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  1. Defensive miscues prove costly in Game 1 loss

    Oct 4, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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,…

  2. Harper’s homer nearly ignites comeback

    Oct 3, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  3. Strasburg’s playoff debut produces mixed bag

    Oct 3, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  4. UPDATED: Nats come up short in tense NLDS opener

    Oct 3, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  5. Updated: Soriano makes roster, Detwiler does not

    Oct 3, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT

    b20a7-sorianoni_8-15

    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…

  6. NLDS Game 1: Giants at Nats

    Oct 3, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  7. Experience vs. lots of experience

    Oct 3, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

    Comments Off
    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  8. Homecoming for both Williams & Bochy

    Oct 3, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  9. A postseason debut two years in the making

    Oct 3, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  10. Nats try to sustain momentum with simulated game

    Oct 2, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  11. Updated: Zim’s playoff role still unclear

    Oct 2, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    [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…

  12. Nats yet to name Game 4 starter, playoff roster

    Oct 2, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    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…

  13. Strasburg named Game 1 starter

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  14. Breaking down Nats-Giants season series

    Oct 2, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  15. Nats get Giants in NLDS, Game 1 Friday at 3:07 p.m.

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  16. NL Wild Card game: Giants at Pirates

    Oct 1, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  17. Who should the Nats prefer to play?

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:08 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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.…

  18. How the 2014 Nationals differ from the 2012 Nationals

    Oct 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  19. ‘Now the fun begins’

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    All throughout the 2014 season, the Washington Nationals and in particular their veteran leaders have talked about winning the NL East as step one in their long list of goals. Win the division, make the playoffs and give themselves an opportunity to play for a championship, a chance they did not get one year ago.…

  20. Harper to play showcase in Japan

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:34 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    After whatever happens with the Nationals in the MLB playoffs this October, outfielder Bryce Harper will keep playing, as the two-time All-Star has decided to travel to Japan as part of a showcase series. Harper will join MLB players Jose Altuve and Justin Morneau on a roster that already includes Yasiel Puig, Robinson Cano, Albert…

  21. Podcast: Nats postseason preview show

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

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    USA Today Sports Images

    Suffering from Nats withdrawal right now? Not sure you can make it til Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday afternoon? Well, here’s something to help get you through this little break before the playoffs. ESPN 980 AM was nice enough to invite me to join Tim Murray for a 2-hour special show last night…

  22. Playoffs begin tonight

    Sep 30, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The playoffs begin on Tuesday night with the American League Wild Card game, the first installment of what should be an exciting month of baseball. It is the first playoff game for the Royals since 1985 and standing in their way is a team that for much of the year looked like the class of…

  23. 5 questions facing the Nats in the postseason

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    There’s been plenty of talk over the last few weeks of the Nationals being the most-complete team in baseball, the postseason contender with the fewest areas of concern. That may well be true, but that doesn’t mean they have zero areas of concern. No ballclub is perfect, including the Nats, and every one enters October…

  24. Afternoon start times for Games 1 and 2

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    MLBPostseasonLogo

    The Nationals’ first two games in what they hope will be a lengthy postseason run will be played in the afternoon. Though they won’t know precisely what time it all begins until they know the identity of their first-round opponent. Major League Baseball announced starting times this evening for the first weekend of the postseason,…

  25. Revisiting Opening Day predictions

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    AP

    Hey, remember when the biggest questions facing the Nationals were things like: “How many innings will Stephen Strasburg pitch this season?” and “How many errors will Ryan Zimmerman commit at third base?” and “Will the No. 5 starter be Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan or Tanner Roark?” Ah, those were the days. But that’s what we…

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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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