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  1. LaRoche could join Potomac on Thursday

    May 21, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Nationals manager Matt Williams gave several injury updates before Wednesday’s game against the Reds, most notably the team’s plans for Adam LaRoche to complete a minor league rehab assignment this week before his return. LaRoche ran the bases on Wednesday and will have his strained right quad evaluated by the team’s training staff before his…

  2. Game 46: Reds at Nats

    May 21, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    After beating Johnny Cueto and the Reds on Tuesday night, the Nationals enter Wednesday having won four of their last six games. They now have a chance to take the series against Cincinnati before heading on the road for a four-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.65) will start for Washington as…

  3. Nats Park “feels like home” to Fister in D.C. debut

    May 21, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It’s been something of an odd, nomadic existence so far for Doug Fister. He was traded to the Nationals five months ago, but all of his time to date had been spent away from his new home. Fister spent the spring in Viera, Fla., with the rest of his teammates, then stayed there after landing…

  4. Span’s career night leads Nats’ takedown of Cueto

    May 21, 2014, 12:28 AM EDT

    AP

    What’s a good leadoff man worth? How much difference does it make if the guy atop a team’s lineup is productive or not? For the Nationals, it appears to mean everything. Put simply: When Denard Span does well, the Nats do well. When he doesn’t, they don’t. “It sets up everything,” teammate Jayson Werth said.…

  5. Instant analysis: Nats 9, Reds 4

    May 20, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Talk about an imposing matchup: The Nationals, who have scored the fewest runs in the majors in May and have struggled all season against right-handers, had to go up against the best pitcher in baseball to date. Johnny Cueto entered with a 1.25 ERA, the first pitcher modern baseball history to…

  6. Zimmerman still not cleared hit start hitting

    May 20, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    AP

    The latest X-ray of Ryan Zimmerman’s right thumb showed the fracture that has sidelined him more than five weeks has not fully healed, preventing the Nationals third baseman from being able to start hitting and delaying his eventual return from the disabled list. Zimmerman, out since fracturing the thumb on an April 12 pickoff play…

  7. Game 45: Reds at Nats

    May 20, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals’ lineup — in its current, injury-plagued form — is not particularly effective against right-handed pitching. Their .236 team batting average against righties ranks 23rd in the majors this season. (As opposed to their .284 batting average against left-handers, third-best in baseball.) So tonight’s matchup against Johnny Cueto does not particularly favor the Nats.…

  8. Bullpen scoreless streak ends at 27 2/3 innings

    May 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    AP

    When Ross Detwiler got Devin Mesoraco to popup to the third baseman in the top of the 15th inning late Monday night, the left-hander extended a streak of dominance by the Nationals bullpen to new, hard-to-fathom lengths. At that moment, the Nats relief corps had tossed 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. That’s more than three…

  9. Phillips, Hamilton rob Nats in extras

    May 20, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    In a game that took four hours, 58 minutes and 15 innings to settle, the Nationals lost to the Reds on Monday night despite twice coming inches away from victory. Twice in extra innings they had would-be walk-off singles snatched out of the air on sensational defensive plays by the Reds. The first was a…

  10. Instant analysis: Reds 4, Nats 3 (15)

    May 20, 2014, 12:04 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You never know what kind of ballgame you might see on a random Monday night in May. The 24,505 who came to Nationals Park tonight — or, at least, those who made it all the way to the end — were treated to one of the best-played, back-and-forth, dramatic, random Monday…

  11. Williams explains why Zim is working out in left field

    May 19, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    While Ryan Zimmerman waits to be cleared to resume full baseball activities, the Nationals are trying to find ways for their injured third baseman to get some work in without risking any further damage to his healing right thumb. That has included, for the last several days, significant time spent in left field shagging fly…

  12. Blake Treinen to start on Thursday

    May 19, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    AP

    With Gio Gonzalez on the disabled list nursing his left shoulder, right-hander Blake Treinen will be called up to start for the Nationals in his place on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Manager Matt Williams made the announcement before Monday’s game. Treinen, 25, is currently in Triple-A with the Syracuse Chiefs, having last pitched on Friday. Pitching…

  13. Game 44: Reds at Nats

    May 19, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Today the Nationals and Reds begin their three-game series in Washington with two top 10 picks from the 2009 MLB Draft on the mound. Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48), the first overall pick, will face off with Mike Leake (2-3, 3.09), picked eighth overall. Strasburg will pitch against the Reds for the third time in his…

  14. State of the Nats: Still staying afloat

    May 19, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Injury updates – This week the Nationals lost yet another man to the disabled list as Gio Gonzalez went down with left shoulder inflammation. The lefty will now be shut down until the second half of this week where he will then begin throwing. If all goes well from there, he could set himself up…

  15. Dominant bullpen has been biggest key to Nats’ success

    May 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    They’ve lost more than half their starting lineup to injuries at various points over the last two months. Their star-studded rotation has been decidedly average to date. And they’ve been among the worst defensive clubs in baseball. So how have the Nationals managed to go 23-20 over the season’s first seven weeks, leaving themselves a…

  16. Ramos heating up just when Nats need him most

    May 18, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Wilson Ramos went 0-for-4 on Saturday and saw his batting average drop to .154. With the Nationals scheduled to wrap up their weekend series against the Mets with a traditional Sunday afternoon game, the recently injured catcher figured to get a standard day off to rest his legs and clear his mind. Ramos, though, went…

  17. UPDATE: Gonzalez MRI shows only shoulder inflammation

    May 18, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 6:43 p.m. An enhanced MRI test of Gio Gonzalez’s injured shoulder showed no structural damage, only inflammation, giving the Nationals reason to believe the left-hander’s first career stint on the disabled list will be a short one. Gonzalez, who was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday morning, was examined by an orthopedist and…

  18. Instant analysis: Nats 6, Mets 3

    May 18, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Amid the disheartening news that Gio Gonzalez was heading to the DL with a shoulder inflammation, the Nationals took the field this afternoon trying to overcome yet another injury to a key player, win their weekend series against the Mets and potentially take over first place in the NL East. They…

  19. Game 43: Mets at Nats

    May 18, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    While the Nationals await word of Gio Gonzalez’s enhanced MRI, hoping they aren’t about to lose yet another key player to a long-term injury, they’ve got a chance to win this weekend series against the Mets. They also could move into first place if the Braves lose again in St. Louis. So there’s plenty on…

  20. Another rough start raises questions about Gio’s arm

    May 17, 2014, 8:54 PM EDT

    AP

    Since joining the Nationals 2 1/2 years ago, Gio Gonzalez has been prone to the occasional ragged start, sometimes the downright ugly start. But it has never happened to him twice in a row, and that’s why alarm bells are now ringing in the wake of the left-hander’s poor performance Saturday during a 5-2 loss…

  21. Instant analysis: Mets 5, Nats 2

    May 17, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With an opportunity to beat the Mets for the 10th consecutive time, the Nationals had to like their chances this afternoon. Gio Gonzalez had a track record of dominance against New York’s lineup, and the Nats have beaten up on the Mets’ pitching staff so far this season. Then the game…

  22. LaRoche “shocked” how much strained quad has improved

    May 17, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT

    AP

    Adam LaRoche stretched out his strained right quad muscle on Friday for the first time since landing on the disabled list and was stunned that he felt no evidence of the injury that had been hampering him for several weeks, giving the veteran first baseman reason to believe he’ll be able to return when eligible…

  23. Game 42: Mets at Nats

    May 17, 2014, 12:24 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals have had their way with the Mets so far this season, sweeping the opening series at Citi Field and then hanging on to win last night on South Capitol Street. But the dominance extends beyond that. Indeed, today the Nats will be seeking their 10th consecutive win over New York, a streak that…

  24. Inches from disaster

    May 17, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT

    AP

    The game was well in hand. The Nationals held a 5-2 lead over the Mets with two outs in the ninth, nobody on base, and all Rafael Soriano had to do was retire one more batter before giving up three runs. And then Soriano walked pinch-hitter Juan Lagares on four pitches. And then he walked…

  25. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 2

    May 16, 2014, 10:17 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a rough stretch that included 11-of-14 games on the road, the Nationals finally got a chance to open a nice run of games at home — 15 of 19 — and clearly appeared to enjoy the familiar surroundings and enthusiastic crowd. The Nats pounced on Mets left-hander Jonathan Niese, scoring…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 18.5
x-Clinched NL East title

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
LOS ANGELES 87 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 85 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.0 +2.0
PITTSBURGH 82 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 74 9.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
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.
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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