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Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. Soriano’s blown save raises questions

    Aug 18, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals came through with their sixth consecutive victory in extra innings on Sunday, their second walk-off win in less than 24 hours. This one, though, never should have made it that far. Nationals closer Rafael Soriano had a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning before surrendering three runs for his fifth blown save of…

  2. Werth fights through pain to help Nats win

    Aug 17, 2014, 10:22 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    [Updated 11:10 p.m.] Hampered by AC joint inflammation in his right shoulder, Jayson Werth had been out recovering for seven days before coming off the bench in the Nats’ win over the Pirates on Sunday night. He had a cortisone shot three days prior and hadn’t swung a bat against live pitching in a week.…

  3. Instant Analysis: Nats 6, Pirates 5 (11)

    Aug 17, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Pennant races in Major League Baseball are supposed to be thrilling, they are supposed to keep fans at the edge of their seats. Wins often do not come easy, and losses can be tough to swallow. Few games, however, can produce the extreme ups and downs of the Nationals’ 6-5 win over…

  4. Game 122: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 17, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT

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    Today the Nationals look for a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a season-high, 6-game winning streak with Doug Fister (12-3, 2.34) on the mound in a rare 5:05 p.m. game. Fister will make his 18th start of the season looking to lower his 2014 ERA for a fifth consecutive outing. The Nats are 13-4 in…

  5. As curveball eludes him, Gonzalez’s pitch counts soar

    Aug 17, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Gio Gonzalez has never been the most efficient pitcher in the league, but his inefficiency has reached new depths this season, especially in the last month. The left-hander’s latest laborious outing: Last night’s 5-inning slog, in which he threw 102 pitches. This, on the heels of a 111-pitch, 4 2/3-inning start in Atlanta. Do the…

  6. A well-rounded rally

    Aug 17, 2014, 12:44 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It began innocently enough, a leadoff walk drawn by rookie Michael Taylor with the Nationals trailing the Pirates by three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The sellout crowd of 41,880 applauded the effort but hardly sensed what that plate appearance was about to trigger. The vibe picked up more after Denard Span singled,…

  7. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Pirates 3

    Aug 16, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Seeking only their second 5-game winning streak of the season, the Nationals took the field tonight knowing they’d need a quality start from struggling Gio Gonzalez to have a good chance. They got neither that nor much of anything at the plate against lefty Jeff Locke, putting themselves in a 3-0…

  8. Werth progressing toward Sunday return

    Aug 16, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    AP

    The Nationals expect to have Jayson Werth back in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates and might even have the veteran outfielder available off the bench tonight. Werth was due to take a full round of batting practice in the cage underneath the stands at Nationals Park this afternoon and otherwise participated…

  9. Game 121: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 16, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In their slow, mostly steady march to the top of the NL East, the Nationals have won five straight games only once this season, from June 28-July 2. Tonight they have a chance to match that streak, if they can take down the Pirates once again. They’ll need a better performance from Gio Gonzalez than…

  10. Williams feels pennant race heating up

    Aug 16, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    With the 64-58 Pittsburgh Pirates – current owners of the final NL Wild Card spot – in town, this weekend’s series for the Nationals perhaps feels different than their previous three games up in New York against the Mets. It’s mid-August and it’s two winning teams who could possibly meet later this year in October. Both are still…

  11. Nats pounce early, hang on late to beat Pirates

    Aug 16, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    One by one, they stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first, hoping to put together quality at-bats but fully aware the percentages said more of them would make outs than didn’t. But then Denard Span beat out an infield single to get things started. And then Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk to…

  12. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 4

    Aug 15, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a sweep of the Mets that catapulted them to a 6-game lead in the NL East, the Nationals returned home for the first of 10 games in 10 days on South Capitol Street. They faced a Pirates club that holds the NL’s best record since May 2, but they quickly…

  13. Game 120: Pirates at Nats

    Aug 15, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The Nationals showed this week they could have their way with a struggling team like the Mets. Now we’ll find out how they fare against a Pirates club that despite injuries to Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole currently holds one of the NL’s two wild card positions. Jayson Werth is not in the Nats’ lineup…

  14. A stopper in mindset, if not words

    May 25, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PITTSBURGH — There are pitchers who will openly say they take the mound with a little extra emotion and motivation when their club is in the midst of a losing streak and desperately needs to put an end to it. Some guys relish the idea of being their team’s stopper. Doug Fister, though, doesn’t buy…

  15. Instant analysis: Nats 5, Pirates 2

    May 25, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They entered today on a four-game losing streak, with a sub-.500 record and mounting concern in the clubhouse. Yet the Nationals had to feel encouraged about their chances in their series finale at PNC Park, for several reasons: 1) They had Adam LaRoche back from the DL, 2) They were facing…

  16. After strong start, Espinosa back in prolonged slump

    May 25, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — There was perhaps no more pleasant development for the Washington Nationals in April than the re-emergence of Danny Espinosa after a disastrous 2013 that threatened his future with the organization. And there has been perhaps no more discouraging development for the Nationals in May than the regression of Espinosa back into the form…

  17. Game 50: Nats at Pirates

    May 25, 2014, 10:28 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — You may want to avert your eyes for a moment, but I feel compelled to share this fact: If the Nationals lose today, they would suffer their first four-game sweep since July 2009 against the Cubs, their first four-game road sweep since August 2008 in Milwaukee. Yikes. But enough with the negative news.…

  18. Strasburg, Nats can’t finish it off

    May 25, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Stephen Strasburg wants to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. The Nationals want Strasburg to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. So it was that…

  19. Instant analysis: Pirates 3, Nats 2

    May 24, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A rare showdown between fellow No. 1 overall draft picks played out as most would have hoped, with Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole trading blows for much of the night in a tense, low-scoring ballgame. Strasburg, the top pick in 2009, appeared to have the edge on Cole, the top pick…

  20. LaRoche rejoins Nats, will be activated Sunday

    May 24, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — Adam LaRoche walked into the visitors clubhouse at PNC Park this afternoon, found a locker waiting with his equipment and uniform already in place and made it clear he will be in the Nationals’ lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the the Pirates. “Yeah,” he said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.” Having emerged…

  21. Game 49: Nats at Pirates

    May 24, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — There have been 49 Major League Baseball amateur drafts, and of the 49 players selected with the No. 1 overall pick, only 16 have been pitchers. And two of those 16 pitchers (Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole) will be on the mound tonight at PNC Park, squaring off against each other. It’s only…

  22. Nats’ rotation not living up to reputation

    May 24, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PITTSBURGH — The Nationals woke up this morning a .500 club, and the majority of the blame for that is being heaped upon a lineup that ranks dead-last in baseball this month in runs (63), batting average (.228) and on-base percentage (.290). And rightfully so. The No. 1 issue facing this club right now is…

  23. Injured, unproductive and back at .500

    May 24, 2014, 12:06 AM EDT

    AP

    PITTSBURGH — The Washington Nationals, a team that only two months ago headed north from Florida with a loaded roster and the loftiest of expectations, fielded a lineup Friday night that featured one player with a batting average over .277. And that was their pitcher. Their cleanup man was hitting .182. The highest batting average…

  24. Instant analysis: Pirates 4, Nats 3

    May 23, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s a struggle for the Nationals to score runs these days, with a lineup lacking Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper. But these guys seem to be finding new ways every night to drive themselves (and their fans) crazy when it comes to clutch situations at the plate. Despite a…

  25. Game 48: Nats at Pirates

    May 23, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PITTSBURGH — Hello from beautiful PNC Park, which looks spectacular as always. After staying back in D.C. last night to appear on CSN’s Baseball Show, I made the easy drive up here this morning and will be on-site the rest of the weekend. The Nationals are trying to bounce back from a tough 3-1 loss…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 53 --
ATLANTA 67 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 10.0
NEW YORK 60 68 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak 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. Click here for past audio clips.

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