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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. 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…

  4. Nats trade C Koyie Hill to Phillies

    Mar 17, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Apparently content with their current catching depth, the Nationals traded veteran backstop Koyie Hill to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday for a player to be named later or cash. MLB.com first reported the deal. Hill signed with the Nationals just over a month prior as a free agent and appeared in 10 spring games with…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  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. 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…

  10. Strasburg still on track; Desmond has tight hamstring

    Sep 17, 2013, 12:08 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    Photo by USA Today

    Though the Nationals and Braves were not able to play their game on Monday, Stephen Strasburg did manage to fit in a bullpen session at Nats Park to test the tightness in his right forearm. Davey Johnson said the Nats’ starter felt no complications and is still on track to start Thursday against the Miami…

  11. A dominating win, then a surprise in Milwaukee

    Sep 15, 2013, 7:07 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Denard Span was answering a question about his 26-game hitting streak when the first roar came from another corner of the Nationals’ clubhouse. Span looked around as asked what happened, then was informed Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez had just robbed a home run from the Reds’ Jay Bruce in the top of the ninth…

  12. Instant analysis: Nats 11, Phillies 2

    Sep 15, 2013, 4:41 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: The Nationals opened the game hitting several balls hard against Tyler Cloyd but not having much to show for it. That changed in a hurry. The Nats blasted the right-hander for 10 hits in four-plus innings, opening up a comfortable lead. Then they went hog-wild on the Phillies bullpen, particularly during…

  13. Game 149: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 15, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    There’s plenty at stake today in the Nationals’ series finale against the Phillies. Jordan Zimmermann is seeking to become the first 18-game winner in the NL this season. Denard Span is seeking to extend his career-long hitting streak to 26 games. And Wilson Ramos is starting his 23rd straight game, most by any big-league catcher…

  14. Nats fall short of comeback vs. Phillies

    Sep 15, 2013, 1:21 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With the clock ticking down on their 2013 season, the Washington Nationals have put themselves in an unfortunate position where every little mistake and miscue in a nail-biting defeat becomes something much larger than it really is. In the Nats’ 5-4 loss to the Phillies, the players harped back on several minor moments in what…

  15. Instant Analysis: Phillies 5, Nats 4

    Sep 14, 2013, 10:31 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Game in a nutshell: The Nationals entered Saturday with a significant challenge in Cole Hamels, even with the reeling Phillies playing behind him. They were baffled by the lefty for the better part of six innings, but did manage three runs off of him. He gave up one in the first and two in the seventh,…

  16. Game 148: Phillies at Nats

    Sep 14, 2013, 3:06 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals enter Saturday’s game winners of seven straight, but it will be quite the challenge to make it eight. Pitching for the Phillies is Cole Hamels (7-13, 3.45) who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last two months. In his last nine starts dating back to July 26 Hamels…

  17. Strasburg scratched with forearm tightness

    Sep 13, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT

    No DL yet for Strasburg

    [Updated 6:23 p.m.] Though they’ve won eight of their last nine games, not all is well for the Nats as they return home on Friday. Stephen Strasburg was scratched before his expected start against the Philadelphia Phillies due to forearm tightness. The Nats’ ace felt the injury during a bullpen session on Thursday in New…

  18. State of the Nats: Harper’s hip, Zim on fire

    Sep 9, 2013, 12:14 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Top storylines: Bryce Harper’s hip - This week we learned Harper is dealing with an injury to his hip, an ailment serious enough to send him home to Washington from Miami for further testing. Harper has clearly been hobbled lately and it brings into question whether he should return at all this season. Exactly how long…

  19. Defensive gems keep Nationals’ hopes alive

    Sep 5, 2013, 12:13 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA — If the Nationals’ season ends Sept. 29 in disappointing fashion, they undoubtedly will look back at the countless games they lost because they couldn’t deliver in key situations, whether at the plate, on the mound or especially in the field. If, however, the Nationals somehow are able to extend their season into October…

  20. Instant analysis: Nats 3, Phillies 2

    Sep 4, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: The once-feared Roy Halladay was there for the taking early on, but the Nationals couldn’t take advantage of the former Cy Young Award winner’s wildness. Jordan Zimmermann also got off to a shaky start but rebounded to toss five straight scoreless innings and keep the game close. Ryan Zimmerman’s solo homer…

  21. Harper admits he hasn’t been 100 percent since April

    Sep 4, 2013, 6:14 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper finally admitted Wednesday his ailing left hip is bothering him, so manager Davey Johnson gave his young outfielder the night off. Harper, though, also admitted he hasn’t been close to 100 percent healthy for the vast majority of this season, certainly not since he collided with the right field wall in…

  22. Game 139: Nats at Phillies

    Sep 4, 2013, 3:32 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PHILADELPHIA — The Nationals, at minimum, need to win every series they play over the season’s final month. So they’ve put themselves in position to do that tonight at Citizens Bank Park, if they can take the series finale from the Phillies and take two of three here. Obviously, they’ll need to win more than…

  23. Nationals slog their way to ugly victory

    Sep 4, 2013, 12:51 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — They won’t be adding the footage of Tuesday night’s 9-6 Nationals victory over the Phillies to one of those instructional baseball videos that are advertised late at night. Any evidence of this game — which featured a combined 347 pitches, 13 walks, five wild pitches, a hit batter, a balk, four errors, a…

  24. Instant analysis: Nats 9, Phillies 6

    Sep 3, 2013, 10:44 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Game in a nutshell: This won’t go down as the prettiest game the Nationals have played this season. But it’s a win, and at this point that’s the only thing that matters. Gio Gonzalez battled wildness (three walks, two wild pitches) and poor defense behind him (three errors). Wilson Ramos, starting his 12th consecutive game…

  25. Walters among September call-ups, Espinosa not

    Sep 3, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — The Nationals made their final round of September call-ups on Tuesday, promoting five more players from Class AAA Syracuse, including infielder Zach Walters. More significant than those were were brought up for the season’s final month, though, was one player who didn’t get the call: Danny Espinosa. The Nationals’ Opening Day second baseman,…

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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