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  1. Werth progressing toward Sunday return

    Aug 16, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    AP

    The Nationals expect to have Jayson Werth back in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates and might even have the veteran outfielder available off the bench tonight. Werth was due to take a full round of batting practice in the cage underneath the stands at Nationals Park this afternoon and otherwise participated…

  2. Game 121: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 16, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In their slow, mostly steady march to the top of the NL East, the Nationals have won five straight games only once this season, from June 28-July 2. Tonight they have a chance to match that streak, if they can take down the Pirates once again. They’ll need a better performance from Gio Gonzalez than…

  3. Williams feels pennant race heating up

    Aug 16, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With the 64-58 Pittsburgh Pirates – current owners of the final NL Wild Card spot – in town, this weekend’s series for the Nationals perhaps feels different than their previous three games up in New York against the Mets. It’s mid-August and it’s two winning teams who could possibly meet later this year in October. Both are still…

  4. Nats pounce early, hang on late to beat Pirates

    Aug 16, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    One by one, they stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first, hoping to put together quality at-bats but fully aware the percentages said more of them would make outs than didn’t. But then Denard Span beat out an infield single to get things started. And then Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk to…

  5. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 4

    Aug 15, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a sweep of the Mets that catapulted them to a 6-game lead in the NL East, the Nationals returned home for the first of 10 games in 10 days on South Capitol Street. They faced a Pirates club that holds the NL’s best record since May 2, but they quickly…

  6. Werth close; 2nd opinion for McLouth

    Aug 15, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    The Nationals’ banged up outfield got some good news and some bad news in terms of guys recovering from injuries on Friday. First, the good news: Jayson Werth – who is dealing with AC joint inflammation in his right shoulder – looks on track for a Sunday return when the Nats close out their series against…

  7. Game 120: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 15, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals showed this week they could have their way with a struggling team like the Mets. Now we’ll find out how they fare against a Pirates club that despite injuries to Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole currently holds one of the NL’s two wild card positions. Jayson Werth is not in the Nats’ lineup…

  8. The Baseball Show: Summer standouts

    Aug 15, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With the Nationals in the middle of a winning streak, there were plenty of positives to discuss on this week’s episode of ‘The Baseball Show.’ The Nationals are six games up in first place in the NL East, and there have been several standout performers who deserve credit. This first segment looks at how good…

  9. Are Marlins the bigger threat?

    Aug 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Though the Atlanta Braves have somehow figured out the formula to dominate the Nats in head-to-head matchups, lately they’ve had much bigger things to worry about. Since beginning the season 17-7, Atlanta is 44-53 in the time since. As Mark Zuckerman noted on Thursday, only the Phillies and Rockies have been worse among NL teams.…

  10. Strasburg, Harper lead the way as Nats sweep Mets

    Aug 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    That the Nationals just swept the Mets in New York isn’t a major surprise. This is a team, in case you didn’t realize, that has now won 11 consecutive games at Citi Field. A loss in Flushing, that would have constituted a surprise. But the manner in which the Nationals won the last three nights,…

  11. Game 119: Nats at Mets

    Aug 14, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Tonight the Nationals close out their three-game series at Citi Field in search of a sweep of the New York Mets. Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) will look to overcome his road woes against a club he has handled well in the past. Strasburg, oddly enough, is only making his sixth career start vs. the Mets tonight. Compare…

  12. Baseball in the District – Michael Taylor

    Aug 14, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

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    This week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District’ featured three different guests for the very first time. The first was Nats outfielder Michael Taylor, the second was Kevin McAlpin from the Braves radio network and the third was WTOP’s Ben Raby. Taylor talked with Tim Murray about his memorable debut on Tuesday night in an…

  13. It may not be easy this time, but that’s OK

    Aug 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    There was Kevin Frandsen’s complete mishandling of a routine fly ball, letting the game’s first run score. There were two more errors by Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos. There was a mini-meltdown of sorts by Jordan Zimmermann in the bottom of the seventh. And there was, of course, a heart attack of a ninth inning…

  14. Werth gets cortisone shot, out couple more days

    Aug 13, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jayson Werth was given a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder and will miss a couple more days, but the Nationals say an MRI revealed no structural damage and that the veteran outfielder shouldn’t need to spend any time on the disabled list. The MRI, performed in New York, showed only inflammation of the…

  15. Game 118: Nats at Mets

    Aug 13, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Two of the Nationals’ three regular outfielders are not in tonight’s lineup, for very different reasons. Denard Span, who streak of consecutive games reaching base came to an end last night at 36, gets a well-deserved and highly rare day off. How rare? Well, since returning from the 7-day concussion DL in mid-April, Span had…

  16. Nationals Stock Watch: Fister the ace

    Aug 13, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .257/.313/.462 Team ERA:  2.82 Runs per game:  5 STOCK UP Doug Fister, SP: 2-0/ 14.1 IP/ 0.00 ERA As he has for most of this season, Fister continues to be the rock of the Nationals’ rotation. In fact, it might be…

  17. Sizing up Nats’ chances for NL awards

    Aug 13, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With the Nationals and Braves locked in a race for the NL East division crown, it’s easy to overlook the individual performances that helped earn Washington a first place standing here in the second week of August. I was asked on the radio last week whether Anthony Rendon deserved any MVP consideration and it got…

  18. Taylor shines in MLB debut

    Aug 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    The legend of Nats prospect Michael Taylor has developed strongly over the last few months. First it was his defense everyone raved about as the lanky, 6-foot-3 outfielder was a standout during his short time in spring training. Then he hit .319 with 14 home runs and 40 RBI through two months at Double-A Harrisburg. Fast…

  19. Souza’s MRI is clear

    Aug 12, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals got some good news on Tuesday, as an MRI revealed no structural damage to outfielder Steven Souza, Jr.’s left shoulder. Manager Matt Williams made the announcement to reporters in New York before Tuesday’s game against the Mets. Souza then confirmed it himself on Twitter: Thank God all the results came back with good…

  20. Game 117: Nats at Mets

    Aug 12, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Tonight the Nationals pick back up after a day off on Monday to face the Mets at Citi Field in New York. The weather, however, could have something to say about this one, as a sizable rain storm is making its way up the East Coast today. If they are able to get it in,…

  21. Around the NL East: Braves’ woes continue

    Aug 12, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  After coming off a disastrous road trip in which they lost all eight games they played, the Braves briefly staved off more disappointment with a series win against the Nationals over the weekend. But one series win doesn’t mean they’re all of a sudden out of the woods — not even close. Atlanta…

  22. On to New York

    Aug 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After losing two of three in Atlanta – the final loss among their most frustrating this season – the Nationals now head north to New York for a three-game series against the Mets. Monday was an off-day, Tuesday is a chance to turn the page. The Nationals this year have had little trouble against the…

  23. Looking ahead to September call-ups

    Aug 11, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

    Photo by the Associated Press

    The promotion of several Nationals’ top prospects came early this season due to injuries, as both Michael Taylor and Steven Souza were each brought up this month. Both were in line for September call-ups before arriving in D.C., but circumstances at the major league level accelerated the Nationals’ plans. Taylor and Souza are just the…

  24. State of the Nats: Pennant race set to heat up

    Aug 11, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Pennant race should heat up – Though it was technically an early-August series between the Nationals and Braves, this past weekend sure felt like the beginning of the pennant race. There are seven weeks left in the 2014 season, the Nats have 46 games remaining while the Braves have 45. By the end of the…

  25. Missed, but not squandered, opportunity

    Aug 11, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — In the wake of yet another series loss at Turner Field, it’s easy to look at the Nationals and declare that they squandered an opportunity to step on the reeling Braves’ throats and create some major distance between themselves and their NL East rivals. And, to be sure, the Nats would have loved…

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

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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