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  1. Around the NL East: Will the surging Mets stay healthy?

    Apr 21, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  The Braves had another solid week, and if not for the torrid Mets would probably still be atop the division standings at 8-4. What’s most intriguing so far about Atlanta’s start is that the offense seems to be doing just fine despite the loss of key bats in the offseason. How about former…

  2. Espinosa solid as temporary third baseman

    Apr 21, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Though the Nationals are getting healthier by the day – they saw both Jayson Werth and Denard Span return over the last week – they are still making do with temporary replacements. Danny Espinosa, for one, is playing third base. He has started at the hot corner in two consecutive games after Yunel Escobar, who…

  3. Strasburg’s changeup key in Sunday’s win

    Apr 19, 2015, 6:11 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    For a guy who was inefficient through his first two outings – needing 204 pitches through his initial 10 2/3 innings this year – Stephen Strasburg sure reversed his fortune on Sunday in an almost-perfect dismantling of the Philadelphia Phillies. Strasburg was surgical and looked much like the dominant pitcher we’ve seen at times throughout…

  4. Game 13: Phillies at Nats

    Apr 19, 2015, 9:24 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals aim to clinch their first series of the season Sunday afternoon as they close out their four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies. Stephen Strasburg (0-1, 6.75) will take the mound for Washington, while right-hander David Buchanan (0-2, 11.42) will pitch for the Phillies. The Nationals have Denard Span back in the lineup after he…

  5. Zimmermann still trying to find groove

    Apr 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Jordan Zimmermann pitched well enough to win Saturday afternoon. But that’s never been good enough for Zimmermann, nor for those who have come to expect more out of the Nationals right-hander. So Zimmermann was fairly hard on himself following the 5-3 loss to the Phillies, one in which he gave up four runs (two earned)…

  6. Desmond: “I’m gonna get through it”

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    AP

    If Ian Desmond ever was going to go crawl in a hole and disappear from public view, this might have been the time. If Matt Williams ever was going to bench his starting shortstop after another nightmare defensive inning, this might have been the time. And if ever the crowd of 35,330 at Nationals Park…

  7. Phillies 5, Nats 3: Desmond’s woes open door for Phillies

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Ian Desmond’s defensive struggles have been painful enough to watch on their own, but the fact several have directly impacted the results of Nationals games has only made this saga all the more painful to experience. That saga hit a low point Saturday afternoon, when a pair of Desmond miscues at…

  8. Game 12: Phillies at Nats

    Apr 18, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the District, a perfect day for some matinee baseball as the Nationals try to extend their winning streak to four game and get back to the .500 mark overall, facing a Phillies club that has lost six in a row. Yunel Escobar is not in the lineup after straining…

  9. Impressive Scherzer giving Nats valuable April innings

    Apr 17, 2015, 11:51 PM EDT

    AP

    If there was one minor knock on Max Scherzer upon signing his record-setting contract with the Nationals this winter, it was a reputation for not pitching as deep into games as you might normally expect from a starter who signs a record-setting contract. Three impressive starts into his career in D.C., Scherzer is bucking that…

  10. Nats 7, Phillies 2: Harper homers, Scherzer cruises

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:43 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals wasted no time jumping all over Phillies right-hander Sean O’Sullivan, getting a 3-run homer from Bryce Harper in the bottom of the first. That’s one way to relax everybody and let them settle in for a nice Friday night at the ballpark, and the Nationals certainly looked relaxed in…

  11. Game 11: Phillies at Nats

    Apr 17, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The resurgence of the Nationals’ lineup has coincided with a couple of tweaks that — at least based on history — you wouldn’t think would make a positive difference: Ian Desmond batting second and Danny Espinosa batting left-handed. But somehow those two guys have managed to reverse historical trends and be productive. So Matt Williams…

  12. Nats’ offense continues to roll

    Apr 16, 2015, 11:34 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Despite the injuries and the ugly early season numbers, anyone who has watched the Nationals in recent years could tell you it was only a matter of time before their offense broke out. Some may say they turned a corner during Wednesday’s win when they put a 10-spot on the Red Sox. Some may look…

  13. Game 10: Phillies at Nats

    Apr 16, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Washington Nationals return home on Thursday to begin a seven-game homestand starting with a four-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies. Doug Fister will go up against Phillies ace Cole Hamels in the 10th game of the 2015 season. The Phillies enter Thursday with an identical record to the Nats at 3-6, though they have…

  14. ‘Baseball in the District’ – Nats prospects Joe Ross and Tony Renda

    Apr 15, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

    Photo by the Associated Press

    In this week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I had two of the Nationals’ top minor league prospects on as guests. Tim traveled to Harrisburg on Monday and talked to both Joe Ross and Tony Renda. Both had great stuff on playing in Double-A and their development as…

  15. Around the NL East: Can the Braves stay hot?

    Apr 14, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES  So, who had the Braves in first place after one week? Not many, especially after the Craig Kimbrel trade. But that, as they say, is why they play the games. Atlanta has posted the best ERA in the majors at 1.86, and have more than held its own offensively, scoring the 11th most…

  16. Ugly win, but better days are ahead for Nats

    Apr 12, 2015, 6:50 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — They struggled yet again to string together hits and mount something that remotely resembled a rally. They blew a late lead yet again and watched as their work-in-progress bullpen kept teetering on the brink of disaster. This time, though, the Nationals did just enough to win a ballgame. And thanks to Sunday’s 4-3,…

  17. Nats 4, Phillies 3 (10): Wild pitch salvages the weekend

    Apr 12, 2015, 4:57 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A broken record would be less frustrating for Nationals fans to listen to right now than a recap of a ballgame played in the last week. Yes, it happened once again Sunday, with the Nats taking an early lead but unable to tack on after that, then hoping their bullpen cold…

  18. Game 6: Nats at Phillies

    Apr 12, 2015, 12:41 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PHILADELPHIA — There’s no such thing as a “must-win” game on April 12, but let’s just say the Nationals really, really, really want to win today’s series finale at Citizens Bank Park and at least head up to Boston at 2-4 with positive momentum instead of 1-5 having just been swept by the Phillies. Who…

  19. Espinosa back to switch-hitting again

    Apr 12, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — Danny Espinosa spent the entire spring hitting right-handed against right-handed pitching, acknowledging his long-term struggles from the left side of the plate, recognizing his best (and possibly only) hope of sticking in the big leagues was to give up switch-hitting. But when given his first opportunity of the season to face a right-handed…

  20. At 1-4, with issues, will Nats really “be fine?”

    Apr 12, 2015, 12:32 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PHILADELPHIA — The theme inside the Nationals’ clubhouse following Saturday night’s 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Phillies — a loss that left this team a surprising 1-4 to begin a season of sky-high expectations — was universal. “I think we’ll be fine,” manager Matt Williams said. “That’s all I’m going to say about it. I…

  21. Phillies 3, Nats 2 (10): Bullpen falters again

    Apr 11, 2015, 10:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: This may sound familiar: The Nationals got an early home run, couldn’t do much else at the plate and then left little margin for error for their bullpen, which couldn’t hold a late lead. Wilson Ramos provided the early homer, an opposite-field shot in the top of the fourth off Cole…

  22. Game 5: Nats at Phillies

    Apr 11, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PHILADELPHIA — In their search for some semblance of offense, the Nationals are giving a couple of guys their first opportunity to start a game tonight: Reed Johnson and Danny Espinosa. The logic behind it: Both hit left-handers well. Johnson owns a career .310 batting average and .818 OPS against lefties, while Espinosa hits .271…

  23. Offensive woes leave no margin for error for pitchers

    Apr 10, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT

    AP

    PHILADELPHIA — It’s easy to point to the fateful bottom of the seventh inning as the turning point of Friday night’s game, with the Nationals’ pitching staff imploding and turning a 1-0 lead into a 4-1 deficit in the blink of an eye. And certainly there are questions this team must answer when it comes…

  24. Phillies 4, Nats 1: No offense again, bullpen falters late

    Apr 10, 2015, 9:37 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a tough season-opening series against the Mets’ talented rotation, the Nationals may have thought they were due for some more fireworks against journeyman Jerome Williams. And when Michael Taylor led off the game with a home run down the left-field line, everybody in the visiting dugout perked up. But then…

  25. Game 4: Nats at Phillies

    Apr 10, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PHILADELPHIA — It’s pretty remarkable to consider where the Nationals and Phillies stood as franchises only four years ago, then to consider where they both stand now. It’s been a complete 180-degree turn for both (though at least by 2011 the Nats had some glimmer of short-term hope, where these Phillies have very little). We’ll…

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NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
NEW YORK134
ATLANTA884.5
WASHINGTON7106.0
PHILADELPHIA6118.0
MIAMI6118.0
*Through Friday's games

THE BASEBALL SHOW

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to recap everything happening with the Nats and across baseball.

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.
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FRI: 5:30 p.m.
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