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Matt Williams

  1. An inexplicable loss in a season full of them

    Sep 2, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    And you thought Monday’s loss was tough to watch? What transpired Tuesday in St. Louis made the previous night’s game feel pedestrian, as if it was just some run-of-the-mill loss every team suffers during the course of the season. It wasn’t, of course, but the Nationals’ 8-5 loss Tuesday — coincidentally the exact same score…

  2. Nationals let another one slip away

    Sep 1, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    You’re not going to win every game. Nobody does. But when you’ve got significant ground to make up and not a lot of time to do it, you can’t afford to give away games that were there for the taking. Which is exactly what the Nationals have done too many times over the last month,…

  3. Gonzalez turns in uneven outing, drops third straight

    Aug 27, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT

    Aug 26, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) walks off the field after being removed from the game against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    It was only a few weeks ago that it seemed as though Gio Gonzalez had turned a corner. The lefty starter was perhaps the most consistent member in the Nationals’ rotation, quietly stringing together quality starts over a month-and-a-half stretch. From June 21 to August 11, he sported a 5-0 record with a 1.48 ERA and 1.21…

  4. To swing or not to swing?

    Aug 27, 2015, 12:49 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    There is perhaps no bigger gamble in baseball than swinging at a 3-0 pitch. It’s the ultimate high-risk, high-reward play, at times producing game-changing hits at crucial moments while at other times stopping potential rallies dead in their tracks. The Nationals, as a team, like to take that risk. They preach an aggressive approach at…

  5. Ramos hoping to build on strong series vs. Brewers

    Aug 24, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT

    Aug 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos (40) celebrates after hitting a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    The Nationals know they have a long way to go before they can climb out of their current hole in the NL East standings. That said, the feeling among players after Sunday afternoon’s series-clinching win over the Milwaukee Brewers was the hope that their biggest bugaboo in recent weeks — the struggling offense — might finally start to…

  6. Time for leaders to emerge

    Aug 18, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    If it feels like you’ve been watching the Nationals’ worst stretch of baseball in a long time … well, you’re absolutely right. This team has gone 4-13 over the last 2 1/2 weeks, the franchise’s worst 17-game stretch since 2011. That’s also the last time the Nats finished with a losing record, a fact that…

  7. Nats backing Storen after his tough weekend

    Aug 10, 2015, 8:27 AM EDT

    USA Today

    Life as a late-inning reliever is such that whenever a miscue occurs — however rare it might be — it’ll tend to be remembered far more often than a long stretch of dominance. That’s very much the case these days for Drew Storen, whose back-to-back tough outings against the Colorado Rockies has already begun to…

  8. Fister accepts move to bullpen: ‘I’ll be ready’

    Aug 7, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    One day after being moved to the bullpen for the first time in his accomplished seven-year MLB career, Doug Fister addressed the media to discuss the transition. Fister has accepted the move, but it was not easy, as one could understand. “It’s not the most fun message to go across. But you’ve gotta have a…

  9. After bottoming out, can Nats hit reset button?

    Aug 6, 2015, 1:18 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    If you were hoping for a closed-door meeting, for the postgame spread to be turned over, for the expletives to fly, for the panic button to be smashed with a closed fist … well, that didn’t happen Wednesday night. The tone coming out of the Nationals’ clubhouse following a hideous, 11-4 loss to the Diamondbacks…

  10. Baseball in the District – Chiefs’ voice Kevin Brown

    Aug 5, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT

    AP

    CLICK HERE TO LISTEN With Stephen Strasburg fresh off two rehab appearances at Syracuse, and the continued development of Trea Turner in Triple-A, we thought it was a good time to bring in Chiefs’ play-by-play voice Kevin Brown for the latest episode of ‘Baseball in the District.’ Brown was great on Strasburg and the reaction…

  11. Williams on Ripken/Desmond; Taylor on his catch

    Jul 21, 2015, 6:24 PM EDT

    USA Today

    Ian Desmond told a story after Monday night’s game that caught the attention of many baseball fans in the Mid-Atlantic area, how MLB Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr. gave him some advice recently that may have helped him snap out of an extended hitless streak. Ripken saw Desmond before one of…

  12. Injury updates on Span, Rendon, Werth, Strasburg and Zim

    Jul 17, 2015, 5:46 PM EDT

    dd75f-rendonspanni

    With four days off for the All-Star break and a large group of notable players on the disabled list, Friday afforded Nationals manager Matt Williams an opportunity to run down a long list of injury updates. Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Stephen Strasburg remain sidelined as the team begins the second…

  13. Lost in shuffle, another strong start for Gonzalez

    Jul 11, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    BALTIMORE — It got lost in the shuffle after the Nationals’ bullpen gave up the tying and winning runs late, but Gio Gonzalez turned in another strong effort Friday night at Camden Yards, offering more encouragement that the left-hander has turned a corner. Gonzalez allowed one run over six innings, departing with the Nationals leading…

  14. Second half begins with high expectations

    Jul 5, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Jul 4, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) is congratulated by Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams (9) after defeating the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    It’s the mathematical halfway point of the season, and while the conventional midway break doesn’t occur for another week, the Nationals’ first half seems to be a success. With 45 wins and a host of visits to the disabled list by key players, the Nationals should be in good shape for the last three months…

  15. On a long, up-and-down day, Strasburg stands tall

    Jun 28, 2015, 8:47 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — A lot happened over the course of seven hours Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, where the Nationals and Phillies engaged in 18 innings of baseball, some of it good and some of it bad and some of it painful. A doubleheader split — a 3-2 victory in the opener, then an 8-5 loss…

  16. Nats hoping Desmond’s long slump is nearing its end

    Jun 26, 2015, 8:37 AM EDT

    Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) celebrates with his teammates after a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    You’re not supposed to glean much from a two-game stretch, especially in the context of a full baseball season. But for Ian Desmond and the Nationals, the past 48 hours have provided hope that the three-time Silver Slugger Award winner could be on the verge of ending his prolonged slump. After notching the game-winning RBI the…

  17. Janssen, Carpenter provide experience to Nats bullpen

    Jun 24, 2015, 7:29 PM EDT

    MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

    The Nationals’ bullpen has been through its fair share of changes this season, largely due to injuries up and down their pitching staff. Those circumstances have forced the Nats to at times call on rookies to come up and fill in. They have also relied heavily on second-year pros such as Aaron Barrett – who is also…

  18. Ross has been boss for Nats

    Jun 20, 2015, 12:12 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    One morning in March, Matt Williams and Steve McCatty ventured over to the minor-league complex in Viera, Fla., to watch left-hander Felipe Rivero pitch out of the bullpen. Before Rivero took the mound, though, a young right-hander named Joe Ross pitched. Ross didn’t make an overwhelming impression on the Nationals manager and pitching coach, but…

  19. Desmond gets another day off

    Jun 19, 2015, 6:49 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Ian Desmond got his first day of the season off last week in Milwaukee, but the Nationals shortstop still spent much of his time at Miller Park in work mode, whether in the batting cage or the dugout, trying to fix what has been ailing him all year. So when he decided to give Desmond…

  20. With relievers ailing, starters being pushed too far

    Jun 12, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    On Tuesday night in New York, Max Scherzer took the mound for the bottom of the seventh in a 1-1 game, his pitch count at 100, and promptly gave up the runs that put the Yankees on top for good. On Wednesday afternoon in New York, Gio Gonzalez took the mound for the bottom of…

  21. Espinosa forcing way into lineup, possibly in left field

    Jun 11, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — Has it gotten to a point, Matt Williams was asked after Wednesday’s game, where the Nationals simply need to find a way to get Danny Espinosa’s bat into the lineup on a regular basis, even if it means putting him in the outfield? “Yeah, have to try to find a space for…

  22. Streaky Nats try to find some consistency

    Jun 9, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    There was the 7-13 start to the season, which left more than a few observers concerned. Then there was the 21-6 stretch that included nine consecutive series won, leaving more than a few observers raving about the Nationals. Now, though, there is a 2-8 slump, one that has dropped the Nats out of first place…

  23. Espinosa shows off versatility by playing in left field

    Jun 8, 2015, 8:02 AM EDT

    Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) heads to the clubhouse after a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park, Friday, June 5, 2015, in Washington. Espinosa had a three-run homer. The Nationals won 7-5. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Danny Espinosa knew there was a pretty good chance he’d come off the bench in the late innings of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Chicago Cubs. He just didn’t know it’d be like this. With Michael A. Taylor moving to centerfield after Denard Span was removed due to back spasms and other options unavailable, Nationals manager…

  24. Nats lineup still searching for answers

    Jun 7, 2015, 9:32 AM EDT

    Jun 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. The Chicago Cubs won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    When the Nationals broke out for seven runs on Friday night, the hope was certainly for that momentum to carry over on Saturday in their early afternoon bout with the Cubs. Manager Matt Williams had adjusted his lineup with Ryan Zimmerman batting second and Anthony Rendon hitting cleanup. He went with the same approach on…

  25. Harper showing he can excel at ‘the little things’

    May 25, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    May 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) hits a single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    In the midst of Bryce Harper’s torrid May that has taken the baseball world by storm, it’s been easy to forget that the skill set of the Nationals’ phenom goes well beyond hitting the long ball. Just ask the Philadelphia Phillies, who saw Harper hurt them in more ways than one in the Nats’ 4-1…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
NEW YORK7459
WASHINGTON67656.5
MIAMI557919.5
ATLANTA547920.0
PHILADELPHIA538121.5
*Through Wednesday's games

NL WILD CARD STANDINGS

WLGB
PITTSBURGH7952+4.5
CHICAGO7557
SAN FRANCISCO69646.5
WASHINGTON67658.0
*Through Wednesday's games

THE BASEBALL SHOW

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to recap everything happening with the Nats and across baseball.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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