Sep 9, 2014, 12:27 AM EST
Matt Williams popped out of the dugout and walked toward the mound, which could only mean one thing as far as the crowd of 25,448 was concerned. Doug Fister’s night was done with two outs in the seventh, and the Nationals’ bullpen was going to need to finish off this victory over the Braves. Fans…
Sep 8, 2014, 9:45 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You want tense, September pennant-race drama against a division rival? You got it tonight when the Nationals and Braves opened a big, 3-game series that will go a long way toward either moving the Nats a step closer to the NL East title or allow Atlanta to sneak its way back…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:55 PM EST
When the MLB calendar reaches its final weeks and the season transitions from summer to fall, Nationals Park can sometimes present a surprise for whoever is playing in the outfield. During day games in September, the sun can make it very difficult to see flyballs, particularly ones that travel low to right and right-center field. Nationals players call it…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:12 PM EST
Ryan Zimmerman was on the field during batting practice Monday, taking light grounders, jogging and throwing. The injured Nationals third baseman, though, still hasn’t been cleared for full running or swinging a bat, leaving him less and less time to get himself back in reasonable good shape for the end of the regular season. “The…
Sep 8, 2014, 5:17 PM EST
Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano began the process of fixing his mechanics on Monday with a bullpen session in front of pitching coach Steve McCatty in Washington. Soriano was taken out of the closer spot after blowing a career-high seventh save of the season on Friday night. It is a temporary move to get the 34-year-old back on track…
Sep 8, 2014, 3:04 PM EST
So it begins: with just 21 games left on their regular season schedule, the Nationals will kick off a stretch where they play six of their next 10 against the second-place Atlanta Braves on Monday night. Seven games separate the two, giving the Nationals a big opportunity to put their rivals down for good. Doug…
Sep 8, 2014, 1:39 PM EST
The Nationals will open their 2015 season at home against the Mets and will face all AL East teams in interleague play, including a potentially huge late-September showdown with the Orioles on South Capitol Street. Major League Baseball released the entire regular-season schedule this afternoon, one that features plenty of familiar matchups but also includes…
Sep 8, 2014, 12:45 PM EST
Top storylines: Braves in town – The Nationals have 21 games remaining and a seven-game lead in the NL East, but six of their next 10 will come against the Atlanta Braves. If the Braves have any prayer whatsoever of getting back in this thing, their run has to begin on Monday night when they start…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Cole Hamels said it Sunday afternoon after taking a loss to the Nationals. “If they maintain the way they are playing right now,” the Phillies ace said, “they are going to be walking in a parade somewhere.” Strong words from a rival player, but one who has seen the Nationals enough this season (and especially…
Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EST
The door to the right-field bullpen swung open, and as the crowd of 29,108 began to recognize a familiar figure and a familiar walk-in song emerging, applause began to circulate around Nationals Park. And by the time Drew Storen had two outs on Ryan Howard, finishing off the Phillies slugger with a devastating, 3-2 change-up…
Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Having lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five straight to the Phillies, and now needing to beat Cole Hamels to avoid a sweep, the Nationals weren’t exactly in an ideal situation this afternoon. But they came through with a strong, if not flawless, performance in this…
Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EST
Well into spring training, Tanner Roark didn’t know if he’d even be a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation. He might have broken camp as a reliever. He might have begun the season in Syracuse. Roark, of course, did make the rotation and hasn’t ceded his spot since, pitching exceptionally well. But he’s also…
Sep 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EST
They’ve lost five straight games to the last-place Phillies, and if the Nationals are going to stop that surprising streak, they’re going to have to beat Cole Hamels this afternoon. That’s not something they’ve done on a regular basis in the past. The left-hander is 15-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 31 career starts against…
Sep 6, 2014, 8:07 PM EST
The Nationals, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s best teams not only this season but particularly over the last month. The Phillies, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s biggest disappointments, having held a firm grip on last place in the NL East since late June. How, then, to explain what has transpired when…
Sep 6, 2014, 6:40 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a demoralizing loss Friday night that cost Rafael Soriano the closer’s job, for at least a little while, the Nationals faced a longtime nemesis this afternoon, and didn’t fare much better than they had in the past. A.J. Burnett once again dominated this lineup, allowing just one…
Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
Rafael Soriano, stuck in one of the worst pitching slumps of his career, will take at least a couple days off to refine his mechanics and clear his mind, leaving Nationals manager Matt Williams to pick a new closer from a pool of several bullpen candidates, at least on a temporary basis. Williams would not,…
Sep 6, 2014, 2:51 PM EST
With the Syracuse Chiefs getting eliminated from the International League playoffs on Friday night, the Nationals called up two more players to expand their roster to 34. Outfielder Michael A. Taylor – 2014 MVP of the Double-A Eastern League – and right-hander Ryan Mattheus – a member of the team’s 2012 NL East division champion…
Sep 6, 2014, 12:33 PM EST
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, where the home team will try to brush off the sting of last night’s disastrous loss to the Phillies. The question on everyone’s mind, of course: Who will close today if the opportunity presents itself? We’ll see if Matt Williams reveals a definitive answer during his pregame media…
Sep 6, 2014, 10:30 AM EST
There were several mistakes made along the way in the Nationals’ 9-8 loss to the Phillies in 11 innings on Friday, one in which the Nats blew a four-run lead overall and a three-run advantage in the ninth alone. The most surprising, however, had to be the collision between Bryce Harper and Denard Span in the…
Sep 6, 2014, 1:27 AM EST
It was a crossroads many spotted from a distance. Despite a first place record and a near-lock for an NL East division title, the 79-60 Nationals have a problem brewing in the back of their bullpen. And after Friday’s 9-8 loss in 11 innings to the Phillies, it may finally be coming to a head. Manager…
Sep 5, 2014, 11:40 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals returned home on Friday night to face the Phillies, and in doing so carried over just about everything from their memorable road trip out west. At least at first they did. Stephen Strasburg was brilliant once again, just as he was in his previous outing in Seattle. And Adam LaRoche…
Sep 5, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Adam LaRoche’s 5-RBI performance in Wednesday’s 14-inning win over the Dodgers was already impressive at face value, but to hear him talk about what he was going through that day now 48 hours later is pretty extraordinary. LaRoche of course didn’t start the game because of tightness in his back. That, however, was just part of…
Sep 5, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
Realizing the 31 players on their roster were nearly not enough in Wednesday’s 14-inning win over the Dodgers, the Nationals made it 32 on Friday by calling up utility man Jeff Kobernus from Triple-A Syracuse. Kobernus, 26, appeared 24 games last year as a rookie before injuries shortened his 2014 season at Syracuse. Manager Matt…
Sep 5, 2014, 2:51 PM EST
After a nine-game road trip that took them through Philly and out to the West Coast, the Nationals finally return home Friday to begin a three-game series against the Phillies at Nats Park. Their final 24 games this month, and this season in fact, are against NL East opponents. Though the Phillies are in last…
Sep 5, 2014, 1:36 PM EST
The Nationals return home this week to begin their final stretch of the 2014 season, a three-week span that will see them play only teams from the NL East. They have to continue outpacing the Braves to make the playoffs, of course, but at this point they are chasing more than a division title. With…
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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