Aug 3, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
Before the Phillies bullpen allowed the Nationals to secure a comfortable lead in the eighth inning on Sunday, much of the afternoon was the Stephen Strasburg vs. Cole Hamels show. Both starters were locked in, neither giving an inch to their opponent. Hamels was the one to blink with a run allowed in the third,…
Aug 3, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With Stephen Strasburg and Cole Hamels on the mound, this game was billed as a pitchers duel. It did not disappoint. Both starters were sharp all afternoon, briskly mowing down their opposing lineup. The Nationals beat the Phillies 4-0, but neither starting pitcher yielded an earned run. Strasburg began the game by retiring seven…
Aug 3, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT
The Nationals enter Sunday looking to split their four-game series with Philadelphia, thanks to an 11-0 beatdown of the Phillies on Saturday night. Runs, however, could be a little harder to come by on this particular day. It’s a marquee pitching matchup at Nationals Park with Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55) going up against Cole Hamels…
Aug 2, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT
By the fourth inning, the Nationals led by 11 runs, turning the Phillies pitching staff into mincemeat and allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief and just play out the string under no pressure. But when Saturday night’s game was only two batters into the bottom of the first, when the outcome was still…
Aug 2, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: How about we just do “Game in a word” tonight? The answer is: Rout. OK, a few more details than that. The Nationals annihilated the Phillies pitching staff, starting with A.J. Burnett, who let six of the 11 batters he faced reach safely, capped by Anthony Rendon’s 3-run homer in the…
Aug 2, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Though he has begun to see success again since the All-Star break, hitting .304 with an .820 OPS over his last 14 games, Bryce Harper’s swing remains something of a work-in-progress. Harper continues to tinker with his batting stance on a nightly basis, often making tweaks from one at-bat to the next. And as he…
Aug 2, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
The bad news: The Nationals have lost six of their last nine. The good news: The Braves also have lost six of their last nine. So the Nats’ lead in the NL East remains 1 1/2 games, despite their recent struggles. They’ll try to get back on track tonight after dropping the first two games…
Aug 2, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT
This week’s episode of ‘The Baseball Show’ was filmed right after the 2014 MLB trade deadline on Thursday, giving Mark a chance to analyze the Nats’ trade for Asdrubal Cabrera, along with other deals made around the league. In this first clip he looks at the potential impact of Cabrera in the Nats’ lineup while…
Aug 2, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
With the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline passing on Thursday, much of the talk on this week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District’ centered on the Nationals’ deal to acquire Asdrubal Cabrera, as well as other moves made around the league. Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed in two guests to talk about the…
Aug 1, 2014, 11:24 PM EDT
There are nights when a manager will explain a loss away by claiming his guys hit the ball hard, but everyone knows it’s mere lip service for an otherwise lackluster performance at the plate. And then there are nights when a manager will say it, and there isn’t a soul in the building who could…
Aug 1, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals, to the surprise of nobody, got another strong start from Doug Fister. They got some quality defense from a host of players, including Jayson Werth and the just-acquired Asdrubal Cabrera. And they consistently hit the ball hard against Philadelphia right-hander Roberto Hernandez. Sounds like the formula for a win,…
Aug 1, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT
Asdrubal Cabrera was in the Indians training room Thursday afternoon in Cleveland when manager Terry Francona called him into his office. Having heard rumors over the last few seasons – and knowing this is a contract year – the two-time All-Star figured out fairly quickly what the impromptu meeting was for. “As soon as he called…
Aug 1, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Updated at 5:07 p.m. Needing to clear a roster spot for the just-acquired Asdrubal Cabrera, the Nationals decided Friday to send slumping reliever Aaron Barrett to Syracuse, hoping the rookie can iron out some kinks and refresh before his likely return to the big leagues in September. Barrett had been among the most-pleasant surprises on…
Aug 1, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT
Asdrubal Cabrera has arrived and will make his Nationals debut tonight, batting seventh and starting at second base against the Phillies. I would imagine that’s where we’ll see the former Indians infielder most of the time, though we’ll see how it all plays out. To make room for Cabrera on the active roster, the Nationals…
Aug 1, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: How many other GM’s of first-place teams would be willing to trade their cleanup hitter for a 2-month rental ace? Billy Beane doesn’t think like other…
Aug 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ bullpen, as dominant a unit as there has been in baseball through much of the season, has suddenly and surprisingly fallen onto hard times. And Thursday night’s performance in a 10-4 loss to the Phillies was only the latest example. Asked to keep the game within striking distance after Gio Gonzalez lasted only…
Aug 1, 2014, 12:13 AM EDT
In what has been the most inconsistent season of Gio Gonzalez’ career in Washington – and so far his worst overall since 2009 – the ups and downs have been dramatic and steep. When Gio is on, he’s looked like the two-time All-Star whose career ERA is 3.59. Putting together an extended stretch of strong outings, however,…
Jul 31, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It could’ve been a great pitching showdown between a pair of accomplished lefties. Instead it turned into a laborious battle of bullpens after both Gio Gonzalez and Cliff Lee were knocked out early, for very different reasons. Lee retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but after throwing only…
Jul 31, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT
[Updated 6:30 p.m.] The Nationals’ sudden need for infield help prompted general manager Mike Rizzo to make a rare deal for a 2-month rental player on Thursday: Asdrubal Cabrera, who was acquired from the Indians for Zach Walters less than an hour before the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline. Cabrera, 28, is a natural shortstop who…
Jul 31, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT
One day after the Nats salvaged their road trip with a 4-3 win over the Marlins, they pick right back up to begin a four-game set with the Phillies at Nationals Park. It will be a showdown of lefties as Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.56) will go up against Cliff Lee (4-5, 3.78). Gonzalez will look…
Jul 31, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
In five years now as general manager of the Nationals, Mike Rizzo has approached all trade discussions with an underlying philosophy: Any move made must be in this team’s best interests not only in the short-term but especially in the long-term. That philosophy has served the Nationals well, allowing them to slowly assemble a roster…
Jul 30, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT
MIAMI — There are days when a team can win a ballgame on the strengths of dominant starting pitching and a robust lineup that does some early damage. And then there are days when victory comes only via some late production in key spots and some key outs recorded by the back of the bullpen.…
Jul 30, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long trip that started off fantastic but hit a snag in recent days, the Nationals desperately needed a victory in their series finale against the Marlins. They got one, thanks to another big-time performance from Tanner Roark and some long-awaited clutch hits late. Roark tossed seven…
Jul 30, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT
MIAMI — Throughout Bryce Harper’s early, frustrating days back from the disabled list, manager Matt Williams insisted the young slugger’s hitting stroke would return at some point. He just needed time and at-bats to find it. Sure enough, it has come together over the last two weeks. In 11 games since the All-Star break, Harper…
Jul 30, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT
MIAMI — The end of a long, 3-city, 9-game road trip has come, and in a bit of a surprise, the Nationals need to win today at Marlins Park to finish 5-4. Such is their predicament after losing the first two games of this series to the resurgent Marlins, who have won six in a…
NL EAST STANDINGS
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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