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  1. Around the NL East: Spring training update

    Mar 3, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Miami Marlins  It was a big week for ace Jose Fernandez who was both named the team’s Opening Day starter and received a raise from the team. The first was expected, as Fernandez is clearly their best pitcher, but the second was a bit of a surprise. The Marlins didn’t have to pay Fernandez any…

  2. Observations from Nats’ 5-4 win over Mets

    Feb 28, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Spring training records mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. Matt Williams knows this. So more than the fact his Nationals rallied late to beat the Mets, 5-4, in Friday’s Grapefruit League opener at Tradition Field, the rookie manager was excited about the way his team played. The Nats made several nice plays…

  3. Nats vs. Mets — 2/28/14

    Feb 28, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Hey, look at that: It’s a real baseball field! And there will be real baseball played on it this afternoon! OK, so it’s real exhibition baseball, but that’s a whole lot better than no baseball at all, so why not get excited for the Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener against the…

  4. Ready for games to begin

    Feb 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — It’s not uncommon for big-league managers to drive themselves to road games in the Grapefruit League, and certainly previous managers of the Nationals traveled on their own. Matt Williams, though, made it clear yesterday he’ll be joining his players for the hour-plus ride this morning from Viera to Port St. Lucie for…

  5. Beltway Baseball: Projecting the NL East

    Feb 12, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Hello and happy Spring Training Eve, everyone. It’s hard to believe we’re just hours from Nats pitchers and catchers reporting in Viera, Fla. After a long offseason – and despite almost a foot of snow in the forecast – the end of winter is finally near. With that in mind, it’s time for the final…

  6. Blevins ready for important role in Nats bullpen

    Jan 29, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After their 2013 season uncovered a glaring need for lefty relievers, the Nationals made sure they fixed the problem this offseason. On Dec. 11 they made yet another trade with the Oakland Athletics, this time to bring in 30-year-old southpaw Jerry Blevins. A lot is expected of Blevins who will be tasked with retiring lefties…

  7. 2014 Outlook: New York Mets

    Jan 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    2013 record: 74-88, 3rd place in NL East Manager: Terry Collins, 4th season Estimated 2014 payroll: $85 million Key additions: RHP Bartolo Colon, OF Curtis Granderson, OF Chris Young, LHP John Lannan Key losses: LHP Johan Santana, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Jordany Valdespin, IF Justin Turner, RHP David Aardsma Projected lineup RF Chris Young 2B…

  8. John Lannan signs with New York Mets

    Jan 18, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After leaving the Nats to join the Phillies last season, lefty John Lannan is now headed to another NL East rival. Lannan agreed to a minor league deal with the New York Mets on Saturday with an invitation to spring training. The Long Island native will take a shot at making the Mets roster, and his chances…

  9. RHPs Young, Alfaro get minor-league deals

    Nov 20, 2013, 11:05 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals signed Chris Young last spring, hoping the former All-Star could be summoned from Class AAA Syracuse in case of a sudden pitching need. Young never did make it to Washington, beset by injuries and poor performance, but the Nationals are willing to give the right-hander another shot. The Nationals announced Wednesday morning they’ve…

  10. Important offseason dates to look for

    Oct 6, 2013, 6:18 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    It figures to be a long six months until Opening Day 2014 when the Nationals play at the New York Mets, and much of the Nats’ offseason objectives do not involve specific deadlines or dates. That said, there are plenty of days for Nats fans to look forward to this fall and winter as they…

  11. Around the NL East: Looking into the future

    Sep 19, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The National League East has been one of the more competitive divisions in baseball since the turn of the century, fielding at least three 80-plus win teams in every season but one since 2001. Four of the division’s five teams have finished atop the standings in that time period, with Eastern parity reaching its height…

  12. Burns, Jordan given minor league honors

    Sep 13, 2013, 3:23 PM EDT

    02816-jordan810ap

    With most of their minor league seasons wrapped up, the Washington Nationals handed out awards for the 2013 campaign on Friday. Outfielder Billy Burns took minor league player of the year honors while right-hander Taylor Jordan was named the organization’s pitcher of the year. Burns finished with Double-A Harrisburg after spending the better part of…

  13. Nationals lineup rediscovering power stroke

    Sep 13, 2013, 12:32 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — There have been any number of impressive aspects to the Nationals’ late-season surge, but right near the top of that list has been the rediscovery of power up and down their lineup. This was a lineup that was supposed to produce runs in bunches all season yet struggled mightily for more than…

  14. Instant analysis: Nats 7, Mets 2

    Sep 12, 2013, 5:03 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: With a chance to go for the kill and sweep the four-game series, the Nationals left little to chance. Tanner Roark tossed six more quality innings, overcoming a 54-minute rain delay after the first inning. And the Nats’ power bats showed up once again, launching three more homers, with Ryan Zimmerman,…

  15. Ramos plans to catch 23 straight games

    Sep 12, 2013, 12:39 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — It sounds, at first blush, like a crazy idea: Let a catcher who has battled major leg injuries the last two seasons start more consecutive games than any other major-league catcher has in 2013. Wilson Ramos, though, really wants to do it. And Davey Johnson really wants to give Ramos the opportunity…

  16. Game 146: Nats at Mets

    Sep 12, 2013, 10:50 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    NEW YORK — Here’s a sentence that features all kinds of outrageous elements: The Washington Nationals today will be trying to sweep a four-game series on the road, earn their sixth straight win and their 23rd in their last 32 games, with Tanner Roark on the mound trying to improve to 6-0 in his career.…

  17. Resurgent Zimmerman leads Nats to 5th straight

    Sep 11, 2013, 11:52 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — Ryan Zimmerman likes to point out that over the course of 162 games, established ballplayers will produce their usual offensive numbers. But only a few weeks ago, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to doubt the Nationals third baseman would eventually get there, especially in the power department. When the calendar shifted from…

  18. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Mets 0

    Sep 11, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: For the third straight night, the Nationals got a dominant performance from their starting pitcher early against the depleted Mets lineup, with Dan Haren tossing six scoreless innings of 1-hit ball. But they couldn’t breathe easy, stymied for five innings by rookie Zack Wheeler before Ryan Zimmerman clubbed a solo homer…

  19. Game 145: Nats at Mets

    Sep 11, 2013, 3:48 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    NEW YORK — The Nationals have won four straight games without Bryce Harper in their lineup, but make no mistake, they’ll be thrilled to welcome him back tonight. After getting his ailing left hip examined Monday and taking a healthy round of batting practice yesterday, Harper has been cleared to play again and will be…

  20. Still-breathing Nats still believe

    Sep 11, 2013, 12:37 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK — Yes, the Nationals know they have to keep winning ballgames, maybe every single one remaining on their schedule. But they also know they’re going to need some help from somebody ahead of them in the standings, so they fully admit to scoreboard watching even as they’re trying to scratch and claw their…

  21. Instant analysis: Nats 6, Mets 3

    Sep 10, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: Just as they did Monday night, the Nationals pounced on Mets pitching for some quick runs, this time getting to notorious Nat-killer Dillon Gee. Jayson Werth continued his torrid season at the plate with a solo homer in the first, then added an RBI double in the third to score Denard…

  22. With 21-game hit streak, Span salvages season

    Sep 10, 2013, 7:51 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — In the past, Denard Span might have shunned any questions about a hot streak of his at the plate. But the way this season has gone for the Nationals center fielder, he figures why not embrace the positive and fully acknowledge the fact he entered Tuesday night’s game on a career-best, 20-game…

  23. Game 144: Nats at Mets

    Sep 10, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    NEW YORK — Who’s the toughest pitcher the Nationals have faced this season? Clayton Kershaw? Matt Harvey? Tim Hudson? Well, they all did pitch well against the Nats, but an argument can also be made for … Dillon Gee. Yes, Dillon Gee. In five starts against the Nationals this year, the Mets right-hander is 4-1…

  24. Oh, so close to history

    Sep 10, 2013, 12:28 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK — The ball careened off Zach Lutz’s bat at a 45-degree angle and straight down the first-base line, where Adam LaRoche could only attempt an all-out diving attempt that was just a split-second late. And when the ball landed and left a poof of white chalk, Gio Gonzalez knew his bid for history…

  25. Instant analysis: Nats 9, Mets 0

    Sep 9, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: The Nationals wasted no time at all pouncing on Mets right-hander Carlos Torres. Two batters into this game, they already led 2-0 thanks to back-to-back homers from Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman. They never let up, blasting three more homers by the fifth inning to take a commanding, 9-run lead. Given…

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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