Apr 21, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT
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…
Apr 21, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Apr 19, 2015, 6:11 PM EDT
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…
Apr 19, 2015, 9:24 AM EDT
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…
Apr 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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)…
Apr 18, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT
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…
Apr 18, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT
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…
Apr 18, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
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…
Apr 17, 2015, 11:51 PM EDT
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…
Apr 17, 2015, 9:43 PM EDT
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…
Apr 17, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT
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…
Apr 16, 2015, 11:34 PM EDT
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…
Apr 16, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT
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…
Apr 15, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT
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…
Apr 14, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
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…
Apr 12, 2015, 6:50 PM EDT
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,…
Apr 12, 2015, 4:57 PM EDT
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…
Apr 12, 2015, 12:41 PM EDT
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…
Apr 12, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT
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…
Apr 12, 2015, 12:32 AM EDT
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…
Apr 11, 2015, 10:33 PM EDT
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…
Apr 11, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT
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…
Apr 10, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT
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…
Apr 10, 2015, 9:37 PM EDT
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…
Apr 10, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT
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…
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
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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- 'Baseball in the District' - Tom Schad of the Washington Times
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