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  1. Left on base

    May 29, 2014, 12:52 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After the Nationals’ sixth loss in their last seven games – this an 8-5 defeat against the Marlins in 10 innings – one all too familiar stat jumped out of the boxscore. The Nats’ inability to bring home runners in scoring position has been a problem all season, and it once again proved costly on Wednesday night. Eleven…

  2. Instant analysis: Marlins 8, Nats 5 (10)

    May 28, 2014, 10:53 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In the wake of Tuesday’s rainout, Matt Williams decided to alter his pitching rotation, bypassing rookie Blake Treinen and sticking with Jordan Zimmermann on normal rest. The move made sense, especially considering Zimmermann’s past struggles when pitching on extra rest, but then the right-hander took the mound and once again didn’t…

  3. Purke to have Tommy John surgery

    May 28, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT

    Purke ready to face Georgetown

    Nationals minor league pitcher Matt Purke will have Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the team announced. The surgery will be performed on Thursday by Dr. James Andrews. Purke, 23, was once considered among the best pitching prospects in the game of baseball. He was drafted 14th overall by…

  4. Zimmerman takes BP, grounders

    May 28, 2014, 5:35 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Cleared for baseball activities on Monday, Ryan Zimmerman took live batting practice for the first time in over six weeks before the Nationals’ game against the Marlins on Wednesday. Zimmerman took hacks as part of a group for about 20 minutes and also participated in team infield practice at first base. He practiced fielding groundballs, scooping throws…

  5. Game 52 (Take 2): Marlins at Nats

    May 28, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    And we’re back at Nationals Park, hoping the weather cooperates tonight and allows the Nationals and Marlins to wrap up their abbreviated, rain-shortened series and at least get two games in. The forecast once again doesn’t look great, with storms expected to roll through here at some point this afternoon/evening. After postponing last night’s game…

  6. Nats becoming more efficient on basepaths

    May 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Matt Williams, from the moment he took over as manager of the Nationals, has preached an aggressive style of baserunning, encouraging his players to make a more concerted effort to take extra bases when given the opportunity. Which isn’t to say he wants his players running at will on the bases, either. In his words,…

  7. Game postponed, no makeup this week

    May 27, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 8:12 p.m. A major thunderstorm that swept through the Washington area forced the postponement of Tuesday night’s game between the Nationals and Marlins, which will not be made up for some time, perhaps not until the final weekend of the season. Rain began falling at Nationals Park shortly after 6 p.m. and became…

  8. Zimmerman ready for BP, grounders but still shagging

    May 27, 2014, 5:58 PM EDT

    AP

    Ryan Zimmerman will take a full round of batting practice and field groundballs at third base Wednesday for the first time since fracturing his right thumb April 12, but the injured Nationals slugger continues to work in left field as the Nationals try to prepare themselves for a variety of scenarios moving forward. After an…

  9. Game 52: Marlins at Nats

    May 27, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals aren’t scoring runs. This probably isn’t news to you. They’ve scored a total of 14 runs over their last six games (five of them losses). In their 26 losses this season, they’ve scored 52 total runs. Yes, that’s an average of 2 runs per game. (FYI: They’ve scored an average of 5.84 runs…

  10. State of the Nats: Positive signs?

    May 27, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Espinosa continues to struggle – Much of the reason the Nationals have been so bad offensively in May has been due to injuries. Missing Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper is enough to make any team start struggling at the plate. But adding to their troubles have been players slumping who were initially…

  11. Nats still searching on offense

    May 27, 2014, 7:40 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After getting Adam LaRoche back from a quad injury on Sunday, the Nationals are getting increasingly close to full strength. Though Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t have a specific timeline to return, he will begin swinging a bat on Tuesday. Once he takes the field again – as long as no one else goes down in the…

  12. Giancarlo Stanton again dominates Nats

    May 26, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Giancarlo Stanton has been in the majors – and in the National League East – for five years now. His power is nothing new, from the moment he stepped on a big league field he presented a home run threat. The problem now, however, is that he has help. Only once before this season had Stanton played on…

  13. Zimmerman cleared to start swinging

    May 26, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT

    Zimmerman has shoulder surgery

    Moving through the seventh week of his recovery from a fractured right thumb, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was cleared for baseball activities after the Nationals’ 3-2 loss to the Marlins on Monday. Manager Matt Williams made the announcement, and though it represents excellent news for the 25-26 club, a timetable for his return still has…

  14. Instant Analysis: Marlins 3, Nats 2

    May 26, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Marlins entered Nationals Park on Monday with the worst road record in the majors, and Tanner Roark took the mound for Washington with a 0.78 ERA across 46 innings at home. Though those numbers would suggest a favorable matchup for the Nats, their Memorial Day bout with Miami didn’t go quite…

  15. Zim to have X-ray, Gio working towards bullpen

    May 26, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT

    AP

    Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will undergo an X-ray on his broken right thumb Monday, and could be cleared for baseball activities later in the day. Manager Matt Williams said Zimmerman is progressing well and should be able to start taking batting practice and infield groundballs very soon. Zimmerman threw from 90 feet before the…

  16. Game 51: Marlins at Nats

    May 26, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Coming off a series loss against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, the Nationals return home to play the second place Miami Marlins at Nats Park on Memorial Day. The Marlins are a half-game ahead of Washington in the NL East after dropping two of three vs. the Brewers. The Marlins are a much better team than…

  17. A stopper in mindset, if not words

    May 25, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PITTSBURGH — There are pitchers who will openly say they take the mound with a little extra emotion and motivation when their club is in the midst of a losing streak and desperately needs to put an end to it. Some guys relish the idea of being their team’s stopper. Doug Fister, though, doesn’t buy…

  18. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 2

    May 25, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They entered today on a four-game losing streak, with a sub-.500 record and mounting concern in the clubhouse. Yet the Nationals had to feel encouraged about their chances in their series finale at PNC Park, for several reasons: 1) They had Adam LaRoche back from the DL, 2) They were facing…

  19. After strong start, Espinosa back in prolonged slump

    May 25, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — There was perhaps no more pleasant development for the Washington Nationals in April than the re-emergence of Danny Espinosa after a disastrous 2013 that threatened his future with the organization. And there has been perhaps no more discouraging development for the Nationals in May than the regression of Espinosa back into the form…

  20. Game 50: Nats at Pirates

    May 25, 2014, 10:28 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — You may want to avert your eyes for a moment, but I feel compelled to share this fact: If the Nationals lose today, they would suffer their first four-game sweep since July 2009 against the Cubs, their first four-game road sweep since August 2008 in Milwaukee. Yikes. But enough with the negative news.…

  21. Strasburg, Nats can’t finish it off

    May 25, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Stephen Strasburg wants to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. The Nationals want Strasburg to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. So it was that…

  22. Instant analysis: Pirates 3, Nats 2

    May 24, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A rare showdown between fellow No. 1 overall draft picks played out as most would have hoped, with Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole trading blows for much of the night in a tense, low-scoring ballgame. Strasburg, the top pick in 2009, appeared to have the edge on Cole, the top pick…

  23. LaRoche rejoins Nats, will be activated Sunday

    May 24, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Adam LaRoche walked into the visitors clubhouse at PNC Park this afternoon, found a locker waiting with his equipment and uniform already in place and made it clear he will be in the Nationals’ lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the the Pirates. “Yeah,” he said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.” Having emerged…

  24. Game 49: Nats at Pirates

    May 24, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — There have been 49 Major League Baseball amateur drafts, and of the 49 players selected with the No. 1 overall pick, only 16 have been pitchers. And two of those 16 pitchers (Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole) will be on the mound tonight at PNC Park, squaring off against each other. It’s only…

  25. VIDEO: The Baseball Show

    May 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    USA Today Sports Images

    This week’s episode of The Baseball Show, as you can expect, featured a lot of talk about injuries. The Nationals continue to see their best players head to the disabled list, while those who are left aim to keep the team in the division race. In this first clip from Thursday’s show, Mark Zuckerman talked…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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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