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  1. MLB Power Rankings: Angels soaring

    Jul 9, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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. Athletics (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: Props to Billy Beane, who understands the time is now for Oakland to go all-in. This team is scary-good. 2. Angels (LW: 4) – Zuckerman: They might…

  2. Who should DH for Nats the next 2 nights?

    Jul 9, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    For the last week, Matt Williams has faced a nightly lineup decision, the crux of which has boiled down to the question of who would start at third base. For the next two nights, Williams will face another lineup decision. This time, though, the Nationals manager has another position to consider: designated hitter. With the…

  3. Nats-Orioles postponed, makeup on Aug. 4

    Jul 8, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    [Updated: 10:30 p.m.] Tuesday night’s game between the Nationals and Orioles was postponed due to heavy rain after a delay of approximately 2 1/2 hours. The two teams will now play a makeup game on Aug. 4 at Nationals Park. The tarp rolled out in D.C. about a half-an-hour before game time as a large…

  4. Williams: Harper making progress

    Jul 8, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Since returning from a nine-week absence in late June, Bryce Harper has yet to find his form on offense. It’s only been seven games, but the guy who hit three home runs in his final rehab outing has yet to show up. After going 0-for-3 with two walks in the Nats’ loss to the Orioles on Monday…

  5. Game 89: Orioles at Nats

    Jul 8, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Try to forget, if you can, the horrendous 11th inning from last night’s game and appreciate the 10 innings that preceded it. The Nationals and Orioles played one heck of a ballgame, getting great pitching performances, fine defense and a couple of big home runs from star players. The atmosphere inside the park was electric,…

  6. Williams, Showalter share managerial bond

    Jul 8, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Matt Williams can rattle off the names of several former managers who helped him learn how best to deal with a clubhouse full of major leaguers and keep everybody on the same page: Roger Craig, Dusty Baker, Bob Brenly. Ask Williams who most taught him how to prepare himself and his team for a ballgame,…

  7. Nats’ extra-inning woes reach new lows

    Jul 8, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals, on paper, should be as formidable an extra-inning foe as anyone in baseball. Between a dominant and deep bullpen, a productive and deep lineup and a veteran-laden bench, they appear well-constructed to come up big the later the clock reads. How then to explain their actual results this season? Monday’s 8-2, 11-inning loss…

  8. Instant analysis: Orioles 8, Nats 2 (11)

    Jul 7, 2014, 10:48 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If the opener of this 4-game Battle of the Beltways is a sign of things to come, get ready for an entertaining, tense week of baseball between two very good teams in front of rabid fans supporting both clubs. A crowd of 35,126 decked out both in red and orange was…

  9. Werth wins NL Player of the Week

    Jul 7, 2014, 7:47 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    For a guy who looked completely lost at the plate only one week ago, Jayson Werth sure turned it around in a hurry. Enough to be recognized by Major League Baseball. Werth was named NL Player of the Week on Monday, a fitting honor for the Nationals right fielder, who went on a sudden tear…

  10. Game 88: Orioles at Nats

    Jul 7, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Hello and welcome to the opener of the Battle of the Beltways, the annual showdown between Washington and Baltimore that means very much to the fan bases of both clubs and, quite honestly, means very little to players on both sides. Much as we’d like to believe this is a real rivalry, the players just…

  11. Zim front and center during late-game heroics

    Jul 7, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    Ryan Zimmerman is plenty used to being in the middle of things during the final key moments of a ballgame. This is, after all, a guy with nine career walk-off homers on his ledger. So the fact Zimmerman delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit yesterday for a Nationals club that eked out a…

  12. Zimmermann named All-Star, Rendon in Final Vote

    Jul 6, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    A Nationals club that boasts the NL’s fourth-best record but fewer dominant performances by individuals so far this season received only one All-Star selection Sunday evening: right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. There’s still a chance of more Washington representation at Minnesota’s Target Field on July 15, with infielder Anthony Rendon one of five candidates in the NL’s…

  13. Instant analysis: Nats 2, Cubs 1

    Jul 6, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Needing a win to avoid their first series loss in three weeks, the Nationals looked a big sluggish. Jordan Zimmermann was effective, tossing six scoreless innings, but wasn’t especially sharp and had to be pulled due to a high pitch count. The lineup, meanwhile, scratched out a quick run off Jake…

  14. Game 87: Cubs at Nats

    Jul 6, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Matt Williams has had a full, healthy roster for six games now. And aside from one day off for Wilson Ramos, the Nationals manager has used the exact same guys in his lineup for all six games. Hey, there’s something to be said for continuity, especially when your team has won four of the first…

  15. Game 86: Cubs at Nats

    Jul 5, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    After a tough, win streak-ending loss to the Cubs on the 4th of July, the Nationals got a bit of a break for the second game of this series. Late Friday night the Cubs traded their No. 1 starter, Jeff Samardzija to the Oakland Athletics, right before he was set to start against the Nats.…

  16. Game 85: Cubs at Nats

    Jul 4, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It’s Independence Day in Washington, which means three things: 1) Fireworks on the National Mall tonight, 2) the Nationals hosting a ballgame at 11:05 a.m. and 3) Terrible heat and humidity for both events. Er, actually, strike that last one, because it’s an unseasonably cool, dry and windy July 4 for a change. No complaints…

  17. MLB Power Rankings: A’s leading the way

    Jul 3, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here are this week’s power rankings with analysis from Mark Zuckerman, Steve Roney and I: 1. Athletics — Hughes: Scott Kazmir is a legitimate Cy Young candidate right now.2. Brewers — Zuckerman: Peripheral stats still say they’re not quite this good, should come back to earth a bit. 3. Tigers — Zuckerman: Rick Porcello, forgotten man of Detroit’s…

  18. Back end of Nats’ bullpen truly has been elite

    Jul 3, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    All-Star rosters will be announced on Sunday, and while most of the discussion in relation to the Nationals has been about the worthiness of Adam LaRoche or Anthony Rendon, we haven’t talked a whole lot about the worthiness of several members of their bullpen. And we should be, because there are no shortage of worthy…

  19. Nats have to grind out series-sweeping victory

    Jul 2, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals rattled off four straight wins mostly by pounding opposing pitchers to a pulp and then watching their own pitching staff mow through lineups. In order to pull off their fifth straight victory, they had to get dirty and grind for a change. Down three runs early to the Rockies on a sweltering Wednesday…

  20. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Rockies 3

    Jul 2, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Seeking a 3-game sweep of the Rockies and a 5-game winning streak overall, the Nationals dug themselves into an early hole when Michael McKenry launched a 3-run homer off Doug Fister in the top of the second. Fister, though, settled down after that, and even when the right-hander gave up hard-hit…

  21. Williams: Harper will hit higher in lineup this season

    Jul 2, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Though he’s batting sixth for the third consecutive night since coming off the disabled list, Bryce Harper will move up in the Nationals’ lineup at some point this season, manager Matt Williams insisted today. Still fielding questions in the wake of Harper’s controversial comments Monday in which the 21-year-old outfielder openly disagreed with his manager’s…

  22. Game 84: Rockies at Nats

    Jul 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    If Matt Williams’ grand plan is to move guys around the field and throughout his lineup on a daily basis, he isn’t doing it yet. The Nationals tonight are fielding the same lineup they used the previous two nights with only one exception: Jose Lobaton is catching, with Wilson Ramos getting the night off. Look,…

  23. Werth hopes big night gets him going again

    Jul 2, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jayson Werth hasn’t been himself lately at the plate, and he knows it. “Just been dealing with a little leak there for … god, feels like a couple months,” he said. “I’ve been battling. I’ve been grinding.” Werth’s slump hasn’t been quite as long as that, but over a 3-week stretch from June 11 until…

  24. Strasburg bounces back to dominate Rockies

    Jul 2, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT

    AP

    In the wake of one of the worst performances of his career, Stephen Strasburg mentioned a mechanical glitch he needed to fix, a small tweak he felt would lead to fewer pitches left over the heart of the plate. Just as important, though, may have been the mental adjustment Strasburg was able to make and…

  25. Instant analysis: Nats 7, Rockies 1

    Jul 1, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With the hubbub (and a dash of controversy) of Monday night behind them, the Nationals got down to business tonight and resumed the grind of the season with their healthy lineup still intact. On a sweltering night at the ballpark, they picked up right where they left off Monday, pounding the…

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)
OCT. 7: 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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