Aug 7, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Danny Espinosa’s splits as a switch-hitter are no secret at this point, through five years of his MLB career. Espinosa himself is aware he hits better from the right side of the plate. The team’s front office knows, even manager Matt Williams has acknowledged it. So, why doesn’t Espinosa hit exclusively right-handed? It’s not so simple,…
Jul 29, 2014, 11:55 PM EST
MIAMI — When healthy, the Nationals lineup is something to behold, an 8-deep consortium of power, patience and potency that proved to be as effective an offensive group as there is in baseball. But the moment one key guy goes down — or even worse, when two key guys go down as was the case…
Jul 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
MIAMI — Hello from the one and only (and thank god for that) Marlins Park, where tonight the Nationals open up the final leg of their 3-city road trip, facing a Miami club that has won 7 of its last 8. I have to say I am quite outraged at the moment. Though the accompanying…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
They managed to keep their healthy lineup intact for 17 games before injury once again befell the Nationals last night. Ryan Zimmerman strained his right hamstring legging out a grounder in the top of the sixth at Coors Field, hustle that allowed a run to score and ultimately helped the Nationals secure a 7-4 victory…
Jul 9, 2014, 6:34 PM EST
BALTIMORE — Ten straight game days, Danny Espinosa walked into the Nationals’ clubhouse, checked the lineup card, didn’t see his name listed among the starters and went about his business as a newly benched player. And then on Wednesday, when he arrived at Camden Yards, Espinosa gave his usual cursory glance at the lineup card…
Jul 9, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
For the last week, Matt Williams has faced a nightly lineup decision, the crux of which has boiled down to the question of who would start at third base. For the next two nights, Williams will face another lineup decision. This time, though, the Nationals manager has another position to consider: designated hitter. With the…
Jul 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EST
If Matt Williams’ grand plan is to move guys around the field and throughout his lineup on a daily basis, he isn’t doing it yet. The Nationals tonight are fielding the same lineup they used the previous two nights with only one exception: Jose Lobaton is catching, with Wilson Ramos getting the night off. Look,…
Jun 30, 2014, 12:00 AM EST
For more than two months, Matt Williams has been waiting to fill out a lineup card that includes Bryce Harper in it. And for several weeks, the Nationals’ first-time manager has been contemplating just how much he wants to shake up the rest of his lineup as a result of Harper’s return. The time has…
Jun 28, 2014, 12:44 PM EST
CHICAGO — Matt Williams today acknowledged, for the first time, that he knows what he’s going to do with the Nationals’ starting lineup once Bryce Harper returns. He’s just not ready to tell everyone what exactly that plan is. “Yeah, I’m not going to share it just yet,” the rookie manager said prior to Saturday’s…
Jun 27, 2014, 6:57 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a frustrating loss in the fog, the Nationals returned to Wrigley Field today hoping that blue skies would produce a happier result. Instead, they dropped another game to the last-place Cubs, this time in unsightly fashion. The Nats were held to two runs by Jason Hammel, who…
Jun 22, 2014, 7:47 PM EST
Winning two games out of a four-game set technically goes down as a split, as both teams leave the park without a series win. But for the Nationals to take two against the Braves this weekend, given the recent history between the two, this one sure feels different for Washington. Before Thursday’s series opener, the Nationals…
Jun 11, 2014, 2:16 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 6-1 Team slash: .273/.337/.457 Team ERA: 1.34 Runs per game: 6.42 STOCK UP Ian Desmond, SS: .333 AVG/2 HR/9 RBI/.750 SLG The Nationals’ offense continues to hit its stride, as different members of the lineup are taking turns getting hot, and this week it was…
Jun 5, 2014, 1:28 AM EST
It’s only five games. That qualifier needs to be made. Five days from now, the storyline could be completely reversed. But over these last five games — four of them wins, including Wednesday night’s 8-4 victory over the Phillies — the Nationals haven’t merely looked like a team having a nice week. After two months…
Jun 4, 2014, 11:56 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals have been waiting for weeks to go on a sustained run, a stretch where they’re firing on all cylinders, at the plate and on the mound. It may be too early to declare this the run they’ve been seeking, but they’re certainly on the right track. With yet another…
May 30, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
It’s not their first-ever visit to D.C. — they were here in 2008 — but it’s always notable when the Texas Rangers come to town, given that franchise’s history. For 11 seasons from 1961-71, they were the expansion Washington Senators, the team of Frank Howard and Ted Williams and the original curly W logo. How…
May 27, 2014, 5:58 PM EST
Ryan Zimmerman will take a full round of batting practice and field groundballs at third base Wednesday for the first time since fracturing his right thumb April 12, but the injured Nationals slugger continues to work in left field as the Nationals try to prepare themselves for a variety of scenarios moving forward. After an…
May 26, 2014, 12:53 PM EST
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will undergo an X-ray on his broken right thumb Monday, and could be cleared for baseball activities later in the day. Manager Matt Williams said Zimmerman is progressing well and should be able to start taking batting practice and infield groundballs very soon. Zimmerman threw from 90 feet before the…
May 25, 2014, 12:54 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — There was perhaps no more pleasant development for the Washington Nationals in April than the re-emergence of Danny Espinosa after a disastrous 2013 that threatened his future with the organization. And there has been perhaps no more discouraging development for the Nationals in May than the regression of Espinosa back into the form…
May 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
If you weren’t able to stay awake through the conclusion of the Nationals’ 6-5 victory over the Diamondbacks late last night … well, you can be excused. It’s tough to ask anyone to stay up well past midnight for a mid-May ballgame out west. You’re in luck, though, because your humble beat reporter is paid…
May 12, 2014, 1:28 PM EST
After the Athletics completed their sweep of the Nationals with a 9-1 drubbing on Sunday afternoon, they closed the series with an overall scoring split of 21-4. Through three games, the Nats could only muster four total runs. The weekend was a continuation of what has been a tough month for the Nationals at the…
May 3, 2014, 10:28 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals have shown an ability to come from behind this season, but they can’t count on doing it every single night. They definitely weren’t up to the task tonight, falling into an early hole and never digging their way out of it. Tanner Roark took the brunt of the punishment,…
Apr 27, 2014, 6:29 PM EST
Pitching through one of his best starts of the young 2014 season, Taylor Jordan was unexpectedly removed after just four innings during the Nationals’ loss to the Padres on Sunday afternoon. After the game it was explained Jordan was dealing with a bad fever, and was lucky to even make it as far as he…
Apr 25, 2014, 12:57 AM EST
If the Nationals keep giving themselves opportunities to drive in runs, they will eventually convert at least some of those opportunities, that’s what Matt Williams insists. “It’s part of the game, and it is the game,” the rookie manager said after watching his team go a staggering 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position during Thursday…
Apr 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals’ late-inning rallies, capped by Denard Span’s walk-off sac fly, were the featured storyline of yesterday’s 3-2 victory over the Cardinals. But there was plenty more worth analyzing from the game, which included all sorts of twists and turns and notable developments. Let’s dig deeper into some of those other angles… — Stephen Strasburg…
Apr 20, 2014, 7:25 PM EST
As Denard Span stepped to the plate late Sunday afternoon, bases full of teammates and the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, he paused for a moment to examine the Cardinals’ unusual-looking infield alignment. “I counted,” he said. “I’m saying: ‘One, two, three, four, five. … A groundball is probably not going to…
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