Dec 31, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
As we count down the final days of 2014, we’re counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, merely significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We conclude today with significant moment No. 1: Matt Williams’ decision to pull Jordan…
Dec 27, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
As we count down the final days of 2014, we’re counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, merely significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue today with significant moment No. 5: Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon rising…
Oct 9, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
When injuries forced the Nationals into acquiring a second baseman this summer, they went out and got Asdrubal Cabrera, a former All-Star shortstop with the Indians who switched to the other side of the infield for the first time in five years and performed admirably down the stretch for his new club. Cabrera now is…
Oct 9, 2014, 10:04 AM EST
Perhaps the most confounding part of the Nationals’ loss to the Giants in the NL Division Series was the absence of production from the middle of their lineup. Their veterans, the ones who had been there before and helped lead the Nats to the playoffs, simply didn’t show up. Instead it was the youngest players…
Oct 8, 2014, 2:30 PM EST
Gio Gonzalez’ playoff record now includes three starts to analyze, two in 2012 and one this year, the Nats’ season-ending loss in Game 4 of the NLDS. His 3.21 career ERA in the postseason makes it difficult to draw a true conclusion, but a close look reveals he has been anything but sharp. Gonzalez walked 11…
Oct 8, 2014, 12:07 PM EST
After returning from a serious hamstring strain in late September, Ryan Zimmerman was supposed to be worked back into the Nationals lineup right before the postseason. They had two weeks until the playoffs began and what seemed like plenty of time to make the transition. It just didn’t quite work out that way, as Zimmerman…
Oct 8, 2014, 8:30 AM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — Ryan Zimmerman, even-keeled to the end, tried to put into perspective what has happened to the Nationals the last three seasons. “I think winning the division two out of three years is pretty good,” the veteran third baseman said late Tuesday night inside the losing clubhouse at AT&T Park. “I think people…
Oct 8, 2014, 12:23 AM EST
Updated at 4:00 a.m. SAN FRANCISCO — Postseason baseball requires the utmost precision. Every pitch is magnified. Every swing is crucial. Every fielding attempt is life-or-death. The teams that win in October are the ones, quite simply, that don’t make mistakes. They pitch well. They hit at the right moments. They make all the plays…
Oct 7, 2014, 7:37 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Williams won’t name his starting pitcher for a potential Game 5 of the NLDS just yet, not with victory in Game 4 tonight still a prerequisite for that scenario to even come to fruition. But one revelation the Nationals manager offered up about his plan for tonight’s do-or-die game — Stephen…
Oct 7, 2014, 5:53 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — The Nationals won a do-or-die game yesterday, no small achievement. But all that did was set the stage for another do-or-die game tonight, in which a win would only ensure one final do-or-die game Thursday in D.C. In other words, the task remains tall. The matchup in Game 4, however, does favor…
Oct 7, 2014, 2:45 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — His overall numbers (3-for-14) don’t blow you away, but don’t let the numbers fool you. Bryce Harper has played a huge role for the Nationals in the NLDS, never more so than in Game 3 on Monday. Let’s start with his ninth-inning home run, another titanic shot over the high wall in…
Oct 7, 2014, 12:33 PM EST
After beating Madison Bumgarner in Game 3 on Monday afternoon, the Nationals will now send their own best lefty to the mound in Game 4 hoping to keep their season alive. Gio Gonzalez was the Nationals’ starter for both Games 1 and 5 back in 2012, so he has experience both pitching on the road…
Oct 6, 2014, 11:10 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Williams gave some thought to benching Wilson Ramos for Game 3 of the NLDS in favor of Jose Lobaton, the backup catcher who worked so well all season with right-hander Doug Fister. In the end, though, the Nationals manager felt like Ramos’ potential at the plate outweighed whatever Lobaton might bring…
Oct 6, 2014, 7:57 PM EST
Updated at 10:30 p.m. SAN FRANCISCO — Inning after inning, they tried in vain to plate a run. Just one lousy run. For 21 torturous innings that stretched from early evening Saturday on South Capitol Street to late Monday afternoon alongside McCovey Cove, the Nationals simply could not do it. And then, with one perfectly…
Oct 6, 2014, 4:26 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — Though they considered possible changes for a win-or-else Game 3 of the NLDS, the Nationals decided to stick with the same lineup that produced a total of three runs in 27 innings in Games 1 and 2 against the Giants. Which meant Ryan Zimmerman remained on the bench, available only as a…
Oct 6, 2014, 2:02 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — And so it has come to this. After 96 wins in 162 regular-season games, the Nationals’ 2014 campaign comes down to a win-or-else Game 3 this afternoon at AT&T Park. To answer the question on everyone’s minds: No, Ryan Zimmerman is not in the lineup today. Matt Williams is going with the…
Oct 6, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — They left Washington early Sunday morning, the sting of a 6-hour loss surpassed only by the realization a 6-hour flight now awaited them. “It was a quiet bus trip after the game,” center fielder Denard Span said. “Just frustration, exhausted. Nothing needs to be said. We all know what we have to…
Oct 5, 2014, 9:11 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — A Nationals club that has scored a total of three runs in 27 innings so far in the NLDS has no choice but to consider lineup changes for its win-or-else Game 3 on Monday against the Giants. And the most obvious change would be the insertion of Ryan Zimmerman after two quality…
Oct 5, 2014, 8:25 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Williams had plenty of time during an overnight, cross-country flight to replay the decision he made in the top of the ninth Saturday at Nationals Park. Most outside observers were criticizing the rookie manager for pulling Jordan Zimmermann one out away from a shutout win in Game 2 of the NLCS…
Oct 5, 2014, 3:49 PM EST
One by one, Tanner Roark saw every one of his teammates warm up in the bullpen and trot out to the mound. First Drew Storen in the ninth. Then Tyler Clippard in the 10th. Then Matt Thornton in the 11th. Then Aaron Barrett and Jerry Blevins in the 12th. Craig Stammen took the 13th and…
Oct 5, 2014, 12:04 PM EST
Though the Nationals came out on the wrong end of Game 2 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, the night will go down in MLB history as the longest playoff game ever played. The players involved surely won’t appreciate the significance of that until the season is over, but we can. Here is…
Oct 5, 2014, 10:02 AM EST
Drew Storen had been there before: on the mound at Nationals Park, searching for the final out of a playoff game. Though a lot had happened in the two years between Storen’s fateful collapse in the 2012 NLDS and his first postseason appearance in the time since on Saturday night, the result was about the…
Oct 5, 2014, 12:02 AM EST
Updated at 2:40 a.m. The stage was set. Everything was lined up for a perfect October evening at the ballpark. Jordan Zimmermann was about to toss a shutout and give the Nationals a 1-0 victory in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. And then this story took the first of several stunning turns…
Oct 4, 2014, 2:33 PM EST
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and his wife, Chelsey, are expecting their third child this month, and it could cause the two-time Silver Slugger to miss a playoff game. Manager Matt Williams gave an update on the situation Saturday, saying Chelsey is “very close” and is expected to give birth any day now. Whether it could…
Oct 4, 2014, 1:33 PM EST
Some food for thought as we count down to Game 2 later this afternoon: 1) The Nationals haven’t lost two straight games in nearly a month (Sept. 5-6 against the Phillies), 2) They’ve won 3-of-4 (what would be required now to win this series) 21 times this season, and 3) The guy taking the mound…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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