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NLDS

  1. Cabrera would play 2B if Nats want him back

    Oct 9, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  2. Harper has breakout postseason

    Oct 9, 2014, 10:04 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  3. Gio turns in another shaky playoff start

    Oct 8, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  4. Zim sees limited action in NLDS

    Oct 8, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  5. Regular-season success, postseason heartache

    Oct 8, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  6. UPDATED: Mistakes doom Nats in season-ending loss

    Oct 8, 2014, 12:23 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  7. Nats mum on Game 5 starter, Strasburg available tonight

    Oct 7, 2014, 7:37 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  8. NLDS Game 4: Nats at Giants

    Oct 7, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  9. Harper’s homers, defense have been big for Nats

    Oct 7, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  10. Gio hopes to keep Nats alive in NLDS

    Oct 7, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  11. The bunt that may have saved the Nationals’ season

    Oct 6, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  12. Nats take advantage of break to keep season alive

    Oct 6, 2014, 7:57 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  13. Zimmerman remains on bench for Game 3

    Oct 6, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  14. NLDS Game 3: Nats at Giants

    Oct 6, 2014, 2:02 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  15. Loose Nats try to save season on the brink

    Oct 6, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  16. Nats will consider lineup changes for Game 3

    Oct 5, 2014, 9:11 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  17. Williams: “I kicked myself all night” over 9th inning

    Oct 5, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  18. Roark’s postseason debut ends in frustrating fashion

    Oct 5, 2014, 3:49 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  19. Nats-Giants Game 2 by the numbers

    Oct 5, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  20. Storen again blows save in NLDS

    Oct 5, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  21. Nats suffer crushing loss in 18-inning marathon

    Oct 5, 2014, 12:02 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  22. Updated: Desmond could miss game for birth of child

    Oct 4, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  23. NLDS Game 2: Giants at Nats

    Oct 4, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  24. Zimmermann takes ball in Game 2

    Oct 4, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    After a frustrating Game 1 loss that shifted the Giants’ way on minor defensive mistakes and missed opportunities at the plate, the Nationals turn the page on Saturday with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound. Zimmermann (14-5, 2.66) is coming off the best start of his career, and now he arguably enters his most important thus…

  25. Defensive miscues prove costly in Game 1 loss

    Oct 4, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals lost Game 1 of the NLDS, more than anything, because of their inability to produce one hit with a runner in scoring position. But had they not made three defensive miscues of varying degrees, they might not have ever needed that elusive clutch hit. Of the three runs the Giants scored Friday afternoon,…

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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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