Jul 28, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
MIAMI — Denard Span has done this before, bounced back from a slow start to a season to finish on a sustained tear at the plate. So even when things weren’t going as well earlier this summer as the hoped they would, prompting some public questioning of his place in the Nationals’ lineup, he used…
Jul 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
MIAMI — Hello from the one and only (and thank god for that) Marlins Park, where tonight the Nationals open up the final leg of their 3-city road trip, facing a Miami club that has won 7 of its last 8. I have to say I am quite outraged at the moment. Though the accompanying…
Jul 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
Top storylines: Trade deadline – Much of the focus this week will be on Thursday’s trade deadline, at least around the league. There are star players such as David Price and Matt Kemp who could be on the move. The Phillies could blow it all up and clubs such as the Mariners could be looking for a…
Jul 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
There seems to be a sense among many that the Nationals haven’t really taken off as a team this season, that there’s a much higher level of success yet to reach for a talented ballclub that hasn’t achieved its full potential. And perhaps that’s true. Maybe the Nationals are still capable of going on some…
Jul 27, 2014, 11:22 AM EST
After a frustrating, 1-0 loss yesterday at Great American Ball Park, the Nationals return today needing a win to take the weekend series against the Reds and continue their impressive run. They’ve either won or split nine of their last 10 series. Who better, then, to have on the mound than Doug Fister? The right-hander…
Jul 26, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals have been on a tear at the plate in recent weeks, beating some decent pitchers along the way. But they hadn’t faced anyone quite like Johnny Cueto, who showed today why he has been among the NL’s most-dominant starters this season. Cueto tossed seven scoreless innings, striking out nine…
Jul 26, 2014, 2:04 PM EST
If you’re among those skeptics who keeps saying you’re waiting for the Nationals to go on a sustained run … well, perhaps you haven’t been paying very close attention. The Nats enter today’s game in Cincinnati having won 7 of 9 and 15 of 21. Since May 28, they are 31-17, the best record in…
Jul 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals offense has been among the best in the majors in the month of July, and lately we’ve seen exactly how integral Denard Span can be in keying their success. The Nats center fielder went 4-for-5 in the team’s 4-1 win over the Reds on Friday night, again setting the table for a lineup…
Jul 25, 2014, 3:22 PM EST
It’s hard to believe even while typing this that the Nationals are playing their 100th game of the season tonight. But here we are, as the Nats begin a three-game series with the injury-depleted Cincinnati Reds on Friday. The Reds are a game above .500 at 51-50, but many of their biggest names are currently out due…
Jul 25, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
There was plenty to talk about on this week’s episode of The Baseball Show. The Nationals have been playing some of their best baseball of 2014 in recent weeks, the trade deadline coming up, plus Ryan Zimmerman’s latest injury. Could Zim’s absence force the Nats’ hand with the trade deadline approaching? Mark discussed that very…
Jul 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Hughes: It’s hard to find a weakness with this team right now. Maybe their stadium, but that’s it. 2. Los Angeles Angels (LW: 2) – Hughes: L.A. now…
Jul 24, 2014, 10:14 AM EST
On this week’s episode, Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I brought in two excellent guests in USA Today national baseball writer Bob Nightengale and Harrisburg Senators infielder Matt Skole, one of the Nationals’ top prospects. Nightengale gave us a preview of the 2014 trade deadline and what he thinks both the Nationals and their rivals…
Jul 24, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
You may have noticed last week when I was covering the All-Star Game in Minneapolis that I noted Target Field was the last of the 30 current MLB ballparks I needed to visit. It’s a very cool achievement to be able to cross off my bucket list, and actually the list is even longer than…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With an opportunity to sweep the foundering Rockies and get their 9-game road off to a stellar start, the Nationals knew they’d need to compensate for the absences of Ryan Zimmerman (who was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain), Jayson Werth (given a day off to rest his…
Jul 23, 2014, 12:58 PM EST
First up, the news we all knew was coming: Ryan Zimmerman is headed to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The only question at this point is how long the Nationals’ third baseman will be out. It’ll be at least 15 days, obviously, and for now Zimmerman is being replaced on the active…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
They managed to keep their healthy lineup intact for 17 games before injury once again befell the Nationals last night. Ryan Zimmerman strained his right hamstring legging out a grounder in the top of the sixth at Coors Field, hustle that allowed a run to score and ultimately helped the Nationals secure a 7-4 victory…
Jul 22, 2014, 5:19 PM EST
When last we saw Jordan Zimmermann on a mound, he was motioning for a trainer, his right biceps muscle having cramped up. Zimmermann was confident all along he wasn’t seriously injured, and an MRI of his arm revealed no elbow or shoulder issues, only a muscle strain. He skipped the All-Star Game and had his…
Jul 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EST
For months, they pined for the day they would be able to field a healthy lineup, recognizing they couldn’t truly evaluate themselves until all eight of their Opening Day starters were back together again. Well, three weeks later, the healthy Nationals now boast the NL’s most-productive lineup. Not to mention the league’s best record. With…
Jul 21, 2014, 5:14 PM EST
Before Bryce Harper returned to his lineup three weeks ago, Matt Williams suggested he planned to mix and match his lineups, with Ryan Zimmerman in particular bouncing around multiple positions. To date, that hadn’t really happened. Zimmerman stayed at third base. Harper stayed in left field. Denard Span stayed in center field. Anthony Rendon stayed…
Jul 21, 2014, 12:45 PM EST
Top storylines: On the road – The Nationals took their first series of the second half with a 5-4 win over the Brewers on Sunday, and now they head out of town. Nine road games await them beginning with the Colorado Rockies on Monday. They then go to Cincinnati for three games before going south to Miami. Both the…
Jul 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals pulled out Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Brewers because of the bottom-of-the-ninth heroics by Jayson Werth, whose 2-out double scored Anthony Rendon all the way from first base and gave his teammates reason to mob him in the center of the diamond. Werth’s clutch hit, though, was made possible only by Rafael Soriano’s…
Jul 20, 2014, 7:31 PM EST
They spend hours before each series preparing for the upcoming opponent, studying the pitchers they’ll face, going over each outfielder’s strengths and weaknesses. Oftentimes, all the preparation is for naught. But sometimes, the perfect situation presents itself to use all that advanced scouting and apply it with the game on the line. That situation came…
Jul 20, 2014, 5:15 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a chance to pick up yet another series victory, the Nationals turned to Gio Gonzalez, who had been dominant over the last few weeks. But when Gonzalez struggled to even get through the fourth inning, Matt Williams instead turned to his bullpen to pull this one off. Craig Stammen, Drew…
Jul 20, 2014, 12:53 PM EST
There are few jobs in baseball tougher to master than pinch-hitting, so any evaluation of a player or a team’s performance in that realm has to be taken with a grain of salt. But facts are facts, and right now, Nationals pinch-hitters are among the worst in baseball. Collectively, they are hitting .153 as pinch-hitters,…
Jul 20, 2014, 11:30 AM EST
The Nationals have been playing pretty good baseball for awhile now, having lost only one of their last eight series (and that one’s a bit misleading because one of their four games with the Orioles was rained out, so technically they could still salvage a split after they play the makeup game). Today, they have…
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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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