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  1. Around the NL East: Braves rolling, Marlins reeling

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES The Braves extended their win streak to four games on Monday night with a wild win in Philadelphia, a game that saw them blow a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning, then win it on a Dan Uggla grand slam in the ninth. Ervin Santana was excellent in his second start with the…

  2. Around the NL East: Marlins see Nats as early season test

    Apr 8, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

    MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins

    ATLANTA BRAVES Despite a rash of pitching injuries during spring training, the Braves have opened the 2014 season looking like they haven’t skipped a beat. They took two of three against both the Brewers and Nationals this past week, and now head back home to face the Mets with free agent signing Ervin Santana set…

  3. Nats place Scott Hairston on 15-day DL, call up Tyler Moore

    Apr 6, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Washington Nationals placed backup outfielder Scott Hairston on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a left oblique strain. Tyler Moore has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to take his place. Hairston said he first felt pain on a swing in the Nats’ April 3 game against the Mets in New York. He did…

  4. Resilient Nationals sweep their way through New York

    Apr 3, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT

    AP

    It surely takes more than three games for a ballclub to establish an identity, and there’s no telling what may transpire over the next 5 7/8 months to shape the 2014 Washington Nationals.

    But Matt Williams and Mike Rizzo wanted to put together a resilient team, one that obviously is loaded with talent but more importantly boasts the maturity, intensity and depth that so often is required to win ballgames when talent alone isn’t enough.

  5. Instant analysis: Nats 8, Mets 2

    Apr 3, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Having already won the first two games at Citi Field, and with Jordan Zimmermann a late scratch due to a nasty stomach virus, the Nationals had to feel like anything positive that happened today would be the cherry on top of a successful season-opening series. Well, this turned into a whopper of a hot fudge sundae, because the Nats once again did everything right in trouncing the Mets to complete a series sweep.

  6. Game 3: Nats at Mets

    Apr 3, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Well, this wasn’t quite the scenario anyone expected today, with Tanner Roark starting the Nationals’ third game of the season. But with Jordan Zimmermann severely under the weather — he has a fever, was up all night vomiting and is receiving fluids now to combat dehydration — Matt Williams had to call an audible and gave the ball to Roark for this series finale at Citi Field.

  7. [UPDATED] Zimmermann scratched with illness

    Apr 3, 2014, 10:16 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals were forced to scratch Jordan Zimmermann from today’s scheduled start against the Mets when the right-hander came down with flu-like symptoms and now will send Tanner Roark to the mound instead for their 1:10 p.m. series finale at Citi Field.

  8. Gio’s “epic” trip around the bases

    Apr 2, 2014, 11:46 PM EDT

    AP

    As Gio Gonzalez took off for the plate, legs churning, arms flailing, it suddenly became obvious to everyone inside Citi Field that the Nationals pitcher had no idea his drive to deep left-center had been ruled a home run. The ball was no longer in play. So, when exactly did Gonzalez finally come to that conclusion? “When I touched home,” he said. “I think it was the fastest home run jog in baseball.”

  9. [UPDATED] Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 1

    Apr 2, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Gio Gonzalez dominated on the mound and at the plate, launching his third career home run, as the Nationals beat the Mets Wednesday night to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

  10. Game 2: Nats at Mets

    Apr 2, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Gio Gonzalez makes his first start of the season, leading the Nationals back into Citi Field to face veteran Bartolo Colon, who makes his Mets debut. The Nationals will be without Wilson Ramos, who had hand surgery earlier today, and will feature a lineup that includes Anthony Rendon batting second, Adam LaRoche batting cleanup and Bryce Harper batting sixth.

  11. Williams pushes the right buttons during wild win

    Mar 31, 2014, 7:47 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Matt Williams’ first game with the Nationals featured all sorts of twists and turns, forcing the rookie manager to make several tough decisions on the fly that ultimately led to a wild, 9-7 win over the Mets in extra innings.

  12. Ramos leaves game with hand injury, X-rays are negative

    Mar 31, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos left Monday’s season opener against the New York Mets in the middle of the seventh inning after feeling pain his left hand.

  13. [Updated] Instant analysis: Nats 9, Mets 7 (10)

    Mar 31, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Despite injuries to Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos and a shaky debut by Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals battled against the Mets and rallied to win in extra innings thanks to clutch hits by Anthony Rendon and Denard Span.

  14. Harper passes 2 concussion tests, has headache

    Mar 31, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    HarperNI_3-31

    Bryce Harper took a knee to his head in a scary collision at second base, but the Nationals young star stayed in the game and passed two concussion tests, convincing team officials he could continue to play.

  15. Game 1: Nats at Mets

    Mar 31, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    NEW YORK — As I write this at 9:30 a.m., the tarp is on the field here. The temperature is 36 degrees. There’s a light rain — and even a couple of icy-looking things — falling from the sky. And yet … let’s play ball! Yes, it’s Opening Day, and they are expected to play…

  16. Stephen Strasburg ready for third Opening Day start

    Mar 30, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Strasburg: 'I think our lineup's better'

    Entering his fifth season in Major League Baseball, Stephen Strasburg will take the mound on Monday afternoon in New York to start yet another Opening Day for the Nationals. This will be his third season opener, and having been through it before, he knows exactly what to expect. “You just have to treat it like…

  17. Nationals announce Opening Day roster

    Mar 29, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    After Saturday’s exhibition game was canceled, the Washington Nationals officially announced their Opening Day roster. There were no surprises this time around, as after Doug Fister was looking primed for a DL stint on Thursday, it became clear the Nats were going to keep both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan. Aaron Barrett has made the…

  18. Podcast: ‘Baseball in The District’ — Adam Rubin of ESPN New York

    Mar 28, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In the latest episode of ‘Baseball in The District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed Mets’ beat writer Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Rubin gave us an update on Mets spring training and looked forward to Opening Day when the Nationals travel to New York to play at Citi Field. Off the…

  19. Looking at early schedules in National League East

    Mar 28, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

    Is it still possible to catch the Braves?

    In examining what went wrong for the Nationals last season, one could argue it all started off on the wrong foot. After beginning 2012 with a winning record after their first month, the Nats finished April of 2013 a game below .500. They posted the best record in baseball from Aug. 9 to Sept. 24 at…

  20. Nats vs. Mets — 3/27/14

    Mar 27, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — And so we have arrived at the final day of spring training, with one last Grapefruit League showdown between the Nationals and Mets before they meet for real Monday at Citi Field. Both teams are using regular lineups (the only exception for the Nats is that Ryan Zimmerman, dealing with…

  21. Strasburg wraps up spring, looks ahead to opener

    Mar 25, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg took the mound today with two, somewhat dueling objectives. On one hand, the Nationals ace wanted to finish his spring on a high note and position himself as best he could for Opening Day. On the other hand, he didn’t want to tip his hand too much to the same…

  22. Nats vs. Mets — 3/25/14

    Mar 25, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — We’ve reached the home stretch at last, and that means a couple of things: 1) Guys are absolutely itching to get out of here and get this thing started, and 2) Exhibition games start bearing more resemblance to regular-season games. That’s the case today, with Stephen Strasburg and nearly every member of…

  23. Nats vs. Mets — 3/23/14

    Mar 23, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It’s going to be a warm Sunday afternoon at Tradition Field, where the temperatures are supposed to climb into the upper 80s. So it’s only fitting that the battle for the final spot in the Nationals’ rotation begins to heat up today, with Tanner Roark getting perhaps his last chance…

  24. Nats vs. Mets — 3/13/14

    Mar 13, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    We’ve reached that point in the spring where several players are dealing with minor tweaks and other ailments. They say these are the kinds of things they’d play through during the regular season, but on March 13 they figure it’s not worth the risk. So, the Nationals for the moment are without Ryan Zimmerman (sore…

  25. Nats vs. Mets (ss) — 3/5/14

    Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Gio Gonzalez is the last of the projected members of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation to start this spring, which shouldn’t be interpreted as anything other than the schedule falling this way, lining up the lefty right behind Stephen Strasburg for now. Gonzalez has nothing to prove this spring; he merely needs to get his…

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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.

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