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  1. Roark proving he’s the real deal

    Apr 26, 2014, 5:59 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    On July 30, 2010, Mike Rizzo made a deadline deal with the Rangers that seemed notable at the time only for the fact the Nationals general manager was able to find a taker for under-performing, aging shortstop Cristian Guzman. The two minor-league pitchers the Nationals received in return for Guzman had little pedigree. Ryan Tatusko…

  2. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Padres 0

    Apr 26, 2014, 3:25 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In a star-studded Nationals rotation, Tanner Roark can easily be overlooked. That may not be the case much longer. Roark tossed the game of his life this afternoon, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning and then going the distance for his first career shutout, surrendering only three hits to…

  3. UPDATE: Harper getting MRI on swollen left thumb

    Apr 26, 2014, 12:01 PM EST

    AP

    Updated at 5:01 p.m. Bryce Harper was due to have an MRI performed on his swollen left thumb late Saturday afternoon after the Nationals outfielder was examined by a hand specialist during the club’s 4-0 victory over the Padres. The MRI is standard procedure, and the Nationals remain hopeful that the injury is not serious,…

  4. Game 25: Padres at Nats

    Apr 26, 2014, 11:35 AM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Let’s get right to the most-significant news of the morning: Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals’ lineup after jamming his left thumb sliding into third base last night. Harper’s thumb remains swollen, and though X-rays were negative, he is scheduled to be examined by a hand specialist today. Manager Matt Williams still doesn’t believe…

  5. The hits finally come, and they come in bunches

    Apr 26, 2014, 12:59 AM EST

    AP

    Matt Williams only wanted his Nationals to keep giving themselves opportunities to drive in runs, insisting more opportunities would eventually lead to more runs. Little could the rookie manager have realized how dramatically that would prove true only 24 hours after one of the most-frustrating offensive performances in club history. The Nationals torched the Padres…

  6. Harper doesn’t believe left thumb injury is serious

    Apr 26, 2014, 12:25 AM EST

    AP

    Updated at 12:25 a.m. Bryce Harper’s biggest hit in two weeks may have come at a price, but the Nationals’ young star doesn’t believe the left thumb injury he suffered Friday night sliding into third base on a clutch triple is serious. “I didn’t think so,” Harper said following the Nationals’ 11-1 win over the…

  7. Instant analysis: Nats 11, Padres 1

    Apr 25, 2014, 11:10 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an agonizing, extra-inning loss in which they simply could not buy a clutch hit, the Nationals completely flipped the script. But this lopsided victory may have come at a price, with Bryce Harper leaving early with an apparent left hand injury. Harper appeared to hurt himself sliding…

  8. Nats happy with MLB’s fix of transfer rule

    Apr 25, 2014, 6:23 PM EST

    AP

    After 3 1/2 weeks of controversial calls that left nearly everyone in baseball confused over what constituted a catch and what didn’t, Major League Baseball abruptly changed its interpretation of the so-called “transfer rule” on Friday, and members of the Nationals couldn’t be happier about it. “The longer it went on, and the more occasions…

  9. Game 24: Padres at Nats

    Apr 25, 2014, 3:24 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    One night after stranding 14 men on base and setting a franchise record by going 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position, the Nationals have to hope they’ll be more productive at the plate in the second of their four-game series with the Padres. Matt Williams, showing confidence in a lineup that did rack up 16…

  10. The Baseball Show: How can Nats fix their defense?

    Apr 25, 2014, 12:38 PM EST

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    On Thursday’s episode of ‘The Baseball Show,’ Mark discussed the Nationals’ defensive problems with Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak. The Nats currently lead the majors with 25 errors in 23 games, and it’s continuing to cost them. Also, below is a segment I did on the comparisons between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Though everyone in the…

  11. Lobaton, Stammen lament ‘slow death’ loss

    Apr 25, 2014, 10:29 AM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    In a marathon game of 12 innings – four hours and 14 minutes of baseball – the Nationals ended up taking their 11th loss of the season at the hands of a former teammate. The Padres have had major troubles scoring runs this season, but they broke through on a Xavier Nady RBI single in…

  12. Record-setting woes with men in scoring position

    Apr 25, 2014, 12:57 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    If the Nationals keep giving themselves opportunities to drive in runs, they will eventually convert at least some of those opportunities, that’s what Matt Williams insists. “It’s part of the game, and it is the game,” the rookie manager said after watching his team go a staggering 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position during Thursday…

  13. Instant analysis: Padres 4, Nats 3 (12)

    Apr 24, 2014, 11:21 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Fresh off a pair of tough series against the Cardinals and Angels, the Nationals now get a chance to close out their season-long homestand with four games against the offensively challenged Padres, who entered the day with the fewest runs in the majors. But a couple of clutch hits off Jordan…

  14. Injury updates on Gio, Fister & Hairston

    Apr 24, 2014, 6:51 PM EST

    Gio1_4-14

    Nationals manager Matt Williams shared some injury updates on pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister on Thursday, as well as backup outfielder Scott Hairston. Gonzalez, who was pulled from his Wednesday night start with left shoulder tightness, felt normal soreness for the day after a start on Thursday morning. Williams said he is not concerned…

  15. Game 23: Padres at Nats

    Apr 24, 2014, 3:15 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Today the Nationals host the San Diego Padres in the first of a four-game series at Nationals Park, the final series of this season-long homestand. The Nats were victorious last night in a walk-off thriller, and will look to keep it going today. Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 3.92) is set to pitch for Washington with lefty…

  16. Baseball in the District: Thom Loverro of ESPN 980 talks Nats

    Apr 24, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

    Comments Off
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    After a week off of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 have returned with our longest episode yet. Two guests joined us this week: Thom Loverro of ESPN 980, and Jesse Agler of the San Diego Padres to preview the Nats’ upcoming series. Before the guests joined on, Tim and I talked…

  17. Deconstructing the ninth-inning rally

    Apr 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have produced enough late rallies already this season — they’ve got seven come-from-behind victories in 22 games — that they don’t ever feel a sense of panic, or feel like all hope is lost. But last night’s bottom-of-the-ninth drama was particularly out-of-the-blue given the situation. Trailing 4-1 and showing little sign of life…

  18. Gonzalez pulled with shoulder tightness

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:33 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Nationals’ starter Gio Gonzalez was removed from Wednesday night’s game in the sixth inning after complaining of tightness in his left shoulder. The game-time temperature was 54 degrees, a cold night for April 23, and manager Matt Williams described the move as precautionary. Gonzalez is not expected to miss any time at this point. “It’s a…

  19. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Angels 4

    Apr 23, 2014, 10:27 PM EST

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Trying to avoid an interleague series sweep, the Nationals needed a good start from Gio Gonzalez. They got one, but that still wasn’t good enough. Until some high drama in the bottom of the ninth. Cruising for five innings, Gonzalez quickly got into trouble in the sixth when he walked Mike…

  20. Injury updates on Zimmerman, Hairston

    Apr 23, 2014, 5:14 PM EST

    AP

    Ryan Zimmerman and Scott Hairston each are making progress in their recovery from injuries, Nationals manager Matt Williams said Wednesday. Zimmerman, out since fracturing his right thumb on April 12, has begun conditioning exercises and has even performed some light fielding drills, using only his glove hand for now. The veteran third baseman is running…

  21. Game 22: Angels at Nats

    Apr 23, 2014, 3:25 PM EST

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    If the Nationals want to avoid getting swept tonight by the Angels, they might want to at least give themselves a fighting chance and not dig themselves into an early hole yet again. Nine times this season they have given up at least two runs in the first inning; five times they’ve given up at…

  22. How secure is Jordan’s rotation spot?

    Apr 23, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals intended all along for both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan to retain their spots in the starting rotation until Doug Fister was ready to return from a strained lat muscle, likely in early-May. At that point, the club would decide which young right-hander deserved to remain in the rotation and which one would…

  23. Pujols and Nats alike savor milestone homers

    Apr 22, 2014, 11:55 PM EST

    AP

    Updated at 11:55 p.m. Some around the baseball world recently had been questioning whether the significance of 500 home runs had diminished, especially in the wake of the steroid era. Try telling Albert Pujols what he accomplished Tuesday night at Nationals Park wasn’t significant. The veteran slugger understands the magnitude of what he just did,…

  24. Instant analysis: Angels 7, Nats 2

    Apr 22, 2014, 9:50 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout drew all the attention when this series began. Tonight, though, a far more-established star reminded everyone just how special he is. Albert Pujols became just the 26th player in baseball history to join the 500 Home Run Club, launching a pair of blasts off right-hander Taylor…

  25. Fister pitches 3 innings, on track for May 7 return

    Apr 22, 2014, 5:26 PM EST

    AP

    Doug Fister pitched three innings in an extended spring training game Tuesday and reported no problems with his strained lat muscle, leaving the right-hander on track to join the Nationals’ rotation in about two weeks. Fister threw 44 pitches and “felt really good with it,” according to manager Matt Williams. On the disabled list since…

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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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