Aug 1, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT
Asdrubal Cabrera was in the Indians training room Thursday afternoon in Cleveland when manager Terry Francona called him into his office. Having heard rumors over the last few seasons – and knowing this is a contract year – the two-time All-Star figured out fairly quickly what the impromptu meeting was for. “As soon as he called…
Aug 1, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Updated at 5:07 p.m. Needing to clear a roster spot for the just-acquired Asdrubal Cabrera, the Nationals decided Friday to send slumping reliever Aaron Barrett to Syracuse, hoping the rookie can iron out some kinks and refresh before his likely return to the big leagues in September. Barrett had been among the most-pleasant surprises on…
Aug 1, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT
Asdrubal Cabrera has arrived and will make his Nationals debut tonight, batting seventh and starting at second base against the Phillies. I would imagine that’s where we’ll see the former Indians infielder most of the time, though we’ll see how it all plays out. To make room for Cabrera on the active roster, the Nationals…
Aug 1, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: How many other GM’s of first-place teams would be willing to trade their cleanup hitter for a 2-month rental ace? Billy Beane doesn’t think like other…
Aug 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ bullpen, as dominant a unit as there has been in baseball through much of the season, has suddenly and surprisingly fallen onto hard times. And Thursday night’s performance in a 10-4 loss to the Phillies was only the latest example. Asked to keep the game within striking distance after Gio Gonzalez lasted only…
Aug 1, 2014, 12:13 AM EDT
In what has been the most inconsistent season of Gio Gonzalez’ career in Washington – and so far his worst overall since 2009 – the ups and downs have been dramatic and steep. When Gio is on, he’s looked like the two-time All-Star whose career ERA is 3.59. Putting together an extended stretch of strong outings, however,…
Jul 31, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It could’ve been a great pitching showdown between a pair of accomplished lefties. Instead it turned into a laborious battle of bullpens after both Gio Gonzalez and Cliff Lee were knocked out early, for very different reasons. Lee retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but after throwing only…
Jul 31, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT
[Updated 6:30 p.m.] The Nationals’ sudden need for infield help prompted general manager Mike Rizzo to make a rare deal for a 2-month rental player on Thursday: Asdrubal Cabrera, who was acquired from the Indians for Zach Walters less than an hour before the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline. Cabrera, 28, is a natural shortstop who…
Jul 31, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT
One day after the Nats salvaged their road trip with a 4-3 win over the Marlins, they pick right back up to begin a four-game set with the Phillies at Nationals Park. It will be a showdown of lefties as Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.56) will go up against Cliff Lee (4-5, 3.78). Gonzalez will look…
Jul 31, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
In five years now as general manager of the Nationals, Mike Rizzo has approached all trade discussions with an underlying philosophy: Any move made must be in this team’s best interests not only in the short-term but especially in the long-term. That philosophy has served the Nationals well, allowing them to slowly assemble a roster…
Jul 30, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT
MIAMI — There are days when a team can win a ballgame on the strengths of dominant starting pitching and a robust lineup that does some early damage. And then there are days when victory comes only via some late production in key spots and some key outs recorded by the back of the bullpen.…
Jul 30, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long trip that started off fantastic but hit a snag in recent days, the Nationals desperately needed a victory in their series finale against the Marlins. They got one, thanks to another big-time performance from Tanner Roark and some long-awaited clutch hits late. Roark tossed seven…
Jul 30, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT
MIAMI — Throughout Bryce Harper’s early, frustrating days back from the disabled list, manager Matt Williams insisted the young slugger’s hitting stroke would return at some point. He just needed time and at-bats to find it. Sure enough, it has come together over the last two weeks. In 11 games since the All-Star break, Harper…
Jul 30, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT
MIAMI — The end of a long, 3-city, 9-game road trip has come, and in a bit of a surprise, the Nationals need to win today at Marlins Park to finish 5-4. Such is their predicament after losing the first two games of this series to the resurgent Marlins, who have won six in a…
Jul 29, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT
MIAMI — When healthy, the Nationals lineup is something to behold, an 8-deep consortium of power, patience and potency that proved to be as effective an offensive group as there is in baseball. But the moment one key guy goes down — or even worse, when two key guys go down as was the case…
Jul 29, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a gut-punch loss Monday night, the Nationals took the field tonight hoping a big-time performance from Stephen Strasburg would help them put the previous 24 hours well behind them. Strasburg did his part, tossing seven inning of 1-run ball, allowing only Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double in the…
Jul 29, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT
MIAMI — Jayson Werth was out of the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday, his sprained right ankle swollen and sore, though still not enough for the veteran right fielder to believe the injury is serious. “I think it’s minor,” he said Tuesday afternoon. Werth hurt himself on an awkward slide into second base during the seventh inning…
Jul 29, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT
MIAMI — Was last night’s meltdown a blip on the radar or the beginning of a downward trend? The man who may have the most to say about that is Stephen Strasburg, who tonight gets the ball for the middle game of this series. Strasburg has his own Marlins Park demons to exorcise. In five…
Jul 29, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT
MIAMI — Lost among the furor over the fateful ninth inning of last night’s 7-6 loss to the Marlins was one particularly encouraging development for the Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann looked like Jordan Zimmermann for the first time in weeks. The right-hander dominated Miami’s lineup, carrying a shutout into the seventh inning and ultimately departing having…
Jul 29, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT
MIAMI — The 2014 Nationals really haven’t had to deal with losses like this, gut-punch losses in which a 6-run lead somehow turns into a 7-6 loss before anyone has sufficient time to process the carnage. The mood inside the visitors clubhouse at Marlins Park on Monday night was one of disbelief, a group of…
Jul 28, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
MIAMI — Jayson Werth hopes to return to the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday after departing Monday night’s game with a sprained right ankle, though the veteran right fielder doesn’t expect to know the true severity of the injury until morning. “I won’t know until I wake up tomorrow,” Werth said following Monday’s 7-6 loss to the…
Jul 28, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For six innings, the Nationals were all business, getting a vintage pitching performance from Jordan Zimmermann and an opportunistic rally off the Marlins pitching staff to take a commanding, 6-0 lead and seemingly put themselves in comfortable position to improve to a season-best 13 games over .500. But then the Marlins scored…
Jul 28, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT
MIAMI — Denard Span has done this before, bounced back from a slow start to a season to finish on a sustained tear at the plate. So even when things weren’t going as well earlier this summer as the hoped they would, prompting some public questioning of his place in the Nationals’ lineup, he used…
Jul 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
MIAMI — Hello from the one and only (and thank god for that) Marlins Park, where tonight the Nationals open up the final leg of their 3-city road trip, facing a Miami club that has won 7 of its last 8. I have to say I am quite outraged at the moment. Though the accompanying…
Jul 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
Top storylines: Trade deadline – Much of the focus this week will be on Thursday’s trade deadline, at least around the league. There are star players such as David Price and Matt Kemp who could be on the move. The Phillies could blow it all up and clubs such as the Mariners could be looking for a…
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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