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  1. State of the Nats: Moving on after the sweep

    Apr 14, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Goodbye, Braves – Though the Nationals would have loved to avoid the sweep this weekend, they have to be happy to leave Atlanta. The Braves have continued their dominance over the Nationals, pushing their record against Washington to 18-7 over the last two seasons. This year the Nats are 1-5 against their rivals and have been…

  2. Harper finding his groove at last

    Apr 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — Ever since declaring himself “pretty lost right now” at the plate nine days ago, Bryce Harper has been reluctant to say much of anything about himself. Even though the results of the last week suggest he’s anything but lost anymore. “I feel pretty good,” was the extent of Harper’s self-evaluation Sunday evening after…

  3. Head games

    Apr 13, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — It would be one thing if the Nationals’ struggles against the Braves were limited to one bad weekend, as was the case the last three days at Turner Field. Or a couple of bad series, as has been case the last 10 days. But the lopsided nature of this NL East rivalry has…

  4. Instant analysis: Braves 10, Nats 2

    Apr 13, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals arrived at Turner Field today reeling from injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span and from back-to-back losses to a Braves club that has completely owned them the last two seasons. Could they find a way to salvage one weekend victory against their division rivals, as they did last…

  5. Injury updates on Zimmerman, Span

    Apr 13, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span provided updates on their respective injuries Sunday morning, each maintaining upbeat spirits after getting hurt on freak plays over the weekend. Zimmerman, who fractured his right thumb diving back into second base while getting picked off Saturday night, was wearing a splint and will be examined Monday by…

  6. Game 12: Nats at Braves

    Apr 13, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    ATLANTA — The Nationals are a beaten-up bunch right now. Both in the physical sense, given the mounting injuries that culminated last night with Ryan Zimmerman fracturing his right thumb. And in the pure baseball sense, too, given two straight losses to the Braves to begin this weekend and four losses in five head-to-head games…

  7. Character test for battered, beaten Nationals

    Apr 13, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — Matt Williams sat back in his office chair at Turner Field and contemplated yet another question about yet another injury to yet another key member of his starting lineup. “It is what it is,” the first-year Nationals manager said. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. Gotta play.” That’s all Williams and anybody…

  8. Zimmerman out 4-6 weeks with fractured thumb

    Apr 13, 2014, 12:06 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 12:06 a.m. ATLANTA — A Nationals club already reeling from several injuries to key players now will be without another lineup stalwart for an extended period of time after Ryan Zimmerman fractured his right thumb during Saturday night’s loss to the Braves. Zimmerman, who hurt himself while getting picked off second base in…

  9. Instant analysis: Braves 6, Nats 3

    Apr 12, 2014, 10:43 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s a Nats-Braves game in Atlanta, so of course something strange was going to happen. Like Nate McLouth dropping a routine flyball while trying to transfer the ball to his throwing hand. Or Adam LaRoche cleanly catching a low line drive but having no ability to question the call of a…

  10. Span placed on concussion DL, Barrett optioned to AAA

    Apr 12, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — A Nationals club that already has had to deal with injuries to several key regulars in the season’s first two weeks has added another name to the fray, placing Denard Span on the 7-day concussion disabled list after the outfielder’s scary collision with Atlanta’s Dan Uggla during Friday night’s game at Turner Field.…

  11. Game 11: Nats at Braves

    Apr 12, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    ATLANTA — So, what do the Nationals and Braves have in store for us tonight? If I were a betting man — and I’m not — I would take the odds on this being another close ballgame, likely requiring more than nine innings to be decided. Why? Because of the last seven games played between…

  12. The Baseball Show: How will Nats handle Zimmerman?

    Apr 12, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

    Zimmerman's error looms large in Nats' loss

    The problems Ryan Zimmerman has had throwing the ball from third base have presented a unique problem for the Nationals. There is really no recent precedent for a guy who can throw lasers on the most difficult plays (including when bats are flying over his head), yet can’t hit his target on the routine ones.…

  13. More observations from last night’s loss

    Apr 12, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — There were no shortage of storylines to emerge from last night’s wild, 7-6, 10-inning loss at Turner Field. I focused more on the big picture in my game story, about the Nationals’ penchant for losing these kind of games to the Braves, but there were plenty more nuggets worth revisiting. Here’s a run-through…

  14. So close, yet so far away

    Apr 12, 2014, 1:19 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — There’s something about these games between the Nationals and Braves, something that elevates them from mere afterthoughts in a 162-game season into epic clashes with twists and turns and oddities that just don’t seem to happen against any other opponent. There’s also something about the most-common result of these nip-and-tuck games: The Braves…

  15. Instant analysis: Braves 7, Nats 6 (10)

    Apr 11, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Not even Tolstoy would have enough ink to cram every detail of this ballgame into one leather-bound book, but we’ll try to present the Cliff Notes’ version… Tanner Roark was beaten around for four early runs, putting the Nationals in another early hole. Ryan Zimmerman’s bomb off Julio Teheran in the…

  16. Fister throws off bullpen mound, reports no problems

    Apr 11, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    AP

    ATLANTA — Doug Fister took another key step toward his eventual return from a strained lat muscle on Friday, throwing 35 pitches in a bullpen session at Turner Field and reporting no problems with either his side or his elbow. “Really impressive,” manager Matt Williams said. “Threw it where he wanted to, had good life,…

  17. Game 10: Nats at Braves

    Apr 11, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    ATLANTA — Hello from Turner Field, where tonight the Nationals (owners of a best-in-baseball 7-2 record) open a big, three-game series with the Braves (who after losing two of three to the Mets sit at 5-4 overall). As has been noted, the Nats found themselves with the exact same record one year ago, facing the…

  18. Nationals hope Games 10-12 vs. Braves go better this time around

    Apr 11, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After beating the Miami Marlins on Thursday to secure their second series sweep of this young season, the Nationals moved to 7-2 through nine games on the year. That’s a .778 winning percentage, and a pretty good start, right? Well, what if you were told the Nationals started each of the last two seasons with…

  19. Barrett passes yet another test with Stanton strikeout in Nats’ win

    Apr 11, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    This time last year, Aaron Barrett was one week into the job as closer of the Harrisburg Senators. He was still searching for his first career save at the Double-A level. Fast forward 12 months and Barrett is a budding star in the Washington Nationals’ bullpen. He’s yet to allow a run through five career…

  20. Werth, Desmond homer as Nats continue offensive surge

    Apr 10, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals completed their sweep of the Miami Marlins on Thursday in what ended up a 7-1 blowout in the box score. But for much of the game the Nationals were hanging on to a one-run lead thanks to an efficient start by Stephen Strasburg, and another big hit by Jayson Werth. Werth gave the…

  21. Strasburg brilliant in Nats’ 7-1 win over Marlins

    Apr 10, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Stephen Strasburg entered Thursday’s matinee against the Marlins with a 6.10 ERA after two starts, and just a day after the Nationals’ bullpen was needed for over seven innings. He was also facing a Marlins team who, even in their lowest moments, seem to give him trouble. Fortunately for the Nationals – as they head into a…

  22. Instant Analysis: Nats 7, Marlins 1

    Apr 10, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Stephen Strasburg overcame his two poor starts to begin the season with a dominant performance against the upstart Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon. The right-hander dazzled through 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, putting on an efficient display through 98 pitches. Strasburg allowed only three hits to the Marlins and struck out 12. He…

  23. Williams shares good news on Fister; talks arguing with umpires

    Apr 10, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Matt Williams’ pregame session on Thursday covered a wide array of subjects involving the Nationals including some good news on Doug Fister and the skipper’s early impressions of MLB’s system of manager’s challenges. First, the Fister part. The right-hander played catch before Thursday’s game and is now slated to throw a bullpen within the next two…

  24. Game 9: Marlins at Nats

    Apr 10, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    def9f-nationalspark806mz

    Checking in here at Nationals Park where it is absolutely perfect in terms of weather. The temperature is at about 65 degrees and it should warm up to about 70 before game time. Today Stephen Strasburg (0-1, 6.10) will make his third start of the 2014 season. It’s been a mixed bag for the right-hander…

  25. Podcast: Baseball in the District – MLB.com’s Richard Justice

    Apr 10, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The first week of the 2014 season gave us plenty to talk about on this edition of ‘Baseball in the District.’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I first talked about Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder troubles, and the effect they could have on the future of the Nationals’ infield. We then went into Anthony Rendon’s hot…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 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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