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Matt Williams

  1. Roark continues to impress

    Jul 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    About three weeks away from the one year anniversary of Tanner Roark’s MLB debut, it’s still hard to comprehend what he’s done so far in his professional career. A former 25th round pick who came to Washington in a 2010 trade involving Christian Guzman, never did you see Roark’s name on top prospects lists. His…

  2. Williams unsure of Nats’ needs

    Jul 19, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With the 2014 MLB trade deadline just 12 days away, the Nationals are weighing their options as usual. They are currently in second place and in theory could use improvement, but what exactly they could use is the question. Much of the first half of their season was affected by injuries and now at full health,…

  3. Zimmermann ‘good to go’ for Tuesday

    Jul 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jordan Zimmermann came out of his bullpen session fine on Saturday and is all set to start Tuesday against the Rockies in Colorado. The right-hander has been recovering from a bicep strain he suffered on June 11 in Philadelphia when he left his start in the fourth inning. Zimmermann took some time off before throwing…

  4. Harper debuts new batting stance

    Jul 19, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    In his first game back from the 2014 All-Star break, much was anew for Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. He had a new haircut that featured a mohawk in the back. He had a new saxophone-heavy walk-up song. And most notably, he debuted a brand new batting stance. Instead of bending his knees, holding his hands…

  5. Segura on fan support; Roenicke on gloves

    Jul 18, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura returned to the baseball field on Friday night for the first time since his 9-month-old son, Janniel, passed away a week ago. The former All-Star walked to the plate in the top of the second inning to an extended ovation from the 39,373 in attendance. Segura took a moment to take…

  6. Zimmerman delivers when Nats need it most

    Jul 13, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Zimmerman has often talked about his ability to stay relaxed in critical moments at the plate, understanding that the pressure in those situations is not on himself but on the opposing pitcher. He’s been able to thrive so many times with the game on the line, though, not only by taking pressure…

  7. Nats, Orioles see promise in Beltway Series

    Jul 11, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles

    For much of the 10 seasons since the Nationals moved to Washington, the regional rivalry of the Nats and Orioles has generally featured little more than a short commute between ballparks. As recently as three years ago, both teams were perennially among the worst in baseball. And by the time they faced each other in interleague play,…

  8. Williams tries to keep Nats bench fresh

    Jul 10, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With a left-handed pitcher in Wei-Yin Chen on the mound starting for the Orioles, Nationals manager Matt Williams made a bit of a surprise decision to start Kevin Frandsen at second base on Thursday. Danny Espinosa had fared well the night before in his first start since June 27, and he hits .47 points higher…

  9. Williams: Harper making progress

    Jul 8, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Since returning from a nine-week absence in late June, Bryce Harper has yet to find his form on offense. It’s only been seven games, but the guy who hit three home runs in his final rehab outing has yet to show up. After going 0-for-3 with two walks in the Nats’ loss to the Orioles on Monday…

  10. Williams, Showalter share managerial bond

    Jul 8, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Matt Williams can rattle off the names of several former managers who helped him learn how best to deal with a clubhouse full of major leaguers and keep everybody on the same page: Roger Craig, Dusty Baker, Bob Brenly. Ask Williams who most taught him how to prepare himself and his team for a ballgame,…

  11. Williams: Harper will hit higher in lineup this season

    Jul 2, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Though he’s batting sixth for the third consecutive night since coming off the disabled list, Bryce Harper will move up in the Nationals’ lineup at some point this season, manager Matt Williams insisted today. Still fielding questions in the wake of Harper’s controversial comments Monday in which the 21-year-old outfielder openly disagreed with his manager’s…

  12. Strasburg bounces back to dominate Rockies

    Jul 2, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT

    AP

    In the wake of one of the worst performances of his career, Stephen Strasburg mentioned a mechanical glitch he needed to fix, a small tweak he felt would lead to fewer pitches left over the heart of the plate. Just as important, though, may have been the mental adjustment Strasburg was able to make and…

  13. Williams: “I’ve got Bryce’s back, in every way”

    Jul 1, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

    AP

    Matt Williams met with Bryce Harper today and then made a concerted effort to diffuse any notion of perceived animosity between the Nationals manager and his 21-year-old star. “I’ve got to let you guys know something: I’ve got Bryce’s back, in every way,” Williams said prior to the Nationals’ game against the Rockies. “And that…

  14. Zimmerman makes the transtion back to third base

    Jul 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  15. Nats lineup comes together, comes through

    Jul 1, 2014, 12:24 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  16. Harper, Williams give thoughts on lineup

    Jun 30, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Finally having Bryce Harper back in the mix on Monday, Matt Williams’ lineup card looked much like it did on Opening Day, the last time he had a roster at full health to choose from. Harper is back in left field with Ryan Zimmerman at third base, Anthony Rendon is back at second. Denard Span remains…

  17. After 81 games, Nats are in good (not great) shape

    Jun 29, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    CHICAGO — The optimist will look at the fact the Nationals are tied for first place, with the best pitching staff in baseball, sporting a +39 run differential despite the fact they had their full, Opening Day lineup together for all of seven innings … on Opening Day. The pessimist will look at the fact…

  18. 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…

  19. Clippard breaks through against Braves

    Jun 23, 2014, 10:16 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    You don’t have to remind Tyler Clippard that the Braves have been his kryptonite of late; he’s already well aware. The Nationals’ setup man has been solid all season against the majority of clubs around baseball, owning the second highest mark in the majors for holds with 17 and having recently come off a stretch in…

  20. Zim showing signs of life at plate

    Jun 22, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Since his return from a broken right thumb on June 3, Ryan Zimmerman has produced a bit of a mixed bag on offense. At first, he adjusted well with two doubles in his first game back. But then he fell into a slump and, until Saturday night, was hitting just .197 with a .552 OPS…

  21. Zim showing he can throw from left

    Jun 20, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    By all accounts, the experiment of putting Ryan Zimmerman in left field has been a relative success for the Nationals. Though his natural position is third base, he has shown the athletic ability to more than hold his own while working in a larger space. One thing that had eluded Zimmerman for several weeks, however,…

  22. Harper puts on show in BP

    Jun 19, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Bryce Harper took the field to take batting practice and catch outfield flyballs before the Nationals game against the Braves on Thursday. Both were firsts in his recovery from a torn ligament in his left thumb, and how he feels in the coming days could determine when he begins a minor league rehab assignment. Harper…

  23. And now … the Braves

    Jun 19, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    They weathered an up-and-down first two months to the season, treading water while a host of key players overcame injuries, and have since gone on their first sustained run of the year, winning 12 of 18 and taking over first place in the NL East. And now, the Nationals really find out where they stand…

  24. Several starters will bounce around when Harper returns

    Jun 18, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Matt Williams shed some more light on his plan once Bryce Harper returns from the disabled list in a few weeks, a plan that could see several regular members of the lineup bounce around from position to position on a daily basis to maximize everyone’s playing time. Harper’s return from surgery to repair a torn…

  25. Matt Williams remembers Tony Gwynn

    Jun 18, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    In the outpour of Tony Gwynn remembrances since his untimely death at the age of 54 on Monday, you may have noticed a lot of people mentioning the 5.5 hole, also known as the space between the third baseman and the shortstop on a baseball diamond. As a left-handed hitter who could spray baseballs all over a…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak 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. Click here for past audio clips.

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