Jul 6, 2014, 4:49 PM EST
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…
Jul 6, 2014, 11:37 AM EST
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…
Jul 5, 2014, 11:56 AM EST
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.…
Jul 4, 2014, 9:20 AM EST
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…
Jul 3, 2014, 5:12 PM EST
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…
Jul 3, 2014, 11:15 AM EST
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…
Jul 2, 2014, 11:32 PM EST
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…
Jul 2, 2014, 9:17 PM EST
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…
Jul 2, 2014, 5:32 PM EST
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…
Jul 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EST
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,…
Jul 2, 2014, 10:55 AM EST
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…
Jul 2, 2014, 12:34 AM EST
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…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:27 PM EST
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…
Jul 1, 2014, 6:07 PM EST
Matt Williams met with Bryce Harper today and then made a concerted effort to diffuse any notion of perceived animosity between the Nationals manager and his 21-year-old star. “I’ve got to let you guys know something: I’ve got Bryce’s back, in every way,” Williams said prior to the Nationals’ game against the Rockies. “And that…
Jul 1, 2014, 3:24 PM EST
Matt Williams could have made changes to his starting lineup tonight, choosing to move guys around the diamond as the Nationals manager has suggested he’ll do now that he has a fully healthy roster again. Or Williams could look at last night’s 7-3 thumping of the Rockies and conclude: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t…
Jul 1, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
This week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District’ happened to fall right at the halfway point of the 2014 season. With that in mind, Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I evaluated where they are right now and made predictions for the second half. We also welcomed in two guests. The first was radio voice of the…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Ryan Zimmerman had taken his position at third base 1,119 previous times in the big leagues, so his trot from the Nationals dugout across the infield Monday evening should have been the epitome of routine. This, however, wasn’t like any of the previous occasions. This was the first time Zimmerman played third base since leaving…
Jul 1, 2014, 12:24 AM EST
It had been 80 games since the Nationals last had their full lineup together and healthy, the group Mike Rizzo assembled for this season before injuries struck almost immediately on Opening Day. Half a season where the Nats patched together lineup cards just hoping to stay afloat in the NL East. On Monday, Bryce Harper…
Jun 30, 2014, 10:04 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For the first time in three months, the Nationals took the field tonight feeling like a complete ballclub again. With Bryce Harper off the disabled list, the entire lineup was together again. And boy did it have to feel good for this team and an energetic crowd of 33,660 that made…
Jun 30, 2014, 5:48 PM EST
Finally having Bryce Harper back in the mix on Monday, Matt Williams’ lineup card looked much like it did on Opening Day, the last time he had a roster at full health to choose from. Harper is back in left field with Ryan Zimmerman at third base, Anthony Rendon is back at second. Denard Span remains…
Jun 30, 2014, 3:17 PM EST
Well, here it is. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Has there ever been a more-anticipated starting lineup reveal in Nationals history? And the answer is … Ryan Zimmerman is back at third base for the first time since he fractured his thumb way back on April 11. Bryce Harper is back in left…
Jun 30, 2014, 2:49 PM EST
The Nationals made official on Monday the activation of Bryce Harper from the disabled list, setting up his expected return to the lineup after missing more than two months with a torn ligament in his left thumb. Reliever Xavier Cedeno was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse as the corresponding move. Harper has been out since April…
Jun 30, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
Top storylines: Harper’s return – It’s been over two months since Bryce Harper last took the field with the Nationals, but his long recovery from a torn ligament in his left thumb is just about over. Barring something unforeseen, Harper is expected to be in the Nats’ lineup to face the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. Harper…
Jun 30, 2014, 12:00 AM EST
For more than two months, Matt Williams has been waiting to fill out a lineup card that includes Bryce Harper in it. And for several weeks, the Nationals’ first-time manager has been contemplating just how much he wants to shake up the rest of his lineup as a result of Harper’s return. The time has…
Jun 29, 2014, 10:50 AM EST
CHICAGO — The optimist will look at the fact the Nationals are tied for first place, with the best pitching staff in baseball, sporting a +39 run differential despite the fact they had their full, Opening Day lineup together for all of seven innings … on Opening Day. The pessimist will look at the fact…
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