Apr 22, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT
Updated at 11:55 p.m. Some around the baseball world recently had been questioning whether the significance of 500 home runs had diminished, especially in the wake of the steroid era. Try telling Albert Pujols what he accomplished Tuesday night at Nationals Park wasn’t significant. The veteran slugger understands the magnitude of what he just did,…
Apr 22, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout drew all the attention when this series began. Tonight, though, a far more-established star reminded everyone just how special he is. Albert Pujols became just the 26th player in baseball history to join the 500 Home Run Club, launching a pair of blasts off right-hander Taylor…
Apr 22, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT
Doug Fister pitched three innings in an extended spring training game Tuesday and reported no problems with his strained lat muscle, leaving the right-hander on track to join the Nationals’ rotation in about two weeks. Fister threw 44 pitches and “felt really good with it,” according to manager Matt Williams. On the disabled list since…
Apr 22, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT
For those who were wondering if Matt Williams might give the struggling Ian Desmond a mental night off, the answer is no. At least not on this night. Desmond, who last night committed his MLB-leading eighth and ninth errors of the young season, is right back in there at shortstop against Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs.…
Apr 22, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
Updated at 6:07 p.m. The Nationals, as expected, recalled right-hander Aaron Barrett from Class AAA on Tuesday and optioned lefty Xavier Cedeno back to Syracuse in a bullpen-bolstering move. Barrett, who dominated in his first two weeks as a major-league reliever and retired 13-of-16 batters faced, was sent down April 12 when the Nationals needed…
Apr 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Tyler Clippard has been among baseball’s most-effective relievers for more than four years now, and he has shown an ability to bounce back from several rough stretches along the way. Which is why Nationals manager Matt Williams has continued to show faith in the 29-year-old set-up man and why he didn’t hesitate to stick with…
Apr 22, 2014, 12:23 AM EDT
Through the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the only winning campaigns since the Nationals moved to Washington in 2005, one could argue their most consistent position player was Ian Desmond, and their best relief pitcher was Tyler Clippard. Somehow, three weeks into this new season, each has become their own unique liability. Desmond is committing errors…
Apr 21, 2014, 10:24 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as a star-studded showdown between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, but the two phenom outfielders played little role in the outcome of this game. Instead, unheralded starting pitchers Tanner Roark and Garrett Richards kept pitching themselves out of jams, with a lone fourth-inning run manufactured by the Nationals…
Apr 21, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT
They are linked by Rookie of the Year awards, two All-Star appearances by the age of 22, and a good deal of hype, but Monday will be the first time we see both Bryce Harper and Mike Trout on the same field for a regular season MLB game. They are two young phenoms who could define…
Apr 21, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
As you may have heard, there are a couple of high-profile young stars here in town tonight meeting for the first time as big leaguers. But there are some storylines beyond Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper as the Nationals host the Angels in the opener of a three-game series. There is, for example, a guy…
Apr 21, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT
Top storylines: Mike Trout and the Angels in town – When the 2014 MLB schedule came out back in September, one early season series for the Nationals stood out immediately. On April 21 (today) the Los Angeles Angels would travel to Washington to play the Nats, finally pitting Bryce Harper and Mike Trout against each other…
Apr 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ late-inning rallies, capped by Denard Span’s walk-off sac fly, were the featured storyline of yesterday’s 3-2 victory over the Cardinals. But there was plenty more worth analyzing from the game, which included all sorts of twists and turns and notable developments. Let’s dig deeper into some of those other angles… — Stephen Strasburg…
Apr 20, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT
As Denard Span stepped to the plate late Sunday afternoon, bases full of teammates and the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, he paused for a moment to examine the Cardinals’ unusual-looking infield alignment. “I counted,” he said. “I’m saying: ‘One, two, three, four, five. … A groundball is probably not going to…
Apr 20, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Twenty-four hours after a drama-filled loss that was highlighted by Matt Williams’ decision to bench Bryce Harper for failing to run out a routine grounder, the Nationals were back on the field with renewed purpose in their series finale against the Cardinals. Harper was back in the lineup himself and he…
Apr 20, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT
The Nationals were adamant about retaining Danny Espinosa on the heels of a disastrous 2013, despite interest from other clubs over the winter, for one simple reason: He would be their best option to take over an everyday role in the event of injury to any of their starting infielders. Sure enough, with Ryan Zimmerman…
Apr 20, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, which means Bryce Harper is out of the doghouse and back into the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see what the fan reaction is when his name is announced and when he steps to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the first. It’ll also…
Apr 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
After Bryce Harper was removed from Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the explanation as to why came as quite the surprise. No, it had nothing to do with Harper’s lingering quad tightness, it was for lack of hustle. We at CSN had a camera at Nationals Park for the aftermath, and got reaction…
Apr 19, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Facing a team that has had their way with him in the past, Jordan Zimmermann pitched well enough against St. Louis to give the Nationals a chance to win on Saturday. But again, as they did two nights ago, the Nats committed defensive mistakes early in the game that cost them. This…
Apr 19, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
The Nationals reinstated center fielder Denard Span off the 7-day disabled list on Saturday, and optioned Steven Souza, Jr. back to Triple-A Syracuse. Span had been out since April 11 after sustaining a concussion in Atlanta in a game against the Braves. He made two rehab appearances with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns before rejoining the…
Apr 19, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT
With a quick turnaround after their 3-1 win the night before, the Nationals will send Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 5.27) out to the mound on Saturday to face a St. Louis Cardinals team that has given him trouble in the past. Zimmermann is 0-3 with a 8.27 ERA in eight career starts against the Cards. He’s…
Apr 19, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT
Nursing a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals – a team they had not beaten in eight consecutive tries – the Nationals nearly saw it slip away. Struggling relief pitcher Tyler Clippard took over for starter Gio Gonzalez to begin the inning, and needed 26 pitches to…
Apr 18, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT
Matt Williams wanted his players to be upset at themselves after Thursday night’s debacle of a loss. But the first-year manager also wanted them to forget all about that game the moment they left Nationals Park and return Friday committed to making things better. So what transpired over the course of 2 hours and 31…
Apr 18, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an atrocious performance Thursday night, Matt Williams challenged his players to return to the park Friday with renewed focus and desire. The Nationals responded in kind, delivering the kind of well-played ballgame Williams had been seeking all along. Gio Gonzalez and Michael Wacha matched pitch-for-pitch, with Wacha…
Apr 18, 2014, 8:42 PM EDT
[Updated 10:40 p.m.] Nationals center fielder Denard Span completed his second rehab assignment game with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns on Friday night as he aims for a weekend return from the seven-day disabled list. Span, who is recovering from a concussion sustained on April 11 in Atlanta, went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. He…
Apr 18, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT
Wilson Ramos took a key step Friday in his return from a broken bone in his left hand, taking light swings for the first time since suffering the injury on Opening Day and reporting no discomfort. “No pain,” the Nationals catcher said. “Not sore. It just feels a little weak.” Ramos broke the hamate bone…
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 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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