Sep 11, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT
The Nationals hit the road for 11 games in 11 days in three cities, a lengthy late-season stretch that is very likely to include the NL East clincher somewhere at the tail end. First things first: They’ve got four games against the Mets at Citi Field, which has been very, very kind to this team.…
Sep 11, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
Here is a look around Major League Baseball with analysis of each team from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Angels (LW: 1) – Hughes: I think it’s clear at this point the Angels are the frontrunners for the World Series. 2. Orioles (LW: 2) – Roney: I…
Sep 11, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT
Five days after getting temporarily removed from his job as closer, and two days after throwing a bullpen to tweak his mechanics, Rafael Soriano appeared in the Nats’ 6-2 loss to the Braves on Sunday in a low-leverage situation to continue searching for a fix. It was the top of the eighth inning and it…
Sep 10, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT
Say this for Matt Williams: His never-look-back, never-look-ahead mantra has permeated through the entire Nationals clubhouse in his first season as manager. Williams has refused throughout to discuss much of anything involving events or decisions that come on future dates, and his players have picked up on it along the way, never letting themselves get…
Sep 10, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s not often the Nationals find themselves with an opportunity to sweep the Braves. They hadn’t actually pulled that feat off since 2012, not at home since 2008. They still haven’t done it after a fairly lifeless performance this afternoon in the series finale against their division rivals. With Ian Desmond…
Sep 10, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT
With their series against the Braves in hand, and an 11-game road trip up ahead, the Nationals are resting both Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond on Wednesday with minor ailments. Rendon has flu-like symptoms, similar to what sidelined Adam LaRoche a week prior. Desmond is out with lower back tightness after leaving Tuesday’s game with…
Sep 10, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT
We welcomed in two guests on this week’s episode of Baseball in the District, CSN Insider Mark Zuckerman and Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network. Mark was great on the Nats’ bullpen situation, the pennant race and who should be the favorite in the NL. McAlpin talked about the struggling Braves and how the team’s morale…
Sep 10, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT
The Nationals have an opportunity today to do something they haven’t done in quite some time: sweep the Braves. They haven’t done it since May 2012 at Turner Field, when Chien-Ming Wang got the win in relief, Steve Lombardozzi led off and played left field, Rick Ankiel drove in two runs and Jesus Flores was…
Sep 10, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT
There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Nationals could do no right when placed on the same baseball diamond as the Braves. They gave up runs in bunches. They failed to deliver hits with men on base. They botched plays in the field. If there was a way to lose a…
Sep 9, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a chance to put another nail in the Braves’ coffin, the Nationals broke out the hammer right away tonight. They scored four runs in the bottom of the first off Ervin Santana, then added another in the second to open up a commanding 5-0 lead and leave their NL East…
Sep 9, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman took a significant step in his return from a major hamstring injury Tuesday, taking batting practice on the field with the rest of his teammates before the Nationals’ game against the Braves. Zimmerman, who suffered a Grade 3 right hamstring strain July 22, took swings in the cage with Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper…
Sep 9, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT
In a sense, the only thing the Nationals really needed to do this week was beat the Braves once. They did that last night, so if you want to look at it this way, anything they do now is gravy. Matt Williams and Co., of course, don’t think of things that way, so don’t expect…
Sep 9, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Matt Williams said before Monday’s game he wouldn’t manage late-inning situations any differently despite a bullpen in flux, extra options due to September roster expansion and the night’s opponent being the Atlanta Braves. But then the game unfolded and, with a two-run lead entering the eighth inning, the circumstances called for a little creativity. Up 2-0…
Sep 9, 2014, 12:27 AM EDT
Matt Williams popped out of the dugout and walked toward the mound, which could only mean one thing as far as the crowd of 25,448 was concerned. Doug Fister’s night was done with two outs in the seventh, and the Nationals’ bullpen was going to need to finish off this victory over the Braves. Fans…
Sep 8, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You want tense, September pennant-race drama against a division rival? You got it tonight when the Nationals and Braves opened a big, 3-game series that will go a long way toward either moving the Nats a step closer to the NL East title or allow Atlanta to sneak its way back…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT
When the MLB calendar reaches its final weeks and the season transitions from summer to fall, Nationals Park can sometimes present a surprise for whoever is playing in the outfield. During day games in September, the sun can make it very difficult to see flyballs, particularly ones that travel low to right and right-center field. Nationals players call it…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman was on the field during batting practice Monday, taking light grounders, jogging and throwing. The injured Nationals third baseman, though, still hasn’t been cleared for full running or swinging a bat, leaving him less and less time to get himself back in reasonable good shape for the end of the regular season. “The…
Sep 8, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT
Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano began the process of fixing his mechanics on Monday with a bullpen session in front of pitching coach Steve McCatty in Washington. Soriano was taken out of the closer spot after blowing a career-high seventh save of the season on Friday night. It is a temporary move to get the 34-year-old back on track…
Sep 8, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
So it begins: with just 21 games left on their regular season schedule, the Nationals will kick off a stretch where they play six of their next 10 against the second-place Atlanta Braves on Monday night. Seven games separate the two, giving the Nationals a big opportunity to put their rivals down for good. Doug…
Sep 8, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
The Nationals will open their 2015 season at home against the Mets and will face all AL East teams in interleague play, including a potentially huge late-September showdown with the Orioles on South Capitol Street. Major League Baseball released the entire regular-season schedule this afternoon, one that features plenty of familiar matchups but also includes…
Sep 8, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
Top storylines: Braves in town – The Nationals have 21 games remaining and a seven-game lead in the NL East, but six of their next 10 will come against the Atlanta Braves. If the Braves have any prayer whatsoever of getting back in this thing, their run has to begin on Monday night when they start…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Cole Hamels said it Sunday afternoon after taking a loss to the Nationals. “If they maintain the way they are playing right now,” the Phillies ace said, “they are going to be walking in a parade somewhere.” Strong words from a rival player, but one who has seen the Nationals enough this season (and especially…
Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EDT
The door to the right-field bullpen swung open, and as the crowd of 29,108 began to recognize a familiar figure and a familiar walk-in song emerging, applause began to circulate around Nationals Park. And by the time Drew Storen had two outs on Ryan Howard, finishing off the Phillies slugger with a devastating, 3-2 change-up…
Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Having lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five straight to the Phillies, and now needing to beat Cole Hamels to avoid a sweep, the Nationals weren’t exactly in an ideal situation this afternoon. But they came through with a strong, if not flawless, performance in this…
Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT
Well into spring training, Tanner Roark didn’t know if he’d even be a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation. He might have broken camp as a reliever. He might have begun the season in Syracuse. Roark, of course, did make the rotation and hasn’t ceded his spot since, pitching exceptionally well. But he’s also…
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Monday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
Full season schedule
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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