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  1. Yankees claim Eury Perez

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Designated for assignment last Thursday by the Nationals, outfielder Eury Perez has been claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees. The Yankees announced the news through their Twitter account and DFA’d pitcher Josh Outman to make room on their 40-man roster. The Nationals claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon from the Twins after letting go of Perez. It…

  2. State of the Nats: Final week before playoffs

    Sep 22, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Final stretch – The Nationals returned home on Sunday night after an 11-game road trip and will now finish out the regular season at Nats Park. They begin with three games against the New York Mets before four games in three days against the Miami Marlins. Winners of four straight and eight of…

  3. As end with Nats approaches, LaRoche focused on title

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — Adam LaRoche makes a point not to think about his future beyond this season, lest he start worrying more about where he’ll play in 2015 than what he and the Nationals might yet accomplish in 2014. “I kind of purposely try to stay away from it,” he said Sunday morning in the clubhouse…

  4. As October approaches, Strasburg and Nats are peaking

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — There was a point — honestly, not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things — when Stephen Strasburg’s standing within the Nationals’ pitching staff was up for debate. And the debate wasn’t whether he deserved to be considered the Nats’ No. 1 starter. It was whether he deserved to be…

  5. Instant analysis: Nats 2, Marlins 1

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Playing their 17th consecutive game and wrapping up an 11-game road trip, the Nationals rested several key regulars, including Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth. And given Stephen Strasburg’s longstanding struggles at Marlins Park, there had to be some concern heading in about this group’s odds of winning. But Strasburg…

  6. Barrett’s role expanding during September surge

    Sep 21, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — Ballplayers excel at blocking out the big picture and focusing on the here-and-now, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. As Aaron Barrett’s first season in the big leagues winds down, with his first postseason appearance awaiting, the Nationals’ young reliever admits he has taken a moment or two recently to…

  7. Game 155: Nats at Marlins

    Sep 21, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    MIAMI — Stephen Strasburg has pitched very well lately — he has a 1.69 ERA, 28 strikeouts and zero walks over his last four starts — and the Nationals would love for him to continue his winning ways this afternoon at Marlins Park (where he owns a 6.90 ERA in six career starts). But Strasburg…

  8. As Nats hold breath, Zimmerman passes first test

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:51 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — He hadn’t played in a big-league ballgame in two months, and he was the first to admit earlier Saturday he had no idea what to expect when he stepped onto the field at Marlins Park in his first game back from a major hamstring injury. By the end of the night, after Ryan…

  9. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Marlins 2

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Boosted by the return of Ryan Zimmerman after a two-month DL stint, the Nationals came out of the gates a bit sluggish tonight. They fell into a 2-0 hole via a Little League home run that featured errors by both Denard Span and Jordan Zimmermann. They also grounded into three straight…

  10. Zimmerman begins race to get ready for postseason

    Sep 20, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — Ryan Zimmerman is back in the Nationals’ lineup, that much he knows. What the veteran slugger doesn’t know is how much of a factor he’ll be in the Nats’ upcoming postseason run after missing the last two months with a major hamstring injury that still hasn’t completely healed. “I won’t be 100 percent…

  11. Game 154: Nats at Marlins

    Sep 20, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    MIAMI — The Nationals have played great baseball for the last two months, going 34-21 to win the NL East and assume the top spot in the entire NL heading into the season’s final week. But they have every reason to believe they’re an even better team now that Ryan Zimmerman has returned from a…

  12. The Baseball Show: Are Nats favorites in NL?

    Sep 20, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    This week’s episode of The Baseball Show featured a look towards the playoffs, a comparison between the Nats and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a pie in the face of host Michael Jenkins courtesy of Joe Orsulak. This first segment talks about the Nationals clinching the NL East and what questions remain for them before…

  13. Rolling Nats about to be complete again

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:39 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — They’ve got the National League’s best record. They’ve been on a tear this month, going 12-6 in September. They’ve been even better on this final road trip of the regular season, winning 7 of 9 after Friday night’s 3-2 victory over the Marlins. And now the Nationals are about to be completely healthy…

  14. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Brewers 2

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN NUTSHELL: With Adam LaRoche back in the lineup and Ryan Zimmerman back in the dugout, the Nationals looked complete as a ballclub for this game. And though they didn’t necessarily play their best game of the last week, they still managed to do enough right to improve to 7-2 on this final road…

  15. Zimmerman rejoining Nats, likely to play Saturday

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    Photo courtesy Bill Scheuerman

    MIAMI — Ryan Zimmerman has completed his rehab stint in Viera, Fla., will rejoin the Nationals tonight at Marlins Park and is likely to be activated off the disabled list in time for Saturday night’s game. Manager Matt Williams said the injured slugger passed his final test in Viera — seven innings in left field…

  16. Game 153: Nats at Marlins

    Sep 19, 2014, 3:43 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    MIAMI — Matt Williams, as promised, will keep playing all his regulars down the stretch. And tonight, that really means all his regulars. Adam LaRoche returns after sitting out last night’s game to nurse his ailing back. Everybody else remains. (And Ryan Zimmerman could rejoin the group tomorrow, by the way). Meantime, Doug Fister is…

  17. As thumb heals, Harper begins to rake

    Sep 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — We’ve seen several moments in the last few weeks that have suggested Bryce Harper has finally turned a big corner at the plate, and we saw another one Thursday night late in the Nationals’ 6-2 win over the Marlins. Facing left-hander Dan Jennings out of the bullpen, Harper mashed a double off the…

  18. MLB Power Rankings: Tigers righting the ship

    Sep 19, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here is a look around the league with analysis of each team from Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman, Steve Roney and myself, Chase Hughes: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Angels (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: Crazy way to clinch the AL West: Watching on TV as the A’s blow it in the 9th inning. 2. Orioles (LW: 2) –…

  19. Gonzalez comes home and finds his groove again

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — A month ago, when he was laboring through the toughest stretch of his Nationals career, Gio Gonzalez noted that he felt like he was still trying to catch up to the rest of his rotation mates after missing a month with shoulder inflammation. Perhaps that was Gonzalez’s biggest problem all along: He was…

  20. Instant analysis: Nats 6, Marlins 2

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals put most of their regulars — all but Adam LaRoche, still nursing a sore back — in the lineup Thursday, but for three innings you would’ve thought the backups were again. Miami left-hander Brad Hand retired the first 10 batters he faced, causing perhaps a mild stir among the…

  21. LaRoche gets another day to rest back

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — While the rest of the Nationals regulars returned to the lineup Thursday night against the Marlins, Adam LaRoche was given another day off to rest his lower back, which has been tight off and on for several weeks now. LaRoche’s condition actually is better now than it was in the past when he…

  22. Game 152: Nats at Marlins

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    MIAMI — Hello from Marlins Park … well, actually I’m not at Marlins Park at the moment I type this. I’m at a TV studio in downtown Miami getting ready for today’s Baseball Show on Comcast SportsNet. We’ll be on live at 4 p.m., talking about the Nationals’ division clincher, what they’re going to do…

  23. Nationals DFA Perez, claim Florimon

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    [Updated 4:04 p.m.] The Nationals designated outfield prospect Eury Perez for assignment on Thursday and claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon from the Minnesota Twins off waivers. Florimon was the Twins’ Opening Day shortstop, but hit just .092 in 33 MLB games this season. The 27-year-old holds a .204 average in 214 career games across four seasons. Florimon’s one…

  24. If healthy, Zimmerman should be in postseason lineup

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

    AP

    30,000 FEET ABOVE GEORGIA — With the NL East title locked up, the focus for the Nationals shifts away from the field and toward the questions this team must answer before its postseason run begins two weeks from Friday. And there is no greater question, as manager Matt Williams admitted yesterday, than Ryan Zimmerman’s status…

  25. For one night, rookies take center stage

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — On the day after they clinched the NL East title, they rested. Having expended significant amounts of effort both physical and mental over the last six months to win their division — and having celebrated the accomplishment deep into Wednesday morning — members of the Nationals starting lineup were given a collective day…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 6.5 --
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 0.5
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
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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