Jul 24, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT
On this week’s episode, Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I brought in two excellent guests in USA Today national baseball writer Bob Nightengale and Harrisburg Senators infielder Matt Skole, one of the Nationals’ top prospects. Nightengale gave us a preview of the 2014 trade deadline and what he thinks both the Nationals and their rivals…
Jul 24, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
You may have noticed last week when I was covering the All-Star Game in Minneapolis that I noted Target Field was the last of the 30 current MLB ballparks I needed to visit. It’s a very cool achievement to be able to cross off my bucket list, and actually the list is even longer than…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With an opportunity to sweep the foundering Rockies and get their 9-game road off to a stellar start, the Nationals knew they’d need to compensate for the absences of Ryan Zimmerman (who was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain), Jayson Werth (given a day off to rest his…
Jul 23, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
First up, the news we all knew was coming: Ryan Zimmerman is headed to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The only question at this point is how long the Nationals’ third baseman will be out. It’ll be at least 15 days, obviously, and for now Zimmerman is being replaced on the active…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
They managed to keep their healthy lineup intact for 17 games before injury once again befell the Nationals last night. Ryan Zimmerman strained his right hamstring legging out a grounder in the top of the sixth at Coors Field, hustle that allowed a run to score and ultimately helped the Nationals secure a 7-4 victory…
Jul 22, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT
When last we saw Jordan Zimmermann on a mound, he was motioning for a trainer, his right biceps muscle having cramped up. Zimmermann was confident all along he wasn’t seriously injured, and an MRI of his arm revealed no elbow or shoulder issues, only a muscle strain. He skipped the All-Star Game and had his…
Jul 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
For months, they pined for the day they would be able to field a healthy lineup, recognizing they couldn’t truly evaluate themselves until all eight of their Opening Day starters were back together again. Well, three weeks later, the healthy Nationals now boast the NL’s most-productive lineup. Not to mention the league’s best record. With…
Jul 21, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT
Before Bryce Harper returned to his lineup three weeks ago, Matt Williams suggested he planned to mix and match his lineups, with Ryan Zimmerman in particular bouncing around multiple positions. To date, that hadn’t really happened. Zimmerman stayed at third base. Harper stayed in left field. Denard Span stayed in center field. Anthony Rendon stayed…
Jul 21, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
Top storylines: On the road – The Nationals took their first series of the second half with a 5-4 win over the Brewers on Sunday, and now they head out of town. Nine road games await them beginning with the Colorado Rockies on Monday. They then go to Cincinnati for three games before going south to Miami. Both the…
Jul 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals pulled out Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Brewers because of the bottom-of-the-ninth heroics by Jayson Werth, whose 2-out double scored Anthony Rendon all the way from first base and gave his teammates reason to mob him in the center of the diamond. Werth’s clutch hit, though, was made possible only by Rafael Soriano’s…
Jul 20, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
They spend hours before each series preparing for the upcoming opponent, studying the pitchers they’ll face, going over each outfielder’s strengths and weaknesses. Oftentimes, all the preparation is for naught. But sometimes, the perfect situation presents itself to use all that advanced scouting and apply it with the game on the line. That situation came…
Jul 20, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a chance to pick up yet another series victory, the Nationals turned to Gio Gonzalez, who had been dominant over the last few weeks. But when Gonzalez struggled to even get through the fourth inning, Matt Williams instead turned to his bullpen to pull this one off. Craig Stammen, Drew…
Jul 20, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT
There are few jobs in baseball tougher to master than pinch-hitting, so any evaluation of a player or a team’s performance in that realm has to be taken with a grain of salt. But facts are facts, and right now, Nationals pinch-hitters are among the worst in baseball. Collectively, they are hitting .153 as pinch-hitters,…
Jul 20, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
The Nationals have been playing pretty good baseball for awhile now, having lost only one of their last eight series (and that one’s a bit misleading because one of their four games with the Orioles was rained out, so technically they could still salvage a split after they play the makeup game). Today, they have…
Jul 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
About three weeks away from the one year anniversary of Tanner Roark’s MLB debut, it’s still hard to comprehend what he’s done so far in his professional career. A former 25th round pick who came to Washington in a 2010 trade involving Christian Guzman, never did you see Roark’s name on top prospects lists. His…
Jul 20, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
After watching his team rack up 11 hits Friday night yet only push two runs across the plate, Nationals manager Matt Williams could only shake his head and ponder the mysteries of this great game. “That’s baseball, dude,” he muttered following a 4-2 loss to the Brewers. Baseball taketh away, but it also giveth as…
Jul 19, 2014, 10:24 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The saying ‘it was over before it started’ is an obvious exaggeration, but the Nationals came pretty close in their 8-3 win over the Brewers on Saturday night. Before Milwaukee could even record their second out in the bottom of the first, the Nats were up 5-0 and starter Matt Garza had…
Jul 19, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT
With the 2014 MLB trade deadline just 12 days away, the Nationals are weighing their options as usual. They are currently in second place and in theory could use improvement, but what exactly they could use is the question. Much of the first half of their season was affected by injuries and now at full health,…
Jul 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Jordan Zimmermann came out of his bullpen session fine on Saturday and is all set to start Tuesday against the Rockies in Colorado. The right-hander has been recovering from a bicep strain he suffered on June 11 in Philadelphia when he left his start in the fourth inning. Zimmermann took some time off before throwing…
Jul 19, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT
The second half of the Nationals 2014 season didn’t get off to a great start with a 4-2 loss to the Brewers on Friday night. On Saturday they’ll look to bounce back with Tanner Roark (8-6, 3.01) on the mound before Austin Mahone takes the stage for a postgame concert. Roark will make his 19th…
Jul 19, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
In his first game back from the 2014 All-Star break, much was anew for Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. He had a new haircut that featured a mohawk in the back. He had a new saxophone-heavy walk-up song. And most notably, he debuted a brand new batting stance. Instead of bending his knees, holding his hands…
Jul 19, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT
If you wanted to pick one start that seemed to epitomize Stephen Strasburg’s season, this might well have been it. Strasburg was dominant at times Friday night, striking out nine Brewers while walking only one. Yet he was done in by a couple of home runs and a key, 2-out, 2-run single that ultimately left…
Jul 18, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT
Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura returned to the baseball field on Friday night for the first time since his 9-month-old son, Janniel, passed away a week ago. The former All-Star walked to the plate in the top of the second inning to an extended ovation from the 39,373 in attendance. Segura took a moment to take…
Jul 18, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals entered the All-Star break playing some of their best baseball of the season. They came out of their 4-day vacation a bit on the sluggish side. Stephen Strasburg served up a pair of early homers and despite settling down and churning out seven innings still departed with his team…
Jul 18, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT
Once again it went down to the wire on Friday, as the Nationals signed their 2014 first round pick Erick Fedde just moments before the 5 p.m. deadline. The 18th overall pick out of UNLV – a recent recipient of Tommy John surgery – inked a deal with the Nats worth approximately $2.51 million, according…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Phillies could hire MLB's first female general manager
- October madness: All 4 MLB division playoff series in action
- After a disappointing 2015, what's next for the Nats?
- Both AL Division Series get started on Thursday
- ‘Baseball in the District’ – Mark Zuckerman on a big offseason
- What was the turning point for the 2015 Nationals?
- What went wrong for the Nationals in 2015?
- Desmond posts letter to Nationals fans on Twitter
- Miami to adjust dimensions at Marlins Park
- Astros, Yankees kick off playoffs in AL Wild Card game