Apr 12, 2014, 3:36 PM EST
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…
Apr 12, 2014, 12:48 PM EST
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.…
Apr 12, 2014, 10:48 AM EST
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…
Apr 12, 2014, 1:19 AM EST
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…
Apr 11, 2014, 11:30 PM EST
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…
Apr 11, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
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,…
Apr 11, 2014, 3:56 PM EST
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…
Apr 11, 2014, 12:01 PM EST
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…
Apr 11, 2014, 9:58 AM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 10:27 PM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 9:16 PM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 7:00 PM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 3:04 PM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 10:49 AM EST
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…
Apr 10, 2014, 1:02 AM EST
It took 62 tries, not until a June 9 doubleheader against the Twins, before the 2013 Nationals came from three runs down to win a ballgame. Only eight games into the 2014 season, the Nationals have already done it twice. And after Wednesday’s dramatic, back-and-forth, plucked-out-of-thin-air, 10-7 victory over the Marlins, it was perhaps fair…
Apr 9, 2014, 11:03 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Where to begin? We’ll start with Jordan Zimmermann, who was downright awful in getting roughed up for five runs in only 1 2/3 innings, putting his teammates in a quick 5-0 hole. Slowly but surely, though, the Nationals got themselves back into it. Craig Stammen was brilliant out of the bullpen,…
Apr 9, 2014, 6:32 PM EST
Having successfully made it through two days of rest and then two days of limited throwing with a new sidearm motion, Ryan Zimmerman returned to the Nationals lineup Wednesday night, plugged back into his usual spot at third base and hoping he can make it through the season with no more disruptions. “It’s a constant…
Apr 9, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
Ryan Zimmerman, as promised, is back in the Nationals’ lineup. And he’s back at third base, hoping to battle his way through a bad shoulder by altering his throwing motion, dipping down to go sidearm all the time after committing two painful errors throwing overhand last week. Whether this experiment works remains to be seen.…
Apr 9, 2014, 12:49 PM EST
Record: 5-2 Team slash: .253/.319/.409 Team ERA: 2.25 Runs per game: 4.57 STOCK UP Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B – 7 G, .407 BA, 11 H, 4 R, 3 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 1.037 OPS If the season’s first week is any indication, the Nationals’ 23-year-old infielder might be starting to show why the team drafted him sixth overall in 2011…
Apr 9, 2014, 10:42 AM EST
Though he had seen occasional action at third base from time to time, Anthony Rendon had made the mental switch to second base last summer, once he arrived in Washington and found himself with an opportunity to play every day at an unfamiliar position. His defensive work has paid dividends; he has become a quality…
Apr 8, 2014, 11:57 PM EST
We’ve already seen in this young season the Nationals run themselves out of a potential victory with some over-aggressiveness on the bases. Painful as their 2-1 loss to the Braves in Friday’s home opener was, players insisted they’ll benefit in the long run if they keep applying pressure the way new manager Matt Williams has…
Apr 8, 2014, 10:06 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On a chilly April evening, the pitchers figured to be ahead of the hitters. And sure enough, that was true for Gio Gonzalez and Henderson Alvarez. The two young starters combined to allow only one run through 5 1/2 innings. That’s not to say Gonzalez was in top form; he racked…
Apr 8, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
The Nationals are tweaking the order of their rotation, bumping Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg up to face the Marlins the next two days while pushing Tanner Roark back to face the Braves on Friday night. Using Monday’s day off as an opportunity to reconfigure things, manager Matt Williams decided to push his top two…
Apr 8, 2014, 6:03 PM EST
Ryan Zimmerman wants to play and help the Nationals as best he can. The Nationals want Zimmerman to play and help them as best he can. At the moment, the best place for him to do that is at third base. So Zimmerman, dealing with significant pain in his right shoulder that is unlikely to…
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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