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  1. MLB Power Rankings: Nats, Astros making a push

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT

    USA Today

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) What a mess. Really, what else can you say? 29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Well, they proved this week they’re at least better than the Phillies. So they’ve…

  2. MLB Power Rankings: Cardinals, Royals look dominant

    Jun 26, 2015, 12:51 PM EDT

    Jun 24, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward (right) is greeted by first baseman Mark Reynolds (left) after Heywood hit a three run homer during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 30) Philly has the worst offense in baseball and has a certain pitcher with two different colored eyes up next. Good luck! 29. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 29)…

  3. MLB Power Rankings: Nats, Giants are slipping

    Jun 19, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT

    Jun 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants designated hitter Buster Posey (28) and center fielder Angel Pagan (16) return to the dugout after each scored a run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) They can’t even use their bullpen phone properly. What else is there to say? 29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Here’s hoping Uecker is OK after suffering concussion. 28.…

  4. MLB Power Rankings: Angels, Mariners continue to fall

    Jun 12, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

    May 6, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) follows through on his swing for a single during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 29) Finally, finally the Phillies look like they will trade Jonathan Papelbon. All kidding aside, he’s going to be a huge acquisition if a contender gets him.…

  5. MLB Power Rankings: Pirates, Rangers moving up

    Jun 5, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Comments Off on MLB Power Rankings: Pirates, Rangers moving up
    Jun 3, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6), center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) and right fielder Gregory Polanco (25) celebrate after the win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Over their last 90 games (dating to Aug. 20, 2014), they’re 29-61. That’s not very good. 29. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) Only one player with OPS+ over 100:…

  6. MLB Power Rankings: Astros, Twins are early season surprises

    May 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    May 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (right) high fives catcher Jason Castro (left) after scoring a run in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 29) After looking like a playoff team at times last year, the Brewers look headed towards a lengthy rebuild right now. 29. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 30) I can’t imagine…

  7. MLB Power Rankings: Marlins falling, Phillies rising

    May 22, 2015, 10:33 AM EDT

    May 15, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Braves won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Name one reason why anyone should trust Loria/Samson on anything. You can’t. 29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Starting rotation (4.80 ERA, 1.374 WHIP) is killing them.…

  8. MLB Power Rankings: Cardinals, Royals standing out

    May 15, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    May 14, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 30) Scooter Gennett looked like a future All-Star last season, his first full year in the bigs. He’s been awful so far in 2015. 29. Phillies – Hughes: (LW:…

  9. MLB Power Rankings: Nationals, Dodgers climbing

    May 8, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    May 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) is congratulated by manager Matt Williams (9) after the game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 7 - 5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Craig Counsell is a hero in Milwaukee, but not sure he can save this sinking ship. 29. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Chase Utley’s OPS is…

  10. MLB Power Rankings: Cubs, Yankees rising fast

    May 1, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 30) Injuries have killed their lineup and their rotation may be the worst in baseball. 29. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 29) Aaron Harang (2-2, 2.51) has been a nice…

  11. MLB Power Rankings: Mets, Padres surprising early

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:36 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Combined with last September’s collapse, Milwaukee has turned into a disaster zone. 29. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Ruiz, Howard, Utley all have OPS under .600.…

  12. MLB Power Rankings: Red Sox, Dodgers flying high

    Apr 17, 2015, 11:46 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 30. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 30) They have Jeff Francoeur batting cleanup. Jeff Francoeur. Cleanup. 29. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 27) This may be a tough year for Milwaukee fans after seeing…

  13. Martin savors “unbelievable” MLB debut with Nats

    Apr 16, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    BOSTON — Every ballplayer, from a young age, has dreams about making his major-league debut, and probably a realistic scenario for how that life-changing event might play out. Often, reality doesn’t live up to the dream. A major-league ballgame can be a shock to the inexperienced, a whirlwind string of moments that happen too fast…

  14. Relaxed Nats put on offensive show in Fenway finale

    Apr 15, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    BOSTON — Odd as it may sound, Tuesday night’s ghastly 8-7 loss at Fenway Park might have been just what the Nationals needed. Yes, that loss featured a calamitous bottom of the seventh, in which the Red Sox scored three runs via three Nats errors and two hit batters. But it also featured a 6-run…

  15. Nats 10, Red Sox 5: Bats break out to avoid sweep

    Apr 15, 2015, 4:47 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For the second time on this road trip, the Nationals took the field on getaway day needing a win to avoid an unsightly series sweep. And for the second time, they came through, pounding the Red Sox with their best offensive barrage of the young season to head home feeling much…

  16. Game 9: Nats at Red Sox

    Apr 15, 2015, 1:06 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    BOSTON — For the second time on this road trip, the Nationals find themselves needing to win on getaway day to avoid a sweep. They managed to do it in Philadelphia on Sunday. Now they’ll try to do it this afternoon in Boston. Encouraging signs: Ian Desmond had three hits last night, by far his…

  17. Bad recipe leaves Nats sick to their stomachs

    Apr 15, 2015, 12:03 AM EDT

    AP

    BOSTON — This was the night. This was the night the Nationals were going to snap out of their early season funk, using a 6-run rally that was as stunning as it was sudden to catapult them back into the team they’re supposed to be and put this awful week of baseball behind them once…

  18. Red Sox 8, Nats 7: Big comeback, then big meltdown

    Apr 14, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: This one had it all, some disconcerting moments early, a stunning Nationals rally in the middle and then an epic collapse late entirely of their own making. In a season-opening stretch that has defied logic, this game managed somehow to stand out from the rest. The Nationals fell into an early…

  19. Game 8: Nats at Red Sox

    Apr 14, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    BOSTON — On the heels of an embarrassing performance Monday afternoon, the Nationals are back at it this evening (note the early 6:05 p.m. EDT starting time) at Fenway Park, hoping for a far better showing against the Red Sox. Matt Williams made some tweaks to his batting order. Michael Taylor has been bumped down…

  20. Boston’s Betts wows Nats in span of 2 innings

    Apr 14, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    BOSTON — Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts were born only nine days apart in October 1992, but until Monday afternoon had never shared the same baseball field. Nothing if not a student of the game, Harper pays plenty of attention to his fellow young, budding stars. And to that list, he now plans to add…

  21. The weight of expectations, and when enough is enough

    Apr 13, 2015, 8:28 PM EDT

    AP

    BOSTON — Matt Williams, perhaps as agitated by his team’s play as he has been since becoming Nationals manager 18 months ago, was asked if Monday’s debacle of a loss to the Red Sox — officially 9-4 but not nearly as competitive as that score would suggest — might serve as a wake-up call to…

  22. Red Sox 9, Nats 4: D.C. debacle in Fenway opener

    Apr 13, 2015, 6:14 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In a nutshell? It stunk. There’s no other way to describe it from the Nationals’ perspective. They put on a clinic in bad baseball for the first three innings, with errors committed, multiple fly balls falling in between outfielders, bases left uncovered, consecutive opposing batters plunked and assorted other maladies. Given…

  23. Werth cautiously optimistic upon return to lineup

    Apr 13, 2015, 1:59 PM EDT

    AP

    BOSTON — In a perfect world, Jayson Werth would have played through a full spring training, building his workload up alongside all of his Nationals teammates, progressing toward Opening Day. Werth, though, couldn’t afford to do all that this year, not after needing right shoulder surgery in January. So as he sat in the dugout…

  24. Game 7: Nats at Red Sox

    Apr 13, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    BOSTON — And hello from the one and only Fenway Park, which today hosts its 104th home opener, with a first-time opponent for this major event: the Washington Nationals. It’s a bit of an odd quirk, now with interleague play spread throughout the season, though it’s still pretty cool for the Nats (and those who…

  25. State of the Nats: Can Werth get the offense going?

    Apr 13, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Werth set to return – The Nationals are getting some help this week with the return of Jayson Werth, who had been recovering the last three months from his Jan. 9 shoulder surgery. Werth, 35, appeared in three minor league rehab games with the Single-A Potomac Nationals in recent days. He logged nine plate…

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