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  1. Storen saves the day in return to closer’s role

    Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EDT

    AP

    The door to the right-field bullpen swung open, and as the crowd of 29,108 began to recognize a familiar figure and a familiar walk-in song emerging, applause began to circulate around Nationals Park. And by the time Drew Storen had two outs on Ryan Howard, finishing off the Phillies slugger with a devastating, 3-2 change-up…

  2. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Phillies 2

    Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Having lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five straight to the Phillies, and now needing to beat Cole Hamels to avoid a sweep, the Nationals weren’t exactly in an ideal situation this afternoon. But they came through with a strong, if not flawless, performance in this…

  3. Nats keeping watchful eye on Roark’s workload

    Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Well into spring training, Tanner Roark didn’t know if he’d even be a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation. He might have broken camp as a reliever. He might have begun the season in Syracuse. Roark, of course, did make the rotation and hasn’t ceded his spot since, pitching exceptionally well. But he’s also…

  4. Game 141: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    They’ve lost five straight games to the last-place Phillies, and if the Nationals are going to stop that surprising streak, they’re going to have to beat Cole Hamels this afternoon. That’s not something they’ve done on a regular basis in the past. The left-hander is 15-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 31 career starts against…

  5. Flustered by the Phillies

    Sep 6, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s best teams not only this season but particularly over the last month. The Phillies, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s biggest disappointments, having held a firm grip on last place in the NL East since late June. How, then, to explain what has transpired when…

  6. Instant analysis: Phillies 3, Nats 1

    Sep 6, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a demoralizing loss Friday night that cost Rafael Soriano the closer’s job, for at least a little while, the Nationals faced a longtime nemesis this afternoon, and didn’t fare much better than they had in the past. A.J. Burnett once again dominated this lineup, allowing just one…

  7. Soriano out for now as closer, no replacement named

    Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Rafael Soriano, stuck in one of the worst pitching slumps of his career, will take at least a couple days off to refine his mechanics and clear his mind, leaving Nationals manager Matt Williams to pick a new closer from a pool of several bullpen candidates, at least on a temporary basis. Williams would not,…

  8. Taylor, Mattheus called up

    Sep 6, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    With the Syracuse Chiefs getting eliminated from the International League playoffs on Friday night, the Nationals called up two more players to expand their roster to 34. Outfielder Michael A. Taylor – 2014 MVP of the Double-A Eastern League – and right-hander Ryan Mattheus – a member of the team’s 2012 NL East division champion…

  9. Game 140: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 6, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    It’s a new day at Nationals Park, where the home team will try to brush off the sting of last night’s disastrous loss to the Phillies. The question on everyone’s mind, of course: Who will close today if the opportunity presents itself? We’ll see if Matt Williams reveals a definitive answer during his pregame media…

  10. Explaining the Harper-Span collision

    Sep 6, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Photo by The Associated Press

    There were several mistakes made along the way in the Nationals’ 9-8 loss to the Phillies in 11 innings on Friday, one in which the Nats blew a four-run lead overall and a three-run advantage in the ninth alone. The most surprising, however, had to be the collision between Bryce Harper and Denard Span in the…

  11. Time for a change?

    Sep 6, 2014, 1:27 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    It was a crossroads many spotted from a distance. Despite a first place record and a near-lock for an NL East division title, the 79-60 Nationals have a problem brewing in the back of their bullpen. And after Friday’s 9-8 loss in 11 innings to the Phillies, it may finally be coming to a head. Manager…

  12. Instant Analysis: Phillies 9, Nats 8 (11)

    Sep 5, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals returned home on Friday night to face the Phillies, and in doing so carried over just about everything from their memorable road trip out west. At least at first they did. Stephen Strasburg was brilliant once again, just as he was in his previous outing in Seattle. And Adam LaRoche…

  13. LaRoche dealing with injury trio; plus a Zim update

    Sep 5, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Adam LaRoche’s 5-RBI performance in Wednesday’s 14-inning win over the Dodgers was already impressive at face value, but to hear him talk about what he was going through that day now 48 hours later is pretty extraordinary. LaRoche of course didn’t start the game because of tightness in his back. That, however, was just part of…

  14. Nats call up Kobernus

    Sep 5, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Realizing the 31 players on their roster were nearly not enough in Wednesday’s 14-inning win over the Dodgers, the Nationals made it 32 on Friday by calling up utility man Jeff Kobernus from Triple-A Syracuse. Kobernus, 26, appeared 24 games last year as a rookie before injuries shortened his 2014 season at Syracuse. Manager Matt…

  15. Game 139: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 5, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / Nats Insider

    After a nine-game road trip that took them through Philly and out to the West Coast, the Nationals finally return home Friday to begin a three-game series against the Phillies at Nats Park. Their final 24 games this month, and this season in fact, are against NL East opponents. Though the Phillies are in last…

  16. The Baseball Show: Homefield advantage important?

    Sep 5, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

    6550b-nationalspark1008us

    The Nationals return home this week to begin their final stretch of the 2014 season, a three-week span that will see them play only teams from the NL East. They have to continue outpacing the Braves to make the playoffs, of course, but at this point they are chasing more than a division title. With…

  17. The home stretch

    Sep 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    And so the home stretch is upon us, the final sprint to the finish line for the Nationals, who spent most of the first half of the season hanging near the front of the pack but over the last month have burst out to take a big lead coming around the turn. (Sorry for all…

  18. MLB Power Rankings: Cards making a push

    Sep 4, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Here is a look around Major League Baseball with analysis of each team from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Angels (LW: 1) – Roney: It’s great news for baseball that Mike Trout will finally play in October. 2. Orioles (LW: 4) – Zuckerman: On track to clinch…

  19. Baseball in the District – ESPN 980’s Thom Loverro

    Sep 4, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    It was a wild road trip for the Nationals, who saw Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw all in one week, then beat the Dodgers in one of the craziest games of the 2014 MLB season. In this week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I discussed whether the Nationals and Dodgers…

  20. More thoughts on Wednesday’s wild win

    Sep 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Ample time has now passed since the Nationals wrapped up their 8-5, 14-inning win in Los Angeles yesterday evening, enough time to process everything that happened during the longest game in club history (5 hours, 34 minutes). And the primary takeaway continues to be this notion: That was simply an epic baseball game, no matter…

  21. Instant analysis: Nats 8, Dodgers 5 (14)

    Sep 3, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long roller coaster of a road trip, the Nationals needed to beat the Dodgers to capture their second straight series out west against a contending opponent and salvage a 4-5 record overall on a 10-day jaunt that began with a surprising sweep in Philadelphia. But they…

  22. Game 138: Nats at Dodgers

    Sep 3, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Last night’s 4-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and Co. may have been frustrating, but the Nationals still find themselves in an advantageous position today, with a chance to win this series from the Dodgers with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against rookie right-hander Carlos Frias (making his first career start after five relief appearances). Zimmermann…

  23. Instant analysis: Dodgers 4, Nats 1

    Sep 3, 2014, 12:51 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the season, and it lived up to the billing for awhile. Clayton Kershaw and Doug Fister swapped zeroes into the fifth inning, leaving everyone with the sense one crucial mistake might prove the difference in the game. Turns out a…

  24. Game 137: Nats at Dodgers

    Sep 2, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    We’ve been anticipating this one for awhile now, ever since the pitching probables came out. It’s Doug Fister vs. Clayton Kershaw tonight in one of the premier matchups of the season, between the NL’s two best clubs. How good has Kershaw been? Well, consider that over his last 18 starts, he is 14-2 with a…

  25. The Nationals’ balanced home run attack

    Sep 2, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals’ aren’t the best home-run-hitting team in the majors. Far from it. They didn’t even rank among MLB’s top-10 home run clubs entering play Monday. And the Nationals don’t boast one of the most-prodigious home-run hitters in baseball. Ian Desmond currently leads the way with 22 homers, and it’s unlikely anybody on the roster…

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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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