encounters with prominent politicians and other Washington newsmakers, but Tuesday morning’s clubhouse visitor (and his reason for stopping by) was particularly notable. Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, handed out Navy caps for players to wear prior to the Nationals’ doubleheader opener against…

  17. Game 150: Braves at Nats

    Sep 17, 2013, 10:33 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    After the tragedy at the Navy Yard on Monday caused a postponement of their game, the Nationals and Braves will play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday with the first starting at 1:05 p.m. The same pitchers who were set to go on Monday will take the ball today as lefty Mike Minor and Dan Haren…

  18. State of the Nats: Braves come to town

    Sep 17, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Braves come to town – Winners of eight of their last nine, the Nationals now welcome the big, bad Braves to Washington for their final series of the season. The Braves have had their way with the Nats this year, going 12-4 up until this point in the season series. It should be the…

  19. Nationals: “We felt it was inappropriate to play”

    Sep 16, 2013, 12:04 PM EDT

    Flags at Nationals Park fly at half-staff. (Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER)

    Updated at 5:13 p.m. The Nationals have shared a close relationship with the Navy Yard ever since the two became neighbors in 2008. The ballpark Metro exit remains the “Navy Yard” station. Servicemen and servicewomen from the yard regularly attend games at Nationals Park and are recognized on the scoreboard. When the Nationals record the…

  20. Nats hope to delay Braves’ celebration

    Sep 16, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have thrust themselves back into the pennant race thanks to a torrid month-plus of baseball in which they’ve won 25 of 35 games, leaving themselves 4 1/2 games behind the Reds for the NL’s final Wild Card berth with 13 games to go. But it’s been no secret all along that the Nationals…

  21. MLB Power Rankings: Races picking up steam

    Sep 13, 2013, 2:06 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    My, what a difference a year and a few beards can make. One season after winning just 69 games, the Boston Red Sox have all but locked up the AL East crown, leading the division by 8.5 games with an 89-59 record. The Braves, too, have nailed down a division crown — meaning the real…

  22. Around the NL East: Now for the home stretch

    Sep 10, 2013, 10:34 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    There will be no drama for the NL teams listed below, as Atlanta has been a division lock for what feels like months, and the rest of the NL East has held firm at about .500 or below. Still, an examination of where the Braves have gleaned the most value reveals that there is more…

  23. Nats claim IF Mauro Gomez off waivers

    Sep 5, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals made a minor acquisition on Thursday, claiming corner infielder Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Gomez, 28, hit .249 with 29 home runs, 73 RBI and 43 walks in 110 games with Triple-A Buffalo this year. His 29 homers tied current National Zach Walters for the most in the International…

  24. MLB Power Rankings: Powerful statements

    Sep 5, 2013, 10:52 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With most decisions well in hand, the most exciting races may be for the wild card spots in each league, with three AL East rivals duking it out for the final spot there, and the Nationals trying to claw back into the picture in the NL. Here’s how Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Nats writer Chase…

  25. MLB Power Rankings: Nats climbing

    Aug 29, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The top teams in the league have plenty of stars, but at this time of the year, some of the most important players on contending teams are the ones flying under the radar. The Braves, Dodgers, and Cardinals are riding players like these straight to the postseason. Here’s how Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Nats writer…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 1.0
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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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