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  1. Strasburg, Nats can’t finish it off

    May 25, 2014, 12:21 AM EST

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Stephen Strasburg wants to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. The Nationals want Strasburg to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. So it was that…

  2. Instant analysis: Pirates 3, Nats 2

    May 24, 2014, 10:15 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A rare showdown between fellow No. 1 overall draft picks played out as most would have hoped, with Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole trading blows for much of the night in a tense, low-scoring ballgame. Strasburg, the top pick in 2009, appeared to have the edge on Cole, the top pick…

  3. LaRoche rejoins Nats, will be activated Sunday

    May 24, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Adam LaRoche walked into the visitors clubhouse at PNC Park this afternoon, found a locker waiting with his equipment and uniform already in place and made it clear he will be in the Nationals’ lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the the Pirates. “Yeah,” he said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.” Having emerged…

  4. Game 49: Nats at Pirates

    May 24, 2014, 3:13 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — There have been 49 Major League Baseball amateur drafts, and of the 49 players selected with the No. 1 overall pick, only 16 have been pitchers. And two of those 16 pitchers (Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole) will be on the mound tonight at PNC Park, squaring off against each other. It’s only…

  5. VIDEO: The Baseball Show

    May 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

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    USA Today Sports Images

    This week’s episode of The Baseball Show, as you can expect, featured a lot of talk about injuries. The Nationals continue to see their best players head to the disabled list, while those who are left aim to keep the team in the division race. In this first clip from Thursday’s show, Mark Zuckerman talked…

  6. Podcast: ‘Baseball in the District’ – ESPN’s Adnan Virk

    May 24, 2014, 11:57 AM EST

    Comments Off
    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In this week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed two guests. The first was host of ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight,’ Adnan Virk. Virk gave a national perspective on the Nats and also talked about his favorite baseball movies. The second guest was Dave Nichols of The District Sports Page. Dave…

  7. Nats’ rotation not living up to reputation

    May 24, 2014, 11:22 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    PITTSBURGH — The Nationals woke up this morning a .500 club, and the majority of the blame for that is being heaped upon a lineup that ranks dead-last in baseball this month in runs (63), batting average (.228) and on-base percentage (.290). And rightfully so. The No. 1 issue facing this club right now is…

  8. Injured, unproductive and back at .500

    May 24, 2014, 12:06 AM EST

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — The Washington Nationals, a team that only two months ago headed north from Florida with a loaded roster and the loftiest of expectations, fielded a lineup Friday night that featured one player with a batting average over .277. And that was their pitcher. Their cleanup man was hitting .182. The highest batting average…

  9. Instant analysis: Pirates 4, Nats 3

    May 23, 2014, 10:20 PM EST

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s a struggle for the Nationals to score runs these days, with a lineup lacking Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper. But these guys seem to be finding new ways every night to drive themselves (and their fans) crazy when it comes to clutch situations at the plate. Despite a…

  10. Gonzalez throwing session delayed by stiffness

    May 23, 2014, 6:20 PM EST

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Gio Gonzalez’s planned throwing session Friday — his first since going on the disabled list Sunday — was called off after the Nationals left-hander noted stiffness in his injured shoulder. Manager Matt Williams expressed no concern about the development, referring to it as “normal” and saying Gonzalez simply will be pushed back a…

  11. Game 48: Nats at Pirates

    May 23, 2014, 3:32 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — Hello from beautiful PNC Park, which looks spectacular as always. After staying back in D.C. last night to appear on CSN’s Baseball Show, I made the easy drive up here this morning and will be on-site the rest of the weekend. The Nationals are trying to bounce back from a tough 3-1 loss…

  12. Detwiler’s struggles continue in Nats’ loss

    May 23, 2014, 7:02 AM EST

    Photo by The Associated Press

    In a season filled with inconsistency from night to night, the one relative constant for the Nationals has been their bullpen. Their 2.11 ERA is best among MLB relief units, they are balanced left to right, and they have veteran experience. The one exception, though, has been Ross Detwiler. For whatever reason, the former sixth…

  13. Game 47: Nats at Pirates

    May 22, 2014, 3:32 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Blake Treinen impressed in his first career start 16 days ago against the Dodgers. Tonight, the right-hander gets a chance to make a second impression, rejoining the Nationals rotation to replace the injured Gio Gonzalez. Treinen was very good in two starts with Class AAA Syracuse since we last saw him (three runs allowed in…

  14. Nationals Stock Watch: Fister on the rise

    May 22, 2014, 12:18 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 3-3 Team slash: .233/.287/.333 Team ERA:  2.61 Runs per game:  5.16 STOCK UP  Doug Fister, SP: 1-0/2.57 ERA/1.00 WHIP  After a tough first start in Oakland, Fister has bounced back and showed the Nationals exactly why they traded for him in the offseason. The…

  15. Span hits first home run as hot streak continues

    May 22, 2014, 9:58 AM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    After tying a Nationals’ record with a perfect 5-for-5 game on Tuesday night, center fielder Denard Span picked up right where he left off against the Reds on Wednesday. Span took the second pitch from Reds’ starter Alfredo Simon over the right field fence for his first home run of the season. Six plate appearances…

  16. Roark, Simon both return after long rain delay

    May 21, 2014, 10:20 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals and Reds were cruising through their game on Wednesday when the skies opened up with a torrential downpour in the top of the sixth inning. Nationals’ starter Tanner Roark threw a few pitches while getting drenched before a challenge call by Reds’ manager Bryan Price stalled the game, and eventually helped lead to…

  17. Nats call up Treinen, option Mattheus

    May 21, 2014, 9:07 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Needing a starter for Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh, the Nationals have called up right-hander Blake Treinen from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned reliever Ryan Mattheus back down to make room. Treinen will now take Gio Gonzalez’ spot in the Nats’ rotation as the lefty serves a 15-day stint on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. “Ryan…

  18. Instant Analysis: Reds 2, Nats 1

    May 21, 2014, 7:59 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals entered the day with a chance to take the series against the Reds and head to Pittsburgh on a high note, but this time they could not solve Cincinnati’s starting pitcher as they did the night before. Alfredo Simon gave up one run, on a leadoff solo homer by Denard…

  19. LaRoche could join Potomac on Thursday

    May 21, 2014, 3:48 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Nationals manager Matt Williams gave several injury updates before Wednesday’s game against the Reds, most notably the team’s plans for Adam LaRoche to complete a minor league rehab assignment this week before his return. LaRoche ran the bases on Wednesday and will have his strained right quad evaluated by the team’s training staff before his…

  20. Game 46: Reds at Nats

    May 21, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    After beating Johnny Cueto and the Reds on Tuesday night, the Nationals enter Wednesday having won four of their last six games. They now have a chance to take the series against Cincinnati before heading on the road for a four-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.65) will start for Washington as…

  21. Nats Park “feels like home” to Fister in D.C. debut

    May 21, 2014, 10:44 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    It’s been something of an odd, nomadic existence so far for Doug Fister. He was traded to the Nationals five months ago, but all of his time to date had been spent away from his new home. Fister spent the spring in Viera, Fla., with the rest of his teammates, then stayed there after landing…

  22. Span’s career night leads Nats’ takedown of Cueto

    May 21, 2014, 12:28 AM EST

    AP

    What’s a good leadoff man worth? How much difference does it make if the guy atop a team’s lineup is productive or not? For the Nationals, it appears to mean everything. Put simply: When Denard Span does well, the Nats do well. When he doesn’t, they don’t. “It sets up everything,” teammate Jayson Werth said.…

  23. Instant analysis: Nats 9, Reds 4

    May 20, 2014, 10:08 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Talk about an imposing matchup: The Nationals, who have scored the fewest runs in the majors in May and have struggled all season against right-handers, had to go up against the best pitcher in baseball to date. Johnny Cueto entered with a 1.25 ERA, the first pitcher modern baseball history to…

  24. Zimmerman still not cleared hit start hitting

    May 20, 2014, 6:35 PM EST

    AP

    The latest X-ray of Ryan Zimmerman’s right thumb showed the fracture that has sidelined him more than five weeks has not fully healed, preventing the Nationals third baseman from being able to start hitting and delaying his eventual return from the disabled list. Zimmerman, out since fracturing the thumb on an April 12 pickoff play…

  25. Game 45: Reds at Nats

    May 20, 2014, 3:23 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals’ lineup — in its current, injury-plagued form — is not particularly effective against right-handed pitching. Their .236 team batting average against righties ranks 23rd in the majors this season. (As opposed to their .284 batting average against left-handers, third-best in baseball.) So tonight’s matchup against Johnny Cueto does not particularly favor the Nats.…

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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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