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  1. Werth fights through pain to help Nats win

    Aug 17, 2014, 10:22 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    [Updated 11:10 p.m.] Hampered by AC joint inflammation in his right shoulder, Jayson Werth had been out recovering for seven days before coming off the bench in the Nats’ win over the Pirates on Sunday night. He had a cortisone shot three days prior and hadn’t swung a bat against live pitching in a week.…

  2. Instant Analysis: Nats 6, Pirates 5 (11)

    Aug 17, 2014, 8:52 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Pennant races in Major League Baseball are supposed to be thrilling, they are supposed to keep fans at the edge of their seats. Wins often do not come easy, and losses can be tough to swallow. Few games, however, can produce the extreme ups and downs of the Nationals’ 6-5 win over…

  3. Thornton thriving as new face in NL

    Aug 17, 2014, 4:26 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Nationals reliever Matt Thornton is moving through his 11th season in the major leagues, he’s 37-years-old and has 656 MLB games to his name. By now there is plenty of tape and plenty of scouting reports on the 6-foot-6 lefty. Only four of those games, however, have come in the National League, as prior to…

  4. Game 122: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 17, 2014, 1:12 PM EST

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    Today the Nationals look for a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a season-high, 6-game winning streak with Doug Fister (12-3, 2.34) on the mound in a rare 5:05 p.m. game. Fister will make his 18th start of the season looking to lower his 2014 ERA for a fifth consecutive outing. The Nats are 13-4 in…

  5. As curveball eludes him, Gonzalez’s pitch counts soar

    Aug 17, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Gio Gonzalez has never been the most efficient pitcher in the league, but his inefficiency has reached new depths this season, especially in the last month. The left-hander’s latest laborious outing: Last night’s 5-inning slog, in which he threw 102 pitches. This, on the heels of a 111-pitch, 4 2/3-inning start in Atlanta. Do the…

  6. A well-rounded rally

    Aug 17, 2014, 12:44 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    It began innocently enough, a leadoff walk drawn by rookie Michael Taylor with the Nationals trailing the Pirates by three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The sellout crowd of 41,880 applauded the effort but hardly sensed what that plate appearance was about to trigger. The vibe picked up more after Denard Span singled,…

  7. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Pirates 3

    Aug 16, 2014, 9:57 PM EST

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Seeking only their second 5-game winning streak of the season, the Nationals took the field tonight knowing they’d need a quality start from struggling Gio Gonzalez to have a good chance. They got neither that nor much of anything at the plate against lefty Jeff Locke, putting themselves in a 3-0…

  8. Werth progressing toward Sunday return

    Aug 16, 2014, 6:33 PM EST

    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…

  9. Game 121: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 16, 2014, 3:22 PM EST

    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…

  10. Williams feels pennant race heating up

    Aug 16, 2014, 11:25 AM EST

    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…

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

    Aug 16, 2014, 12:05 AM EST

    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…

  12. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 4

    Aug 15, 2014, 10:11 PM EST

    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…

  13. Werth close; 2nd opinion for McLouth

    Aug 15, 2014, 5:13 PM EST

    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…

  14. Game 120: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 15, 2014, 3:42 PM EST

    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…

  15. The Baseball Show: Summer standouts

    Aug 15, 2014, 1:14 PM EST

    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…

  16. Are Marlins the bigger threat?

    Aug 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EST

    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.…

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

    Aug 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    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,…

  18. Game 119: Nats at Mets

    Aug 14, 2014, 3:59 PM EST

    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…

  19. Baseball in the District – Michael Taylor

    Aug 14, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

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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…

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

    Aug 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    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…

  21. Werth gets cortisone shot, out couple more days

    Aug 13, 2014, 5:40 PM EST

    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…

  22. Game 118: Nats at Mets

    Aug 13, 2014, 3:27 PM EST

    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…

  23. Nationals Stock Watch: Fister the ace

    Aug 13, 2014, 1:01 PM EST

    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…

  24. Sizing up Nats’ chances for NL awards

    Aug 13, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    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…

  25. Taylor shines in MLB debut

    Aug 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    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…

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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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