Oct 5, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT
Though the Nationals came out on the wrong end of Game 2 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, the night will go down in MLB history as the longest playoff game ever played. The players involved surely won’t appreciate the significance of that until the season is over, but we can. Here is…
Oct 5, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT
Drew Storen had been there before: on the mound at Nationals Park, searching for the final out of a playoff game. Though a lot had happened in the two years between Storen’s fateful collapse in the 2012 NLDS and his first postseason appearance in the time since on Saturday night, the result was about the…
Oct 5, 2014, 3:08 AM EDT
Frustrated with what they viewed as an inconsistent strike zone from home plate umpire Vic Carapazza, both Nationals manager Matt Williams and Asdrubal Cabrera allowed it to all boil over and result in ejections from Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday night. Both got the hook in the bottom of the 10th inning, though…
Oct 5, 2014, 12:02 AM EDT
Updated at 2:40 a.m. The stage was set. Everything was lined up for a perfect October evening at the ballpark. Jordan Zimmermann was about to toss a shutout and give the Nationals a 1-0 victory in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. And then this story took the first of several stunning turns…
Oct 4, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and his wife, Chelsey, are expecting their third child this month, and it could cause the two-time Silver Slugger to miss a playoff game. Manager Matt Williams gave an update on the situation Saturday, saying Chelsey is “very close” and is expected to give birth any day now. Whether it could…
Oct 4, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Some food for thought as we count down to Game 2 later this afternoon: 1) The Nationals haven’t lost two straight games in nearly a month (Sept. 5-6 against the Phillies), 2) They’ve won 3-of-4 (what would be required now to win this series) 21 times this season, and 3) The guy taking the mound…
Oct 4, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
After a frustrating Game 1 loss that shifted the Giants’ way on minor defensive mistakes and missed opportunities at the plate, the Nationals turn the page on Saturday with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound. Zimmermann (14-5, 2.66) is coming off the best start of his career, and now he arguably enters his most important thus…
Oct 4, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals lost Game 1 of the NLDS, more than anything, because of their inability to produce one hit with a runner in scoring position. But had they not made three defensive miscues of varying degrees, they might not have ever needed that elusive clutch hit. Of the three runs the Giants scored Friday afternoon,…
Oct 3, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT
In his short time in the majors, Bryce Harper has developed a knack for hitting targets in big league ballparks on home runs. The Blackberry sign in Toronto? Check. The restaurant in right field out in Seattle? Yup. Heck, even before he reached the bigs, Harper was pelting homers off the back wall at Tropicana…
Oct 3, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT
Stephen Strasburg was probably looking forward to pitching in the postseason for much longer than just the last two years. But given he was shut down towards the end of 2012 as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery – taken out of the equation just weeks before his teammates entered the playoffs – Friday’s…
Oct 3, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT
Updated at 9:50 p.m. October baseball is unlike any baseball that precedes it. The Nationals learned this two years ago. They knew it when they took the field Friday afternoon for the first game of what they hope is a lengthy postseason run. Every moment is magnified. Every scoring opportunity looms large. It’s the team…
Oct 3, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT
The Nationals announced their 25-man playoff roster for the NLDS right at the deadline on Friday at 10 a.m. The biggest surprises are Ross Detwiler being left off and Rafael Soriano being included as their eighth reliever. Veteran bench player Scott Hairston is also not on the list. Manager Matt Williams explained his reasoning to…
Oct 3, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT
And so it begins. The last six months provided great theater and 96 wins, but the slate has been wiped clean and it’s time to start over. The postseason begins today in Washington, D.C. Stephen Strasburg gets the ball for Game 1, his first career postseason start. He’s been great down the stretch. He’s been…
Oct 3, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT
The Nationals enter their NLDS matchup with the San Francisco Giants on Friday in much better shape than they were two years ago. In 2012 much of their roster had never played in the playoffs before, now they have five October games to draw from. But their opponents, the San Francisco Giants, have even more experience…
Oct 3, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT
Nationals manager Matt Williams has done plenty to prove his abilities as a rookie skipper this season. Yes, his team is among the most talented in baseball, but guiding a club to the best record in your league is no easy task. Take into account all the injuries they endured early this season and Williams did…
Oct 3, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Stephen Strasburg typically isn’t one for introspection, and the next time he tries to put one outing into the context of the larger picture will be the first time. So the Nationals’ ace wasn’t about to take the bait Thursday afternoon when asked to revisit the situation that resulted in his watching the 2012 NLDS…
Oct 2, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
While their counterparts were preparing for a do-or-die Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh, the Nationals tried to find their own way to play something resembling a competitive ballgame Wednesday. It didn’t count, and came in a highly controlled environment, but the Nationals’ simulated game was the best activity they could think of to try to…
Oct 2, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT
[Updated: 5:55 p.m.] The Nationals held a simulated game at Nats Park on Wednesday with the hopes of getting Doug Fister some action against live hitters during a long layoff between starts and for Ryan Zimmerman to further test his sore right hamstring. Zimmerman, though, was unable to play third base in the game and…
Oct 2, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT
Nationals manager Matt Williams began his press conference the day before Game 1 of the NLDS by confirming several pieces of information everyone pretty much already knew. Stephen Strasburg will start Game 1 against the San Francisco Giants, as expected, and Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister will pitch Games 2 and 3. As for his…
Oct 2, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT
Stephen Strasburg’s first career postseason start will come right out of the chute. Strasburg was formally named the Nationals’ Game 1 starter for their National League Division Series against the Giants by manager Matt Williams, designated as the postseason ace of the majors’ best rotation. The decision to give the ball to Strasburg for Game…
Oct 2, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT
The Nats took five out of the seven games they played against the San Francisco Giants this year, the team they will now face in the National League Division Series. Both of their series this season came at interesting times, the first when the Giants were the best team in baseball and the second when…
Oct 1, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT
Two years later, the Nationals will finally get their chance to face the Giants in the postseason. San Francisco won Wednesday night’s NL Wild Card game, riding Madison Bumgarner’s dominant pitching performance and Brandon Crawford’s grand slam to beat the Pirates and a stunned sellout crowd at PNC Park 8-0, setting up an NLDS showdown…
Oct 1, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
Sometime late tonight the Nationals will find out their opponent for the first round of the playoffs, the NLDS which begins Friday with Game 1 in Washington. Wednesday night pits two 88-74 NL Wild Card teams together in a do-or-die showdown, the winner moving on to face the top seeded Nats. Pittsburgh gets to host…
Oct 1, 2014, 1:08 PM EDT
On Wednesday night the Nationals will find out their opponent for the NLDS, as the 88-74 Pittsburgh Pirates host the 88-74 San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game. The Nats are a combined 9-5 against the two teams, having taken five of seven against the Giants and four of seven against the Pirates.…
Oct 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
When the Nationals prepared to face the Cardinals in the 2012 NLDS, they tried to downplay the significance of their lack of October experience vs. their highly decorated counterparts from St. Louis. By the time that series ended in heartbreaking fashion, more than a few players acknowledged what so many suspected: Experience does count in…
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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