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  1. Updated: Zim’s playoff role still unclear

    Oct 2, 2014, 5:52 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    [Updated: 5:55 p.m.] The Nationals held a simulated game at Nats Park on Wednesday with the hopes of getting Doug Fister some action against live hitters during a long layoff between starts and for Ryan Zimmerman to further test his sore right hamstring. Zimmerman, though, was unable to play third base in the game and…

  2. Nats yet to name Game 4 starter, playoff roster

    Oct 2, 2014, 1:19 PM EST

    Photo by The Associated Press

    Nationals manager Matt Williams began his press conference the day before Game 1 of the NLDS by confirming several pieces of information everyone pretty much already knew. Stephen Strasburg will start Game 1 against the San Francisco Giants, as expected, and Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister will pitch Games 2 and 3. As for his…

  3. Strasburg named Game 1 starter

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Stephen Strasburg’s first career postseason start will come right out of the chute. Strasburg was formally named the Nationals’ Game 1 starter for their National League Division Series against the Giants by manager Matt Williams, designated as the postseason ace of the majors’ best rotation. The decision to give the ball to Strasburg for Game…

  4. Breaking down Nats-Giants season series

    Oct 2, 2014, 10:06 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nats took five out of the seven games they played against the San Francisco Giants this year, the team they will now face in the National League Division Series. Both of their series this season came at interesting times, the first when the Giants were the best team in baseball and the second when…

  5. Nats get Giants in NLDS, Game 1 Friday at 3:07 p.m.

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:21 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Two years later, the Nationals will finally get their chance to face the Giants in the postseason. San Francisco won Wednesday night’s NL Wild Card game, riding Madison Bumgarner’s dominant pitching performance and Brandon Crawford’s grand slam to beat the Pirates and a stunned sellout crowd at PNC Park 8-0, setting up an NLDS showdown…

  6. NL Wild Card game: Giants at Pirates

    Oct 1, 2014, 4:15 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Sometime late tonight the Nationals will find out their opponent for the first round of the playoffs, the NLDS which begins Friday with Game 1 in Washington. Wednesday night pits two 88-74 NL Wild Card teams together in a do-or-die showdown, the winner moving on to face the top seeded Nats. Pittsburgh gets to host…

  7. Who should the Nats prefer to play?

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:08 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    On Wednesday night the Nationals will find out their opponent for the NLDS, as the 88-74 Pittsburgh Pirates host the 88-74 San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game. The Nats are a combined 9-5 against the two teams, having taken five of seven against the Giants and four of seven against the Pirates.…

  8. How the 2014 Nationals differ from the 2012 Nationals

    Oct 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    When the Nationals prepared to face the Cardinals in the 2012 NLDS, they tried to downplay the significance of their lack of October experience vs. their highly decorated counterparts from St. Louis. By the time that series ended in heartbreaking fashion, more than a few players acknowledged what so many suspected: Experience does count in…

  9. ‘Now the fun begins’

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    All throughout the 2014 season, the Washington Nationals and in particular their veteran leaders have talked about winning the NL East as step one in their long list of goals. Win the division, make the playoffs and give themselves an opportunity to play for a championship, a chance they did not get one year ago.…

  10. Harper to play showcase in Japan

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:34 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    After whatever happens with the Nationals in the MLB playoffs this October, outfielder Bryce Harper will keep playing, as the two-time All-Star has decided to travel to Japan as part of a showcase series. Harper will join MLB players Jose Altuve and Justin Morneau on a roster that already includes Yasiel Puig, Robinson Cano, Albert…

  11. Podcast: Nats postseason preview show

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

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    USA Today Sports Images

    Suffering from Nats withdrawal right now? Not sure you can make it til Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday afternoon? Well, here’s something to help get you through this little break before the playoffs. ESPN 980 AM was nice enough to invite me to join Tim Murray for a 2-hour special show last night…

  12. Playoffs begin tonight

    Sep 30, 2014, 12:25 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The playoffs begin on Tuesday night with the American League Wild Card game, the first installment of what should be an exciting month of baseball. It is the first playoff game for the Royals since 1985 and standing in their way is a team that for much of the year looked like the class of…

  13. 5 questions facing the Nats in the postseason

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    There’s been plenty of talk over the last few weeks of the Nationals being the most-complete team in baseball, the postseason contender with the fewest areas of concern. That may well be true, but that doesn’t mean they have zero areas of concern. No ballclub is perfect, including the Nats, and every one enters October…

  14. Afternoon start times for Games 1 and 2

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:43 PM EST

    MLBPostseasonLogo

    The Nationals’ first two games in what they hope will be a lengthy postseason run will be played in the afternoon. Though they won’t know precisely what time it all begins until they know the identity of their first-round opponent. Major League Baseball announced starting times this evening for the first weekend of the postseason,…

  15. Revisiting Opening Day predictions

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    AP

    Hey, remember when the biggest questions facing the Nationals were things like: “How many innings will Stephen Strasburg pitch this season?” and “How many errors will Ryan Zimmerman commit at third base?” and “Will the No. 5 starter be Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan or Tanner Roark?” Ah, those were the days. But that’s what we…

  16. Zimmermann named NL Player of the Week

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:14 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    One day after throwing the first no-hitter in Nationals history, Jordan Zimmermann has been named the NL Player of the Week. Zimmermann made one start during that stretch, earning the award for the second time this season. He also won it for the first week of June. Zimmermann pitched nine innings against the Marlins on…

  17. Nats’ plan leading up to Game 1

    Sep 29, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    After winning their division and locking up the No. 1 seed in the NL, the Washington Nationals now have no choice but to wait four whole days before Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. It’s not ideal to finish the regular season on a roll, looking like a World Series favorite, then just stop…

  18. Span sets Nats hits record

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:57 AM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Before Jordan Zimmermann secured the first no-hitter in Nats history and his teammates rushed the field, Sunday afternoon was already a special day for the Washington Nationals. It was the final day of the regular season with the mystery of a playoff run up ahead. Several players were removed from the game after reaching base…

  19. The perfect storm for Zimmermann to make magic

    Sep 29, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    No-hitters usually catch you by surprise. They come out of nowhere. A random Tuesday in May in front of a sparse crowd. A Thursday getaway in July, with an unheralded pitcher putting everything together to author the one shining moment of his career. Shoot, until yesterday afternoon the only guy in Nationals history to take…

  20. Ramos shares moment in no-hitter

    Sep 29, 2014, 12:03 AM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Besides Jordan Zimmermann himself, nobody had a better view of the best performance by a starting pitcher in Nationals history than catcher Wilson Ramos. And with all he’s been through with this pitching staff and this team, one could argue that’s exactly how it should have been. For an accomplishment as impressive and rare as…

  21. Zimmermann throws Nats’ 1st no-hitter

    Sep 28, 2014, 7:46 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Nationals manager Matt Williams laid out a plan for his starting rotation before the final week of the regular season, saying he would limit their outings based on pitch count and innings. The thought was to not push them hard before what the team hopes is a long stay in the MLB playoffs. There was…

  22. Zimmermann no-hits Marlins

    Sep 28, 2014, 3:37 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    After having his final regular season start pushed back due to a bruised shoulder – an injury suffered on a line drive that bounced off his arm eight days prior – Jordan Zimmermann took the mound Sunday hoping to dispel any doubts about his health before the playoffs. Boy, did he. The Nationals right-hander tossed┬áthe…

  23. Nats likely to announce rotation Thursday

    Sep 28, 2014, 12:21 PM EST

    Photo by The Associated Press

    Nationals manager Matt Williams said this week he needed to see how Jordan Zimmermann’s bruised shoulder fares on Sunday┬ábefore determining the team’s postseason rotation. On Saturday, Williams delayed that announcement even more. Williams will likely wait until Thursday now to announce his rotation and roster. He wants to see who the Nationals’ opponent will be…

  24. Game 162: Marlins at Nats

    Sep 28, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    3afb4-nationalspark806mz

    Here we are on the final day of the 2014 regular season, the last warmup for the Nationals before they embark on a playoff run in October. It’s Game 162 and it should feature a short day for their regulars. Starting for the Nats will be Jordan Zimmermann (13-5, 2.78), who is pitching for the…

  25. Strasburg in top form heading into postseason debut

    Sep 27, 2014, 9:21 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The only way the rest of the baseball world likely will ever vindicate Mike Rizzo and his decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg prior to the 2012 postseason is if Strasburg helps lead the Nationals to a World Series title some day. And even then, some of those who pilloried Rizzo for his controversial decision…

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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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