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  1. As Nats soar, so does Storen

    May 26, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Major-league closers, like NFL kickers and the sanitation department, only draw your attention when something goes wrong. We just expect them to work flawlessly, and if everything goes according to plan, we don’t even notice them. Drew Storen, though, deserves our attention right now, because he has been just as responsible for the Nationals’ prolonged,…

  2. Game 45: Nats at Cubs

    May 25, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Tanner Roark was among the best starting pitchers in the NL last season, a 15-game winner with a 2.85 ERA over 31 starts. But when the Nationals signed Max Scherzer to a record-setting contract in January, Roark found himself the odd man out of a jam-packed rotation, relegated to bullpen duties to begin 2015. Today,…

  3. State of the Nats: Rolling into Wrigley

    May 25, 2015, 9:23 AM EDT

    May 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) is congratulated by catcher Jose Lobaton (59) after earning a save against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Top storylines: Nats head to Wrigley to play Cubs – The Nationals pick right back up on Monday with a 2:20 p.m. start at the Chicago Cubs, as the red-hot Nats travel into Wrigley Field to take on one of the better young teams in baseball. Fans all around the country have likely been eyeing this…

  4. Roark ready for Monday start in Chicago

    May 23, 2015, 3:22 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Tanner Roark will make his first start of the season Monday in Chicago without much time to build up his arm after seven weeks spent in the Nationals’ bullpen. But the right-hander doesn’t expect that to mean much when he takes the mound at Wrigley Field on Memorial Day. “Nothing, really,” he said. “You’ve just…

  5. Roark will start in Fister’s place Monday or Tuesday

    May 22, 2015, 6:23 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Tanner Roark will return to the Nationals’ rotation next week, making a start at Wrigley Field in place of the injured Doug Fister. Roark will start either Monday’s series opener or Tuesday night’s game against the Cubs, according to manager Matt Williams, depending if he’s needed at all out of the bullpen this weekend against…

  6. 2015 outlook: Chicago Cubs

    Jan 17, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    2014 record: 73-89, 5th place in NL Central Manager: Joe Maddon, 1st season Estimated 2015 payroll: $110 million Key additions: SP Jon Lester, C Miguel Montero, 2B Tommy La Stella, manager Joe Maddon Key losses: OF Justin Ruggiano, C Jeff Baker, C/1B Ryan Lavarnway Projected lineup LF Chris Coghlan SS Starlin Castro 1B Anthony Rizzo RF Jorge Soler C…

  7. A reason for each MLB team to be thankful this Thanksgiving

    Nov 27, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Last year we at CSN went through all 30 MLB teams and cited one reason for each why their fans should be thankful. Well, one year later as we all celebrate Thanksgiving, here is another stab at that idea. Some teams have more to be thankful for than others, of course, but each team in baseball…

  8. Nats would want a boatload in any deal for Zimmermann

    Nov 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann. They developed him. They rehabbed him through Tommy John surgery. And they groomed him into one of baseball’s best and most consistent pitchers, a huge piece of their 2012 and 2014 NL East championships. So why on earth would they even consider trading Zimmermann away now? Well, it should be made…

  9. Zim front and center during late-game heroics

    Jul 7, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    Ryan Zimmerman is plenty used to being in the middle of things during the final key moments of a ballgame. This is, after all, a guy with nine career walk-off homers on his ledger. So the fact Zimmerman delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit yesterday for a Nationals club that eked out a…

  10. Instant analysis: Nats 2, Cubs 1

    Jul 6, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Needing a win to avoid their first series loss in three weeks, the Nationals looked a big sluggish. Jordan Zimmermann was effective, tossing six scoreless innings, but wasn’t especially sharp and had to be pulled due to a high pitch count. The lineup, meanwhile, scratched out a quick run off Jake…

  11. Game 87: Cubs at Nats

    Jul 6, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Matt Williams has had a full, healthy roster for six games now. And aside from one day off for Wilson Ramos, the Nationals manager has used the exact same guys in his lineup for all six games. Hey, there’s something to be said for continuity, especially when your team has won four of the first…

  12. Game 86: Cubs at Nats

    Jul 5, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    After a tough, win streak-ending loss to the Cubs on the 4th of July, the Nationals got a bit of a break for the second game of this series. Late Friday night the Cubs traded their No. 1 starter, Jeff Samardzija to the Oakland Athletics, right before he was set to start against the Nats.…

  13. Game 85: Cubs at Nats

    Jul 4, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It’s Independence Day in Washington, which means three things: 1) Fireworks on the National Mall tonight, 2) the Nationals hosting a ballgame at 11:05 a.m. and 3) Terrible heat and humidity for both events. Er, actually, strike that last one, because it’s an unseasonably cool, dry and windy July 4 for a change. No complaints…

  14. Trip salvaged, now Nats ready for Harper’s return

    Jun 29, 2014, 12:33 AM EDT

    AP

    CHICAGO — Forget who you’re playing or what the circumstances suggest, a doubleheader sweep is no sure thing. Now play that doubleheader at the end of a 7-game road trip, in sweltering humidity interrupted only by a 55-minute downpour, needing to win both ends of the twinbill to salvage a series split and maintain your…

  15. Instant analysis: Nats 7, Cubs 2

    Jun 28, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If you’re going to spend the entire day and night at the ballpark, might as well win two ballgames. The Nationals will leave Chicago exhausted but happy to have taken both ends of their doubleheader with the Cubs, salvaging a 4-game series split at Wrigley Field. And few will be happier…

  16. Game 81: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 28, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — And we’re back for our second game of the day here at Wrigley, the final game of this series. The Nationals need another win to salvage a 4-game split, and to do that they’ll need to beat Jeff Samardzija and finally provide some run support for Blake Treinen. Treinen returns from Syracuse as…

  17. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Cubs 0

    Jun 28, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  18. Game 80: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 28, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — Ernie Banks, as far as I know, isn’t here today. So I’ll just go ahead and say it: Let’s play two! Yes, the Nationals and Cubs have a day-night doubleheader on the docket, beginning with a 1:05 p.m. EDT opener and concluding with a 7:15 p.m. EDT nightcap (on Fox, FYI). If you…

  19. Early missed opportunity haunts Nationals late

    Jun 27, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    AP

    CHICAGO — It was still very early in a long ballgame, and there was plenty of time left for plenty more to develop at Wrigley Field. But when Ryan Zimmerman was thrown out at the plate in the top of the second inning Friday afternoon, and certainly when Danny Espinosa struck out with two men…

  20. Desmond avoiding day off despite recent struggles

    Jun 27, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Way back on Sunday, as the Nationals wrapped up their homestand, Matt Williams mentioned that Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth were very much in need of a day off. Well, five days later, Werth has taken his break, sitting out the Nats’ series finale in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon. Desmond, though, has remained…

  21. Game 79: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 27, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — Hey, we can actually see the rooftops here today! There’s still some fog lingering way off in the distance, closer to Lake Michigan, but the skies are mostly clear directly over Wrigley Field, a pleasant change from last night’s surreal scene. It’s Tanner Roark on the mound today for the Nationals, and just…

  22. Caught in a fog

    Jun 27, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Denard Span saw the ball go off Luis Valbuena’s bat, looked up to the sky and saw nothing but a cool fog that had enveloped Wrigley Field in the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday night. So the Nationals center fielder did the only thing he could in that moment: Throw his arms…

  23. Instant analysis: Cubs 5, Nats 3

    Jun 26, 2014, 10:46 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On a strangely fog-filled June evening at Wrigley Field, it wasn’t always easy to see things clearly. This much was clear, though: The Nationals weren’t in top form in their series opener against the last-place Cubs. Doug Fister labored, especially during a 3-run fourth inning, and allowed way more balls to…

  24. Game 78: Nats at Cubs

    Jun 26, 2014, 4:39 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    CHICAGO — Hello from the one and only Windy City, where it’s a very pleasant late-June afternoon along Lake Michigan. The Nationals made the short drive down from Milwaukee after yesterday’s loss and now face an unusual, 4-games-in-3-days series against the Cubs. The schedule refresher: Night game today, mid-afternoon game tomorrow, day-night doubleheader Saturday, off…

  25. Ramos activated off DL, Leon sent down

    Jun 26, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — Wilson Ramos, as planned, was activated off the 15-day disabled list today and will be behind the plate when the Nationals open a 4-game series with the Cubs tonight at Wrigley Field. The oft-injured catcher missed the last two weeks with a hamstring strain — his third in two seasons — but emerged…

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