Jul 31, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
In five years now as general manager of the Nationals, Mike Rizzo has approached all trade discussions with an underlying philosophy: Any move made must be in this team’s best interests not only in the short-term but especially in the long-term. That philosophy has served the Nationals well, allowing them to slowly assemble a roster…
Jul 30, 2014, 6:19 PM EST
MIAMI — There are days when a team can win a ballgame on the strengths of dominant starting pitching and a robust lineup that does some early damage. And then there are days when victory comes only via some late production in key spots and some key outs recorded by the back of the bullpen.…
Jul 30, 2014, 4:01 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long trip that started off fantastic but hit a snag in recent days, the Nationals desperately needed a victory in their series finale against the Marlins. They got one, thanks to another big-time performance from Tanner Roark and some long-awaited clutch hits late. Roark tossed seven…
Jul 30, 2014, 12:13 PM EST
MIAMI — Throughout Bryce Harper’s early, frustrating days back from the disabled list, manager Matt Williams insisted the young slugger’s hitting stroke would return at some point. He just needed time and at-bats to find it. Sure enough, it has come together over the last two weeks. In 11 games since the All-Star break, Harper…
Jul 30, 2014, 11:27 AM EST
MIAMI — The end of a long, 3-city, 9-game road trip has come, and in a bit of a surprise, the Nationals need to win today at Marlins Park to finish 5-4. Such is their predicament after losing the first two games of this series to the resurgent Marlins, who have won six in a…
Jul 29, 2014, 11:55 PM EST
MIAMI — When healthy, the Nationals lineup is something to behold, an 8-deep consortium of power, patience and potency that proved to be as effective an offensive group as there is in baseball. But the moment one key guy goes down — or even worse, when two key guys go down as was the case…
Jul 29, 2014, 10:18 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a gut-punch loss Monday night, the Nationals took the field tonight hoping a big-time performance from Stephen Strasburg would help them put the previous 24 hours well behind them. Strasburg did his part, tossing seven inning of 1-run ball, allowing only Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double in the…
Jul 29, 2014, 6:44 PM EST
MIAMI — Jayson Werth was out of the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday, his sprained right ankle swollen and sore, though still not enough for the veteran right fielder to believe the injury is serious. “I think it’s minor,” he said Tuesday afternoon. Werth hurt himself on an awkward slide into second base during the seventh inning…
Jul 29, 2014, 3:42 PM EST
MIAMI — Was last night’s meltdown a blip on the radar or the beginning of a downward trend? The man who may have the most to say about that is Stephen Strasburg, who tonight gets the ball for the middle game of this series. Strasburg has his own Marlins Park demons to exorcise. In five…
Jul 29, 2014, 10:56 AM EST
MIAMI — Lost among the furor over the fateful ninth inning of last night’s 7-6 loss to the Marlins was one particularly encouraging development for the Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann looked like Jordan Zimmermann for the first time in weeks. The right-hander dominated Miami’s lineup, carrying a shutout into the seventh inning and ultimately departing having…
Jul 29, 2014, 12:35 AM EST
MIAMI — The 2014 Nationals really haven’t had to deal with losses like this, gut-punch losses in which a 6-run lead somehow turns into a 7-6 loss before anyone has sufficient time to process the carnage. The mood inside the visitors clubhouse at Marlins Park on Monday night was one of disbelief, a group of…
Jul 28, 2014, 11:44 PM EST
MIAMI — Jayson Werth hopes to return to the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday after departing Monday night’s game with a sprained right ankle, though the veteran right fielder doesn’t expect to know the true severity of the injury until morning. “I won’t know until I wake up tomorrow,” Werth said following Monday’s 7-6 loss to the…
Jul 28, 2014, 10:29 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For six innings, the Nationals were all business, getting a vintage pitching performance from Jordan Zimmermann and an opportunistic rally off the Marlins pitching staff to take a commanding, 6-0 lead and seemingly put themselves in comfortable position to improve to a season-best 13 games over .500. But then the Marlins scored…
Jul 28, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
MIAMI — Denard Span has done this before, bounced back from a slow start to a season to finish on a sustained tear at the plate. So even when things weren’t going as well earlier this summer as the hoped they would, prompting some public questioning of his place in the Nationals’ lineup, he used…
Jul 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
MIAMI — Hello from the one and only (and thank god for that) Marlins Park, where tonight the Nationals open up the final leg of their 3-city road trip, facing a Miami club that has won 7 of its last 8. I have to say I am quite outraged at the moment. Though the accompanying…
Jul 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
Top storylines: Trade deadline – Much of the focus this week will be on Thursday’s trade deadline, at least around the league. There are star players such as David Price and Matt Kemp who could be on the move. The Phillies could blow it all up and clubs such as the Mariners could be looking for a…
Jul 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
There seems to be a sense among many that the Nationals haven’t really taken off as a team this season, that there’s a much higher level of success yet to reach for a talented ballclub that hasn’t achieved its full potential. And perhaps that’s true. Maybe the Nationals are still capable of going on some…
Jul 27, 2014, 11:22 AM EST
After a frustrating, 1-0 loss yesterday at Great American Ball Park, the Nationals return today needing a win to take the weekend series against the Reds and continue their impressive run. They’ve either won or split nine of their last 10 series. Who better, then, to have on the mound than Doug Fister? The right-hander…
Jul 26, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals have been on a tear at the plate in recent weeks, beating some decent pitchers along the way. But they hadn’t faced anyone quite like Johnny Cueto, who showed today why he has been among the NL’s most-dominant starters this season. Cueto tossed seven scoreless innings, striking out nine…
Jul 26, 2014, 2:04 PM EST
If you’re among those skeptics who keeps saying you’re waiting for the Nationals to go on a sustained run … well, perhaps you haven’t been paying very close attention. The Nats enter today’s game in Cincinnati having won 7 of 9 and 15 of 21. Since May 28, they are 31-17, the best record in…
Jul 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals offense has been among the best in the majors in the month of July, and lately we’ve seen exactly how integral Denard Span can be in keying their success. The Nats center fielder went 4-for-5 in the team’s 4-1 win over the Reds on Friday night, again setting the table for a lineup…
Jul 25, 2014, 3:22 PM EST
It’s hard to believe even while typing this that the Nationals are playing their 100th game of the season tonight. But here we are, as the Nats begin a three-game series with the injury-depleted Cincinnati Reds on Friday. The Reds are a game above .500 at 51-50, but many of their biggest names are currently out due…
Jul 25, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
There was plenty to talk about on this week’s episode of The Baseball Show. The Nationals have been playing some of their best baseball of 2014 in recent weeks, the trade deadline coming up, plus Ryan Zimmerman’s latest injury. Could Zim’s absence force the Nats’ hand with the trade deadline approaching? Mark discussed that very…
Jul 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Hughes: It’s hard to find a weakness with this team right now. Maybe their stadium, but that’s it. 2. Los Angeles Angels (LW: 2) – Hughes: L.A. now…
Jul 24, 2014, 10:14 AM EST
On this week’s episode, Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I brought in two excellent guests in USA Today national baseball writer Bob Nightengale and Harrisburg Senators infielder Matt Skole, one of the Nationals’ top prospects. Nightengale gave us a preview of the 2014 trade deadline and what he thinks both the Nationals and their rivals…
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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