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  1. Nats’ defensive mistakes add up in loss to Cardinals

    Apr 18, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    In what ended up a 8-0 blowout loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night, a game in which they mustered only two hits off Adam Wainwright, a lot went wrong for the Nationals besides their play in the field. But after four defensive errors in one game – and an MLB-worst 20 total…

  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. Better late than never

    Apr 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    We begin with a caveat that should be included in just about any analysis written about a major-league ballclub before the calendar shifts to May: It’s early, so it’s entirely possible this trend won’t sustain itself over the full season. But it has become the defining quality of the 2014 Nationals, at least to date:…

  4. Instant analysis: Nats 6, Marlins 3

    Apr 16, 2014, 9:48 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Desperate to close out a rough road trip on a high note, the Nationals found themselves in a familiar position tonight: Trailing early. Derek Dietrich’s fourth-inning homer off Tanner Roark left the Nationals in a 3-0 hole and surely left some wondering whether this would continue to spiral downward as several…

  5. 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…

  6. Game 12: Nats at Braves

    Apr 13, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    ATLANTA — The Nationals are a beaten-up bunch right now. Both in the physical sense, given the mounting injuries that culminated last night with Ryan Zimmerman fracturing his right thumb. And in the pure baseball sense, too, given two straight losses to the Braves to begin this weekend and four losses in five head-to-head games…

  7. Character test for battered, beaten Nationals

    Apr 13, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — Matt Williams sat back in his office chair at Turner Field and contemplated yet another question about yet another injury to yet another key member of his starting lineup. “It is what it is,” the first-year Nationals manager said. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. Gotta play.” That’s all Williams and anybody…

  8. Game 11: Nats at Braves

    Apr 12, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    ATLANTA — So, what do the Nationals and Braves have in store for us tonight? If I were a betting man — and I’m not — I would take the odds on this being another close ballgame, likely requiring more than nine innings to be decided. Why? Because of the last seven games played between…

  9. More observations from last night’s loss

    Apr 12, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — There were no shortage of storylines to emerge from last night’s wild, 7-6, 10-inning loss at Turner Field. I focused more on the big picture in my game story, about the Nationals’ penchant for losing these kind of games to the Braves, but there were plenty more nuggets worth revisiting. Here’s a run-through…

  10. Nationals hope Games 10-12 vs. Braves go better this time around

    Apr 11, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After beating the Miami Marlins on Thursday to secure their second series sweep of this young season, the Nationals moved to 7-2 through nine games on the year. That’s a .778 winning percentage, and a pretty good start, right? Well, what if you were told the Nationals started each of the last two seasons with…

  11. Werth, Desmond homer as Nats continue offensive surge

    Apr 10, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals completed their sweep of the Miami Marlins on Thursday in what ended up a 7-1 blowout in the box score. But for much of the game the Nationals were hanging on to a one-run lead thanks to an efficient start by Stephen Strasburg, and another big hit by Jayson Werth. Werth gave the…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Game 4: Nationals vs. Braves

    Apr 4, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

    Photo by Mark Zuckerman

    After sweeping the New York Mets to begin the 2014 season, things are about to heat up here in Washington for the Nationals. The Atlanta Braves are in town for the first installment of what should be a season-long battle for the National League East division title. Last season the Braves took 13 of the…

  17. Harper, Werth offer to be emergency catcher

    Mar 22, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — The question pops up every spring: Who’s the Nationals’ emergency catcher? The need never actually arises, but every club wants to have a plan in place, just in case the worst-case scenario presents itself during the course of a game. And as was the case last year under Davey Johnson, Bryce Harper…

  18. Nats (ss) vs. Tigers, Nats (ss) vs. Astros — 3/16/14

    Mar 16, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Today the Nationals play two split-squad games, one at home against the Tigers and the other on the road against the Astros. Jordan Zimmermann will face Detroit while Gio Gonzalez will take the mound vs. Houston. The Nats-Tigers game will be on TV and Justin Verlander is pitching. The Nats will also have a lineup…

  19. Nats vs. Mets (ss) — 3/5/14

    Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Gio Gonzalez is the last of the projected members of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation to start this spring, which shouldn’t be interpreted as anything other than the schedule falling this way, lining up the lefty right behind Stephen Strasburg for now. Gonzalez has nothing to prove this spring; he merely needs to get his…

  20. Harper will remain in left field for now

    Feb 24, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Despite his relative lack of experience, Bryce Harper has already seen considerable playing time at all three outfield spots with the Nationals. In 253 total games since reaching the majors in 2012, he has spent 39 percent of his time in left field, 36 percent of his time in center field and…

  21. Embracing expectations, avoiding pressure

    Feb 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Perhaps no club in the majors had loftier expectations entering 2013 than the Nationals. Certainly no club struggled with living up to those expectations like the Nats did. One year later, the expectations remain sky-high. They just hope they’re better-equipped to handle them. “I think expectations are good,” first-year manager Matt Williams…

  22. Beltway Baseball: Projecting the Nats’ 2014 lineup

    Feb 11, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

    Associated Press

    Entering his first spring training as manager, Matt Williams has thrown out several possibilities for each key Nats player in terms of where they will slot in the lineup. Basically, he’s going to feel it out through camp before deciding what his Opening Day lineup will look like. We know which players will be on…

  23. Walters on his offseason, getting sick in Venezuela

    Feb 4, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Heading into a year he hopes to make the Nationals’ roster out of spring training, infielder Zach Walters put in extra time this offseason playing winter ball in Venezuela. The experience in the South American country, however, got off to an ominous start. Walters fell ill on the second day there with a virus and…

  24. VIDEO: Werth believes Nats learned a lot in 2013

    Feb 2, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jayson Werth joined Mark for a one-on-one interview at last weekend’s Nats Fest, and as usual provided a great perspective on the state of the team. He thinks the Nationals underachieved last season, but could be better off now because of their struggles. “We grew a lot as a team, we learned a lot as…

  25. Werth still wonders ‘what if’ about Nats in 2013

    Jan 31, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Before the Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention on Sept. 23 of last season, they nearly completed an incredible comeback to secure a wild card spot. From Aug. 9 to Sept. 22 they went 29-12 and along the way closed the gap to a playoff berth to five games. The late season surge, however, was…

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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