Jun 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
When Ian Desmond launched a 3-run homer off Texas’ Colby Lewis in the bottom of the fourth back on May 30, it was immediately wondered whether that sorely needed blast would serve as the catapult that finally got the Nationals going on a prolonged hot streak. But even the most optimistic of Nationals faithful couldn’t…
Jun 9, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT
The Nationals are playing their best baseball of the season right now, having won seven of nine to propel themselves into a three-way tie for first place in the NL East with the Braves and Marlins. The one caveat: This hot streak has come against the struggling Rangers, Phillies and Padres. Tonight, the real test…
Jun 9, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT
Top storylines: Four games in San Francisco – Winners of seven of their last nine games, the Nationals are starting to look like contenders once again. They are healthy and scoring runs, and their starting rotation is getting stronger by the game. Monday night they will have quite the test in the San Francisco Giants, owners of the…
Jun 5, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
When: June 5-7 Where: Secaucus, NJ TV: MLB Network will carry the first and second rounds live on television Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m. Rounds 3-10 on Friday and rounds 11-40 on Saturday will be broadcast on MLB.com. The second and third days get started at 1 p.m. Draft order: The first 10 picks…
Jun 5, 2014, 1:28 AM EDT
It’s only five games. That qualifier needs to be made. Five days from now, the storyline could be completely reversed. But over these last five games — four of them wins, including Wednesday night’s 8-4 victory over the Phillies — the Nationals haven’t merely looked like a team having a nice week. After two months…
Jun 4, 2014, 11:56 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals have been waiting for weeks to go on a sustained run, a stretch where they’re firing on all cylinders, at the plate and on the mound. It may be too early to declare this the run they’ve been seeking, but they’re certainly on the right track. With yet another…
Jun 4, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
And so we officially move beyond Ryan Zimmerman Left Field Debut Day and into Ryan Zimmerman Regular Left Fielder Month. After last night’s successful return following 7 1/2 weeks on the DL, Zim is right back out there again, batting fifth and again starting in left field. Will he actually be tested defensively tonight? We…
May 31, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT
As Ian Desmond crossed the plate on the heels of the first 3-run homer struck by a Nationals batter in eons, anybody who stood within shouting distance of the fired-up shortstop had to brace himself for what was about to be unleashed. Desmond got Jayson Werth first with an emphatic high-five. Adam LaRoche and Nate…
May 30, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After an agonizing loss Wednesday night in which they couldn’t produce the one clutch hit that would’ve won the game — a theme that has been all too familiar this season — the Nationals came back refreshed today hoping for better results in their series opener against the Rangers. Then they…
May 30, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
It’s not their first-ever visit to D.C. — they were here in 2008 — but it’s always notable when the Texas Rangers come to town, given that franchise’s history. For 11 seasons from 1961-71, they were the expansion Washington Senators, the team of Frank Howard and Ted Williams and the original curly W logo. How…
May 25, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT
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…
May 24, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT
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…
May 24, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
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…
May 24, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT
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…
May 20, 2014, 12:04 AM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You never know what kind of ballgame you might see on a random Monday night in May. The 24,505 who came to Nationals Park tonight — or, at least, those who made it all the way to the end — were treated to one of the best-played, back-and-forth, dramatic, random Monday…
May 19, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT
Today the Nationals and Reds begin their three-game series in Washington with two top 10 picks from the 2009 MLB Draft on the mound. Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48), the first overall pick, will face off with Mike Leake (2-3, 3.09), picked eighth overall. Strasburg will pitch against the Reds for the third time in his…
May 19, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT
Top storylines: Injury updates – This week the Nationals lost yet another man to the disabled list as Gio Gonzalez went down with left shoulder inflammation. The lefty will now be shut down until the second half of this week where he will then begin throwing. If all goes well from there, he could set himself up…
May 15, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT
In this week’s episode of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I once again welcomed two guests. The first was Bleacher Report lead writer for sports medicine, Will Carroll. The former Sports Illustrated columnist gave his insight on the recent crop of Tommy John surgeries in baseball and whether he thinks…
May 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Some ballgames are loaded with twists and turns and enough key decisions to leave armchair managers second-guessing for days. And then there are ballgames like the one played last night at Chase Field, a 3-1 Diamondbacks win over the Nationals that was about as clear-cut as they get. If you missed it, here’s the Cliff…
May 13, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT
The Nationals certainly are capable of coming from behind to win games; they’ve already done it 11 times this season. Which means they’ve only taken a lead and held it through an entire game nine times. In order to add to the total of the second category, they need to start scoring early runs and…
May 12, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT
Top storylines: Nats get swept in Oakland – The Nationals just played a very good team in the Oakland Athletics, the two-time defending AL West champions and current holders of the most wins (23) in the American League. Though the Nats had their chances on Saturday, the A’s outscored the Nats 21-4 over the three games.…
May 9, 2014, 12:35 PM EDT
Mark appeared on Geico SportsNet Central Thursday night to preview Doug Fister’s season debut with the Nationals. Tonight Fister will take the mound for the first time since coming to Washington in an offseason trade. He’ll face off with the Oakland Athletics at 10:05 p.m. Before talking Fister, Mark recapped Stephen Strasburg’s win over the…
May 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
When Stephen Strasburg struck out Miguel Olivo and Justin Turner in succession to end the top of the seventh inning yesterday afternoon, the crowd of 34,756 at Nationals Park rose and saluted the right-hander as he retreated to the dugout. Everyone in attendance had every reason to believe Strasburg’s afternoon was complete. He had thrown…
May 7, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After waiting out a 1-hour, 40-minute rain delay — what else is new? — Stephen Strasburg took the mound trying to pitch the Nationals to a series victory over a tough opponent, something they hadn’t yet done this season. The right-hander delivered, though only after another shaky first inning. Strasburg gave…
May 7, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
It’s another cloudy day in D.C., and the grounds crew is standing at the ready with the tarp at Nationals Park, with a storm system approaching from the northwest. Looks like it’s going to hit the area before today’s scheduled 1:05 p.m. first pitch. The question is whether it will pass through before then. As…
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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