Jul 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
For months, they pined for the day they would be able to field a healthy lineup, recognizing they couldn’t truly evaluate themselves until all eight of their Opening Day starters were back together again. Well, three weeks later, the healthy Nationals now boast the NL’s most-productive lineup. Not to mention the league’s best record. With…
Jul 13, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
Today the Nationals play their final game before the All-Star break with a chance to take two of three against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Tanner Roark (7-6, 3.12) will take the mound after skipping his previous start due to last Tuesday’s postponement. Roark last pitched on July 4, a stretch of nine days. He’ll…
Jul 12, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — While we await the update on Jordan Zimmermann’s MRI, and debate his replacement on the All-Star roster, there is in fact another game taking place tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Featuring a star-studded pitching matchup: Stephen Strasburg vs. Cole Hamels. The Nationals will have Ian Desmond back in the lineup after he sat…
Jul 11, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Ian Desmond was not in the Nationals’ lineup Friday night, but manager Matt Williams expects his shortstop to return Saturday after getting hit by a pitch at the base of his right thumb. “He’s fine,” Williams said prior to Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. “He’s a little sore. He got in, did…
Jul 11, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Hello from Citizens Bank Park, where a suddenly banged-up Nationals club closes out the first half of the season this weekend before taking a much-needed All-Star break. The two key injury updates you’re waiting for: 1) Ian Desmond is not in tonight’s lineup after taking a pitch off the pad of his right…
Jul 10, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT
[Updated 11:49 p.m.] As Ian Desmond grimaced and slowly walked down the first base line in the eighth inningThursday night, it seemed for an instant as if the Nationals were on the verge of losing their shortstop for the foreseeable future. Desmond’s injury came as a result of a hit-by-pitch from Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, whose…
Jul 9, 2014, 9:58 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Playing their first game in an AL park with a healthy lineup, the Nationals had an opportunity to field a lineup built both with offense and defense in mind for a change. And both aspects of Matt Williams’ starting nine played roles in this convincing victory at Camden Yards. A lineup…
Jul 8, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT
The Nationals, on paper, should be as formidable an extra-inning foe as anyone in baseball. Between a dominant and deep bullpen, a productive and deep lineup and a veteran-laden bench, they appear well-constructed to come up big the later the clock reads. How then to explain their actual results this season? Monday’s 8-2, 11-inning loss…
Jul 2, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT
The Nationals rattled off four straight wins mostly by pounding opposing pitchers to a pulp and then watching their own pitching staff mow through lineups. In order to pull off their fifth straight victory, they had to get dirty and grind for a change. Down three runs early to the Rockies on a sweltering Wednesday…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman had taken his position at third base 1,119 previous times in the big leagues, so his trot from the Nationals dugout across the infield Monday evening should have been the epitome of routine. This, however, wasn’t like any of the previous occasions. This was the first time Zimmerman played third base since leaving…
Jul 1, 2014, 12:24 AM EDT
It had been 80 games since the Nationals last had their full lineup together and healthy, the group Mike Rizzo assembled for this season before injuries struck almost immediately on Opening Day. Half a season where the Nats patched together lineup cards just hoping to stay afloat in the NL East. On Monday, Bryce Harper…
Jun 28, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
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…
Jun 27, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
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…
Jun 27, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
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…
Jun 23, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
The Nationals left town yesterday evening feeling a whole lot better about themselves than they did after losing Friday night’s heartbreaker in 13 innings, having re-established their 1 1/2-game lead in the NL East. But now comes a new challenge on the road against a Brewers club that currently owns the NL’s best record and…
Jun 19, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If the Nationals hoped to open a big, 4-game series against the Braves on the right foot and begin to put to rest any questions about their ability to beat their NL East rivals, this wasn’t particularly the way to do it. The Nats were shut out by Gavin Floyd, until…
Jun 11, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT
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 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
When Ian Desmond launched a 3-run homer off Texas’ Colby Lewis in the bottom of the fourth back on May 30, it was immediately wondered whether that sorely needed blast would serve as the catapult that finally got the Nationals going on a prolonged hot streak. But even the most optimistic of Nationals faithful couldn’t…
Jun 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
First things first: Rafael Soriano threw a bad pitch to Yonder Alonso with two outs in the bottom of the ninth late last night in San Diego. A 1-0 fastball up in the zone and over the plate to Alonso, who sent it flying over the right-field fence at Petco Park, sending the game into…
May 31, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT
As Ian Desmond crossed the plate on the heels of the first 3-run homer struck by a Nationals batter in eons, anybody who stood within shouting distance of the fired-up shortstop had to brace himself for what was about to be unleashed. Desmond got Jayson Werth first with an emphatic high-five. Adam LaRoche and Nate…
May 30, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After an agonizing loss Wednesday night in which they couldn’t produce the one clutch hit that would’ve won the game — a theme that has been all too familiar this season — the Nationals came back refreshed today hoping for better results in their series opener against the Rangers. Then they…
May 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Matt Williams, from the moment he took over as manager of the Nationals, has preached an aggressive style of baserunning, encouraging his players to make a more concerted effort to take extra bases when given the opportunity. Which isn’t to say he wants his players running at will on the bases, either. In his words,…
May 24, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A rare showdown between fellow No. 1 overall draft picks played out as most would have hoped, with Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole trading blows for much of the night in a tense, low-scoring ballgame. Strasburg, the top pick in 2009, appeared to have the edge on Cole, the top pick…
May 23, 2014, 7:02 AM EDT
In a season filled with inconsistency from night to night, the one relative constant for the Nationals has been their bullpen. Their 2.11 ERA is best among MLB relief units, they are balanced left to right, and they have veteran experience. The one exception, though, has been Ross Detwiler. For whatever reason, the former sixth…
May 19, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT
Today the Nationals and Reds begin their three-game series in Washington with two top 10 picks from the 2009 MLB Draft on the mound. Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48), the first overall pick, will face off with Mike Leake (2-3, 3.09), picked eighth overall. Strasburg will pitch against the Reds for the third time in his…
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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