May 3, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — It has happened nine times now, nine times in 29 games. And every time it happens, the Nationals give themselves even more reason to believe they can do it again. Trailing a ballgame late, they rallied to win in dramatic fashion. Friday night’s 5-3 victory over the Phillies was merely the latest example…
May 3, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Benches and bullpens emptied in the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night, and though no punches were thrown between the Nationals and Phillies, Denard Span and Cliff Lee did exchange some verbal barbs about an incident sparked by Lee’s up-and-in quick-pitch to an unsuspecting Span. “I don’t think he was…
May 2, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as a stellar pitching matchup between Stephen Strasburg and Cliff Lee, but this game was decided well after both starting hurlers were out of the game. The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Jayson Werth dropped a foul ball that…
May 2, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Doug Fister threw 76 pitches over 3 2/3 innings Friday night in what is expected to be the right-hander’s final rehab start before joining the Nationals’ rotation next week. Pitching for Class AA Harrisburg at Reading, Fister allowed two runs and two hits, walking three while striking out five. He cruised through three…
May 2, 2014, 6:22 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Wilson Ramos made his return to the field earlier Friday at extended spring training and immediately gave the Nationals reason to believe it won’t be much longer before their starting catcher returns from a broken bone in his left hand. Ramos caught three innings in Viera, getting three at-bats in which he homered…
May 2, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Hello from Citizens Bank Park, where tonight the Nationals open a three-game weekend series against the Phillies, with a star-studded pitching matchup on tap: Stephen Strasburg vs. Cliff Lee. Strasburg returns to the scene of his worst moment in baseball: The mound where his elbow blew out in 2010, requiring Tommy John surgery.…
May 2, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
We touched on a bunch of Nats-related subjects on this week’s episode of The Baseball Show. Rob Carlin, Joe Orsulak and I looked at just how good Tanner Roark has been since debuting late last summer, comparing his stats to a fellow rotation mate who arrived with just a bit more hype than he did.…
May 2, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
A hodgepodge of Friday morning thoughts before I hop on I-95 and head up to Philadelphia for the weekend… — The Nationals about to face a major, week-long test going up against six quality, veteran pitchers against the Phillies and Dodgers. It begins tonight with Cliff Lee, whose 40-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far this season…
May 1, 2014, 11:38 AM EDT
This week Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed a very special guest to ‘Baseball in the District.’ ESPN national baseball writer and Bethesda, Md.-native Tim Kurkjian called in to discuss a variety of topics regarding the Nationals. We asked Kurkjian about his thoughts on Bryce Harper’s durability, Matt Williams’ first month as manager,…
May 1, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Well, the season’s first month is now complete, and what a tumultuous month it was for the Nationals. Wilson Ramos broke his hand on Opening Day. Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t throw the ball across the diamond, then broke his thumb on a pickoff play at second base. Doug Fister hurt himself on the final day of…
Apr 30, 2014, 11:14 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A tumultuous opening month for the Nationals ended with a couple of much-needed wins in a comfortable place. Taking advantage of Minute Maid Park’s quirky dimensions — not to mention the perpetually struggling Astros — the Nats followed up Tuesday night’s 1-run victory with a blowout in the finale of this…
Apr 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
The Nationals tonight go for a sweep of this brief, 2-game series in Houston, and they’ll do so with a lineup stacked with right-handed hitters against Astros lefty Brett Oberholtzer. Denard Span is the only left-handed bat in Matt Williams’ starting nine, which means the red-hot Adam LaRoche gets a rare day off. (UPDATE: LaRoche…
Apr 30, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
Record: 4-2 Team slash: .277/.335/.398 Team ERA: 2.73 Runs per game: 5.16 STOCK UP Adam LaRoche, 1B: .360 AVG/.429 OBP/.560 SLG/6 RBI With the way the Nationals’ lineup has been bit by the injury bug this season, where would the offense be without LaRoche? The veteran first baseman has been a rock through April, leading the team in average,…
Apr 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
It has been easily forgotten because of everything that has transpired since, but it’s worth a friendly reminder: Adam LaRoche carried an injury-plagued Nationals’ lineup during the first two months of the 2012 season. While Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos all spent time on the disabled list, LaRoche was the one…
Apr 29, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: As Bryce Harper was in a hospital bed recuperating from thumb surgery earlier in the day, his Nationals teammates took the field in Houston trying to overcome the latest significant injury to their starting lineup. They jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, getting a towering home run from Jayson Werth…
Apr 29, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Bryce Harper had surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ligament in his left thumb, letting the world know all was fine by tweeting a photo of himself post-operation giving a thumbs-up sign. “On the road to recovery..Everything went great and I’ll be back soon! Thank you to all the fans for the support!” Harper posted…
Apr 29, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT
The Nationals know they’re going to be without Bryce Harper — who had surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb — for the next two months or so. Tonight, we begin to find out how they deal with the prolonged loss of one of their key regulars. Who replaces Harper in…
Apr 29, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES Winners of four straight, the Braves are now heading to Miami for a three-game set with the Marlins. Atlanta is 17-7 so far after 24 games, which is actually a better record than they had at this juncture last season. Somehow, some way, the Braves’ pitching staff has been even better despite losing…
Apr 29, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT
Seeking extra bullpen help for the immediate future while paving the way for Doug Fister’s pending return to their rotation, the Nationals will promote reliever Ryan Mattheus from Class AAA before tonight’s series opener in Houston and send struggling starter Taylor Jordan to Syracuse, a source with knowledge of the roster move confirmed. The transaction…
Apr 28, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
Bryce Harper needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and is expected to miss approximately two months, a source familiar with the Nationals outfielder’s condition confirmed Monday evening. Harper was examined by a specialist at The Cleveland Clinic earlier Monday, receiving a second opinion after having his thumb examined by another…
Apr 28, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
We don’t know yet how long the Nationals will be without Bryce Harper, who is getting a second opinion today on his sprained left thumb. But whether Harper misses the minimum 15 days or significantly more, the Nats do know who needs to step up in his place: Nate McLouth. Signed in December to a…
Apr 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Top storylines: Even more injuries - This week saw Bryce Harper head to the disabled list with a sprained left thumb, and until we hear about the second opinion he is set to have today in Cleveland, his timeline is unclear. Harper believes the injury will not linger beyond his 15 days on the disabled list,…
Apr 28, 2014, 6:04 AM EDT
After Nationals starter Taylor Jordan left Sunday’s game due to a fever, relievers Ross Detwiler and Aaron Barrett had trouble picking up where he left off. Inheriting a game tied at one, Detwiler and Barrett combined to give up three runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched, the deciding difference in the Nats’ loss to the…
Apr 27, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT
Pitching through one of his best starts of the young 2014 season, Taylor Jordan was unexpectedly removed after just four innings during the Nationals’ loss to the Padres on Sunday afternoon. After the game it was explained Jordan was dealing with a bad fever, and was lucky to even make it as far as he…
Apr 27, 2014, 4:48 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Taylor Jordan was pitching well through four innings for the Nationals, but was removed from the game after only 63 pitches. His velocity appeared down, which is concerning, but there was no immediate announcement as to why he was pulled. Unfortunately for the Nationals, their bullpen could not pick up where Jordan…
NL EAST STANDINGS
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
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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