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  1. Doug Fister pitches in Viera, timetable for return set

    Apr 17, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Nationals starter Doug Fister threw two innings – a total of 28 pitches – on Thursday at extended spring training in Viera, Fl. as he continues his rehab from a right lat strain. Manager Matt Williams expects Fister to make another appearance in Florida before beginning a minor league rehab assignment. “No issues,” Williams said.…

  2. Game 16: Cardinals at Nats

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Coming off a series win over the Miami Marlins, the Nationals now return home for an 11-game homestand beginning with four against the defending NL champion St. Louis Cardinals. Adam Wainwright (2-1, 2.25) will pitch the first game with Michael Wacha set for Game 2. Needless to say, the Nationals’ makeshift lineup will have its…

  3. Nationals Stock Watch: Harper’s heating up

    Apr 16, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Record: 3-4 Team slash: .289/.358/.489 Team ERA: 5.17 Runs per game: 5.5 STOCK UP  Bryce Harper, LF: 13-24/1 HR/ 5 RBI/.586 OBP/1.426 OPS  Now this is closer to the Bryce Harper everyone expected coming into the season. After a tough first week, the Nationals’ left fielder was able to rebound with a couple breakout games…

  4. Game 14: Nats at Marlins

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    A day after Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals rebounded with a 9-2 win over the Marlins, Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.24) will take the ball looking to build off his strong outing against Miami just five days ago. Strasburg beat the Marlins at Nationals Park on April 10 after allowing one run and striking out 12…

  5. State of the Nats: Moving on after the sweep

    Apr 14, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Goodbye, Braves - Though the Nationals would have loved to avoid the sweep this weekend, they have to be happy to leave Atlanta. The Braves have continued their dominance over the Nationals, pushing their record against Washington to 18-7 over the last two seasons. This year the Nats are 1-5 against their rivals and have been…

  6. Harper finding his groove at last

    Apr 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — Ever since declaring himself “pretty lost right now” at the plate nine days ago, Bryce Harper has been reluctant to say much of anything about himself. Even though the results of the last week suggest he’s anything but lost anymore. “I feel pretty good,” was the extent of Harper’s self-evaluation Sunday evening after…

  7. Head games

    Apr 13, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — It would be one thing if the Nationals’ struggles against the Braves were limited to one bad weekend, as was the case the last three days at Turner Field. Or a couple of bad series, as has been case the last 10 days. But the lopsided nature of this NL East rivalry has…

  8. Instant analysis: Braves 10, Nats 2

    Apr 13, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals arrived at Turner Field today reeling from injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span and from back-to-back losses to a Braves club that has completely owned them the last two seasons. Could they find a way to salvage one weekend victory against their division rivals, as they did last…

  9. The Baseball Show: How will Nats handle Zimmerman?

    Apr 12, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

    Zimmerman's error looms large in Nats' loss

    The problems Ryan Zimmerman has had throwing the ball from third base have presented a unique problem for the Nationals. There is really no recent precedent for a guy who can throw lasers on the most difficult plays (including when bats are flying over his head), yet can’t hit his target on the routine ones.…

  10. Game 10: Nats at Braves

    Apr 11, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    ATLANTA — Hello from Turner Field, where tonight the Nationals (owners of a best-in-baseball 7-2 record) open a big, three-game series with the Braves (who after losing two of three to the Mets sit at 5-4 overall). As has been noted, the Nats found themselves with the exact same record one year ago, facing the…

  11. Instant Analysis: Nats 7, Marlins 1

    Apr 10, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Stephen Strasburg overcame his two poor starts to begin the season with a dominant performance against the upstart Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon. The right-hander dazzled through 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, putting on an efficient display through 98 pitches. Strasburg allowed only three hits to the Marlins and struck out 12. He…

  12. Podcast: Baseball in the District – MLB.com’s Richard Justice

    Apr 10, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The first week of the 2014 season gave us plenty to talk about on this edition of ‘Baseball in the District.’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I first talked about Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder troubles, and the effect they could have on the future of the Nationals’ infield. We then went into Anthony Rendon’s hot…

  13. Kings of the comeback

    Apr 10, 2014, 1:02 AM EDT

    AP

    It took 62 tries, not until a June 9 doubleheader against the Twins, before the 2013 Nationals came from three runs down to win a ballgame. Only eight games into the 2014 season, the Nationals have already done it twice. And after Wednesday’s dramatic, back-and-forth, plucked-out-of-thin-air, 10-7 victory over the Marlins, it was perhaps fair…

  14. Instant analysis: Nats 10, Marlins 7

    Apr 9, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Where to begin? We’ll start with Jordan Zimmermann, who was downright awful in getting roughed up for five runs in only 1 2/3 innings, putting his teammates in a quick 5-0 hole. Slowly but surely, though, the Nationals got themselves back into it. Craig Stammen was brilliant out of the bullpen,…

  15. Game 8: Marlins at Nats

    Apr 9, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Ryan Zimmerman, as promised, is back in the Nationals’ lineup. And he’s back at third base, hoping to battle his way through a bad shoulder by altering his throwing motion, dipping down to go sidearm all the time after committing two painful errors throwing overhand last week. Whether this experiment works remains to be seen.…

  16. Nationals Stock Watch: Rendon on the rise

    Apr 9, 2014, 12:49 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Record: 5-2 Team slash: .253/.319/.409 Team ERA: 2.25 Runs per game: 4.57 STOCK UP Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B – 7 G, .407 BA, 11 H, 4 R, 3 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 1.037 OPS If the season’s first week is any indication, the Nationals’ 23-year-old infielder might be starting to show why the team drafted him sixth overall in 2011…

  17. This time, aggressive baserunning pays off

    Apr 8, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT

    AP

    We’ve already seen in this young season the Nationals run themselves out of a potential victory with some over-aggressiveness on the bases. Painful as their 2-1 loss to the Braves in Friday’s home opener was, players insisted they’ll benefit in the long run if they keep applying pressure the way new manager Matt Williams has…

  18. Game 7: Marlins at Nats

    Apr 8, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Some four hours before tonight’s scheduled first pitch, Ryan Zimmerman was out on the field, making sidearm throws across the diamond from third base to first base. He then huddled up with Matt Williams, Nationals coaches and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz for several minutes before heading back down the dugout tunnel. The verdict: Zimmerman,…

  19. State of the Nats: Impressions from the first week

    Apr 7, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Injuries mounting - The Nationals avoided the sweep on Sunday, but moving forward there are plenty of injury situations to watch. For one, Ryan Zimmerman is expected to be reevaluated on Tuesday as the team looks for a solution to his shoulder soreness. An MRI showed no structural damage, only inflammation, which is good. Matt Williams said…

  20. Taylor Jordan shines in Nationals’ win over Braves

    Apr 7, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    For his first start of the 2014 season – and the 10th overall in his young MLB career – Taylor Jordan was handed quite the tough assignment on Sunday. The Nationals were facing a sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, and Matt Williams was resting many of his regulars. Because of injuries and…

  21. Zimmerman’s MRI negative; Fister progressing; Harper gets day off

    Apr 6, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Ryan Zimmerman’s MRI shows no structural damage An MRI on Ryan Zimmerman’s right shoulder revealed no structural damage, just inflammation, Nationals manager Matt Williams said on Sunday. The Nats’ third baseman will now rest on the team’s off-day and be reevaluated Tuesday. Zimmerman actually pinch-hit for the Nationals in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 2-1…

  22. Instant Analysis: Nats 2, Braves 1

    Apr 6, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 on Sunday to avoid the sweep in the teams’ first series of the season. The game started as a strong offensive showing by the Nats, but quickly turned into a pitchers duel between Taylor Jordan and Braves’ lefty Alex Wood. Wood gave up three straight singles…

  23. Game 6: Braves at Nats

    Apr 6, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Whew. Three stories about Nationals’ injuries later, and it’s time for the game thread. We’re just five games into the Nats’ 2014 season and what a ride it has been. Today the Nationals have a game to play, and it’s about as important as an April game can be. They will look to avoid a…

  24. Harper: “I’m pretty lost right now”

    Apr 5, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    AP

    Updated at 1:10 a.m. Bryce Harper exudes confidence like few, if any, 21-year-olds have in baseball history. So when the Nationals left fielder shows a rare display of doubt, as he did following the Nationals’ 6-2 loss to the Braves on Saturday night, it’s perhaps more striking than any home run he hits or laser…

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris 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.

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