Oct 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EST
The Nationals made their first contract decisions of the offseason Thursday afternoon, picking up the $9 million option they held on center fielder Denard Span for 2015 but declining their options on first baseman Adam LaRoche and reliever Rafael Soriano. None of the three moves was a surprise, but each helps shape the club’s roster…
Oct 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
As the Nationals transition into offseason mode, so do we (a little sooner than any of us expected). Over a five-day stretch, we’ll run through the five biggest storylines of the winter for this club, continuing today with the No. 4 storyline: Wondering whether one of the majors’ best bullpens might be bolstered even more…
Oct 3, 2014, 1:46 PM EST
The Nationals announced their 25-man playoff roster for the NLDS right at the deadline on Friday at 10 a.m. The biggest surprises are Ross Detwiler being left off and Rafael Soriano being included as their eighth reliever. Veteran bench player Scott Hairston is also not on the list. Manager Matt Williams explained his reasoning to…
Sep 11, 2014, 9:15 AM EST
Five days after getting temporarily removed from his job as closer, and two days after throwing a bullpen to tweak his mechanics, Rafael Soriano appeared in the Nats’ 6-2 loss to the Braves on Sunday in a low-leverage situation to continue searching for a fix. It was the top of the eighth inning and it…
Sep 10, 2014, 10:22 AM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 3-2 Team slash: .260/.339/.367 Team ERA: 2.36 Runs per game: 4 STOCK UP Adam LaRoche, 1B: .438 AVG/ 3 HR/ 7 RB It’s a safe bet that if you win NL co-player of the week honors, you’re stock is probably rising. Such is the case with…
Sep 8, 2014, 5:17 PM EST
Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano began the process of fixing his mechanics on Monday with a bullpen session in front of pitching coach Steve McCatty in Washington. Soriano was taken out of the closer spot after blowing a career-high seventh save of the season on Friday night. It is a temporary move to get the 34-year-old back on track…
Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
Rafael Soriano, stuck in one of the worst pitching slumps of his career, will take at least a couple days off to refine his mechanics and clear his mind, leaving Nationals manager Matt Williams to pick a new closer from a pool of several bullpen candidates, at least on a temporary basis. Williams would not,…
Sep 6, 2014, 1:27 AM EST
It was a crossroads many spotted from a distance. Despite a first place record and a near-lock for an NL East division title, the 79-60 Nationals have a problem brewing in the back of their bullpen. And after Friday’s 9-8 loss in 11 innings to the Phillies, it may finally be coming to a head. Manager…
Sep 4, 2014, 2:09 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-3 Team slash: .230/.286/.482 Team ERA: 3.16 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Bryce Harper, LF: .379 AVG/ 4 HR/ 1.212 OPS So um, perhaps he doesn’t need to be sent down to the minors after all. During a week in which the Nationals’…
Aug 20, 2014, 2:07 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 7-0 Team slash: .271/.343/.421 Team ERA: 2.01 Runs per game: 5 STOCK UP Adam LaRoche, 1B: 3 HR/ 7 RBI/.419 OBP When the Nationals are rolling like this, you could probably make a case for any number of guys being in this spot.…
Aug 19, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
As much as Matt Williams is thrilled to have seen his team win seven straight games, the last three of them in dramatic walk-off fashion, the last two of them in extra innings, the Nationals manager does realize there’s one caveat to all this recent excitement. “It doesn’t help your bullpen, for sure,” he said…
Aug 18, 2014, 12:50 PM EST
Top storylines: Nats on a roll – With two walk-off victories this weekend, the Nationals have now won six straight, their best stretch of the 2014 season. Even with Ryan Zimmerman still out, even with Jayson Werth still technically out, and even with the recent struggles of Gio Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, the Nats are…
Aug 18, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
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…
Aug 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
There was Kevin Frandsen’s complete mishandling of a routine fly ball, letting the game’s first run score. There were two more errors by Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos. There was a mini-meltdown of sorts by Jordan Zimmermann in the bottom of the seventh. And there was, of course, a heart attack of a ninth inning…
Jul 31, 2014, 1:51 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 3-3 Team slash: .231/.326/.265 Team ERA: 3.32 Runs per game: 3 STOCK UP Tanner Roark, SP: 2-0/ 1.29 ERA/ 0.64 WHIP Roark’s season thus far has been nothing short of a cinderella story. Despite the 27-year-old righty’s stigma of being a supposed “back of…
Jul 29, 2014, 12:35 AM EST
MIAMI — The 2014 Nationals really haven’t had to deal with losses like this, gut-punch losses in which a 6-run lead somehow turns into a 7-6 loss before anyone has sufficient time to process the carnage. The mood inside the visitors clubhouse at Marlins Park on Monday night was one of disbelief, a group of…
Jul 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
There seems to be a sense among many that the Nationals haven’t really taken off as a team this season, that there’s a much higher level of success yet to reach for a talented ballclub that hasn’t achieved its full potential. And perhaps that’s true. Maybe the Nationals are still capable of going on some…
Jul 6, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
A Nationals club that boasts the NL’s fourth-best record but fewer dominant performances by individuals so far this season received only one All-Star selection Sunday evening: right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. There’s still a chance of more Washington representation at Minnesota’s Target Field on July 15, with infielder Anthony Rendon one of five candidates in the NL’s…
Jul 3, 2014, 11:15 AM EST
All-Star rosters will be announced on Sunday, and while most of the discussion in relation to the Nationals has been about the worthiness of Adam LaRoche or Anthony Rendon, we haven’t talked a whole lot about the worthiness of several members of their bullpen. And we should be, because there are no shortage of worthy…
Jun 19, 2014, 12:50 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 2-4 Team slash: .214/.308/.277 Team ERA: 4.42 Runs per game: 2.66 STOCK UP Rafael Soriano, RP: 3 GP, 3.0 IP/2 SV/0.00 ERA He might frighten fans every time he comes in a game during a save situation, but Soriano still finds a way to get it…
Jun 11, 2014, 2:16 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 6-1 Team slash: .273/.337/.457 Team ERA: 1.34 Runs per game: 6.42 STOCK UP Ian Desmond, SS: .333 AVG/2 HR/9 RBI/.750 SLG The Nationals’ offense continues to hit its stride, as different members of the lineup are taking turns getting hot, and this week it was…
Jun 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
First things first: Rafael Soriano threw a bad pitch to Yonder Alonso with two outs in the bottom of the ninth late last night in San Diego. A 1-0 fastball up in the zone and over the plate to Alonso, who sent it flying over the right-field fence at Petco Park, sending the game into…
May 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
When Ross Detwiler got Devin Mesoraco to popup to the third baseman in the top of the 15th inning late Monday night, the left-hander extended a streak of dominance by the Nationals bullpen to new, hard-to-fathom lengths. At that moment, the Nats relief corps had tossed 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. That’s more than three…
May 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
They’ve lost more than half their starting lineup to injuries at various points over the last two months. Their star-studded rotation has been decidedly average to date. And they’ve been among the worst defensive clubs in baseball. So how have the Nationals managed to go 23-20 over the season’s first seven weeks, leaving themselves a…
May 17, 2014, 12:07 AM EST
The game was well in hand. The Nationals held a 5-2 lead over the Mets with two outs in the ninth, nobody on base, and all Rafael Soriano had to do was retire one more batter before giving up three runs. And then Soriano walked pinch-hitter Juan Lagares on four pitches. And then he walked…
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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- Nationals linked to top free agent Max Scherzer
- Nats add 4 players to 40-man roster, drop pair
- Report: Nationals consider Zimmermann & Fister 'available'
- Nationals need to make 40-man roster decisions
- Zimmermann's gift to Souza for no-hitter catch revealed
- Report: LaRoche has $20M deal on table from Marlins
- Mets set plan for Harvey with Strasburg in mind
- Point/Counterpoint: Will Nats regret Zim's contract?
- Report: Marlins showing strong interest in LaRoche
- Nats minor league coordinator Beasley leaves for Rangers