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  1. Span returns, confident knee will be fine

    Sep 26, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

    AP

    Denard Span returned to the Nationals’ lineup Friday afternoon, his right knee still scraped up but feeling well enough to return to the field three days after it was injured on a diving catch. Span said he tested the knee prior to Thursday night’s game, running on a treadmill and jumping rope, and emerged with…

  2. Game 159: Marlins at Nats

    Sep 26, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Apparently they enjoyed playing two games yesterday so much, the Nationals decided they might as well do it again today! Yes, it’s the second half of a rare, back-to-back doubleheader, with the Marlins now in town for the final series of the regular season. There is something at stake in today’s 1:05 p.m. game: One…

  3. MLB Power Rankings: Pirates heating up

    Sep 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here is a look around the league with analysis of each team from Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Angels (LW: 1) – Roney: Took the season series from the A’s (10-9) for the first time in four years, and never lost to Jon Lester in 2014. 2.…

  4. Gio makes final case for playoff role

    Sep 25, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With tough decisions to make before October, particularly regarding his starting rotation, Nationals manager Matt Williams has joked recently about long nights for his coaching staff. “We might all sleep here,” he said on Thursday. That is, if they sleep at all. It was one thing to have to pick their starter for Game 1 of…

  5. Instant Analysis: Nats 3, Mets 0

    Sep 25, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

    MLB: Game Two-New York Mets at Washington Nationals

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Whether Gio Gonzalez needed to show anything more to make his case for a spot in the Nats’ postseason rotation or not, he sure leaves the 2014 regular season on a high note. The Nationals lefty was dominant in the team’s 3-0 win over the Mets on Thursday night, striking out a…

  6. Giolito & Difo take in Nats Park

    Sep 25, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Fresh off their postseason awards as standouts in the Nationals’ organization, prospects Lucas Giolito and Wilmer Difo met with media in the dugout at Nats Park on Thursday. For Giolito, the team’s minor league pitcher of the year, it was the first time he visited Washington since sitting in the very same spot two years…

  7. Game 158: Mets at Nats

    Sep 25, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    One down, three to go in this unusual ‘two doubleheaders in two days’ stretch for the Nationals. They dropped the afternoon game against the Mets 7-4, now Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74) will look to lead the Nats to victory in their final matchup of 2014 against New York on Thursday night. Denard Span is sitting…

  8. Instant Analysis: Mets 7, Nats 4

    Sep 25, 2014, 4:39 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals entered Thursday’s matinee – the first of four games for them in a 48-hour span – looking to get one step closer to securing the No. 1 seed in the NL playoff bracket. They were unable to accomplish that, as a lineup half-comprised of back-ups and fill-in starter, Blake Treinen,…

  9. Nats to decide rotation after Sunday’s game

    Sep 25, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Wednesday night’s rainout between the Nationals and Mets gave the Nats a chance to adjust their starting rotation at an opportune time. The playoffs begin in eight days and they shuffled their starters right before the final weekend of the regular season. The result was what now looks like a postseason template: Stephen Strasburg in Game 1, Jordan…

  10. Game 157: Mets at Nats

    Sep 25, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Let’s try this again. After a rainout on Wednesday night, the Nats and Mets will now play two on Thursday, one day before the Nationals and Miami Marlins play another doubleheader. The first game today will start at 1:05 p.m., rookie Blake Treinen (2-3, 1.94) will pitch that one. The second game will begin at 7:05…

  11. Did rainout help Nats set postseason rotation?

    Sep 24, 2014, 8:16 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Wednesday night’s rainout forced the Nationals to make several pitching adjustments in preparation for the back-to-back doubleheaders they now must play against the Mets and Marlins. But it also may have helped them set up their preferred postseason rotation order, with Stephen Strasburg now lined up to start Game 1 of the NLDS. With day-night…

  12. Zimmerman still not ready for third base

    Sep 24, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Though he was back in the Nationals’ lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Mets, Ryan Zimmerman was penciled in to play left field again, still not ready to take his position at third base as the regular-season finale draws closer. Zimmerman, who hadn’t been in the starting lineup for three straight days after feeling…

  13. Nats not ready to name Game 1 starter

    Sep 24, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With arguably the best rotation in baseball, but no clear ace, it has been a big debate in Washington over the past few months: who starts the first game of a Nationals playoff series? There is just a week to go in the regular season, but it appears we will all have to wait a…

  14. Roark makes his case for No. 4 spot, but is it enough?

    Sep 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Imagine a right-hander who has won 15 games (tied for the club lead and sixth in the National League), sports a 2.85 ERA (12th in the league), is about to surpass 200 innings pitched and has 10 quality starts in 13 tries since the All-Star break with a 2.65 ERA and 1.04 WHIP during that…

  15. Updated: Span leaves game with knee injury

    Sep 23, 2014, 11:17 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    [Updated 11:15 p.m.] Denard Span made a highlight reel catch to end the top of the third inning on Tuesday night, a play that saw him dive to the ground and roll into the wall in left-center field. He got up rather quickly and ran to the Nationals’ dugout with no problem. But the next…

  16. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Mets 2

    Sep 23, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The 2014 NL East champions finally returned home tonight, a full week removed from their division clincher in Atlanta, and were given a heroes’ welcome from a crowd of 30,714 that looked for every possible opportunity to shower the home team with love. Tanner Roark got a standing ovation as he…

  17. Zimmermann may be pushed back a day

    Sep 23, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jordan Zimmermann is currently sporting a nasty bruise on his right shoulder three days after taking a Casey McGehee line drive off his arm on Saturday. It is not considered serious, as Zimmermann even threw the following day in Miami, but it could convince the Nationals to push his next start back. “I don’t expect him…

  18. Zim sits out vs. Mets

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Ryan Zimmerman returned to the Nats’ lineup on Saturday after a two month absence and played seven innings at left field against the Marlins. That, at least originally, was the Nationals’ way of easing his right hamstring back into the mix. But then the game happened, and of course things didn’t go according to plan.…

  19. Game 156: Mets at Nats

    Sep 23, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The last time the Nats took the field at Nationals Park, they were in very good position in the NL East, but not even close to clinching anything. They led the Braves by 8 games as they headed out of town for an 11-day road trip. Well, they’re back tonight, and that lead in the…

  20. Taking a crack at the postseason roster

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It’s been a full week now since the Nationals clinched the NL East title, and yet there are still 10 days to go until they take the field for Game 1 of the NLDS. So there’s plenty of time left for Mike Rizzo, Matt Williams and Co. to decide which 25 players will make their…

  21. Yankees claim Eury Perez

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Designated for assignment last Thursday by the Nationals, outfielder Eury Perez has been claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees. The Yankees announced the news through their Twitter account and DFA’d pitcher Josh Outman to make room on their 40-man roster. The Nationals claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon from the Twins after letting go of Perez. It…

  22. State of the Nats: Final week before playoffs

    Sep 22, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Final stretch – The Nationals returned home on Sunday night after an 11-game road trip and will now finish out the regular season at Nats Park. They begin with three games against the New York Mets before four games in three days against the Miami Marlins. Winners of four straight and eight of…

  23. As end with Nats approaches, LaRoche focused on title

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — Adam LaRoche makes a point not to think about his future beyond this season, lest he start worrying more about where he’ll play in 2015 than what he and the Nationals might yet accomplish in 2014. “I kind of purposely try to stay away from it,” he said Sunday morning in the clubhouse…

  24. As October approaches, Strasburg and Nats are peaking

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    MIAMI — There was a point — honestly, not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things — when Stephen Strasburg’s standing within the Nationals’ pitching staff was up for debate. And the debate wasn’t whether he deserved to be considered the Nats’ No. 1 starter. It was whether he deserved to be…

  25. Instant analysis: Nats 2, Marlins 1

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Playing their 17th consecutive game and wrapping up an 11-game road trip, the Nationals rested several key regulars, including Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth. And given Stephen Strasburg’s longstanding struggles at Marlins Park, there had to be some concern heading in about this group’s odds of winning. But Strasburg…

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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