Aug 20, 2014, 12:26 AM EDT
There are nights when the Nationals hope Stephen Strasburg takes the mound and does something like this, and then there are nights when the Nationals need Stephen Strasburg to take the mound and do something like this. It might sound harsh to suggest a team already on a 7-game winning streak needed eight innings of…
Aug 19, 2014, 9:58 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: As much as they enjoyed their wild victories over the last few nights, the Nationals knew their bullpen had been taxed to extreme levels after back-to-back, extra-inning games. So the goal tonight against the Diamondbacks was simple: Try to take a sizable lead and get a bunch of innings out of…
Aug 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
There have been only three winning streaks of at least eight games in Nationals history (a 10-gamer in June 2005, an 8-gamer in June 2011 and another 8-gamer in August 2012). So tonight, they’ll go for their fourth such streak over the last 10 seasons, trying to beat the Diamondbacks again (though perhaps not in…
Aug 18, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
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 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
That the Nationals just swept the Mets in New York isn’t a major surprise. This is a team, in case you didn’t realize, that has now won 11 consecutive games at Citi Field. A loss in Flushing, that would have constituted a surprise. But the manner in which the Nationals won the last three nights,…
Aug 14, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Tonight the Nationals close out their three-game series at Citi Field in search of a sweep of the New York Mets. Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) will look to overcome his road woes against a club he has handled well in the past. Strasburg, oddly enough, is only making his sixth career start vs. the Mets tonight. Compare…
Aug 13, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .257/.313/.462 Team ERA: 2.82 Runs per game: 5 STOCK UP Doug Fister, SP: 2-0/ 14.1 IP/ 0.00 ERA As he has for most of this season, Fister continues to be the rock of the Nationals’ rotation. In fact, it might be…
Aug 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
After losing two of three in Atlanta – the final loss among their most frustrating this season – the Nationals now head north to New York for a three-game series against the Mets. Monday was an off-day, Tuesday is a chance to turn the page. The Nationals this year have had little trouble against the…
Aug 9, 2014, 1:33 AM EDT
ATLANTA — Stephen Strasburg was at a loss for words, despondent, unable — or perhaps simply unwilling — to offer much explanation for his clunker of an outing Friday night at Turner Field, one that left his Nationals teammates in a 7-run hole they still very nearly dug their way out of, falling one more…
Aug 8, 2014, 11:34 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They came to Atlanta feeling good about themselves, while the Braves returned home reeling from an 0-8 West Coast trip. And then within minutes, the script had flipped back to a familiar (and frustrating) one for the Nationals. The Braves rocked Stephen Strasburg for six runs in the first two innings,…
Aug 8, 2014, 4:13 PM EDT
ATLANTA — Hello from Turner Field, which doesn’t exactly look ready for baseball at this moment. It has been absolutely pouring here for the last hour, and there’s no let-up in sight. Really, the whole weekend looks bad, so who knows what that means for this crucial, 3-game series between the Nationals and Braves. If…
Aug 8, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT
In the seven weeks since the Nats and Braves last squared off on June 22, the two teams have traveled very different paths. The Nationals in that span have gone 23-16. They lost Ryan Zimmerman to a hamstring injury, but now have Bryce Harper, Asdrubal Cabrera and Matt Thornton in store. They have a 4…
Aug 6, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 2-4 Team slash: .240/.307/.321 Team ERA: 3.93 Runs per game: 4 STOCK UP Denard Span, CF: .423 AVG/ .467 OBP/ 5 SB Is there anything left to say about what Span’s been doing the last month? He’s giving the Nationals everything they could possibly…
Aug 3, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
Before the Phillies bullpen allowed the Nationals to secure a comfortable lead in the eighth inning on Sunday, much of the afternoon was the Stephen Strasburg vs. Cole Hamels show. Both starters were locked in, neither giving an inch to their opponent. Hamels was the one to blink with a run allowed in the third,…
Aug 3, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With Stephen Strasburg and Cole Hamels on the mound, this game was billed as a pitchers duel. It did not disappoint. Both starters were sharp all afternoon, briskly mowing down their opposing lineup. The Nationals beat the Phillies 4-0, but neither starting pitcher yielded an earned run. Strasburg began the game by retiring seven…
Aug 3, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT
The Nationals enter Sunday looking to split their four-game series with Philadelphia, thanks to an 11-0 beatdown of the Phillies on Saturday night. Runs, however, could be a little harder to come by on this particular day. It’s a marquee pitching matchup at Nationals Park with Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55) going up against Cole Hamels…
Jul 29, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT
MIAMI — When healthy, the Nationals lineup is something to behold, an 8-deep consortium of power, patience and potency that proved to be as effective an offensive group as there is in baseball. But the moment one key guy goes down — or even worse, when two key guys go down as was the case…
Jul 29, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a gut-punch loss Monday night, the Nationals took the field tonight hoping a big-time performance from Stephen Strasburg would help them put the previous 24 hours well behind them. Strasburg did his part, tossing seven inning of 1-run ball, allowing only Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double in the…
Jul 29, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT
MIAMI — Was last night’s meltdown a blip on the radar or the beginning of a downward trend? The man who may have the most to say about that is Stephen Strasburg, who tonight gets the ball for the middle game of this series. Strasburg has his own Marlins Park demons to exorcise. In five…
Jul 24, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .318/.361/.444 Team ERA: 3.74 Runs per game: 5.5 STOCK UP Ian Desmond, SS: .440 AVG/ .462 OBP/ .640 SLG This past week was a pretty good reminder that when he’s right, Desmond is one of the best hitting shortstops in the…
Jul 24, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT
On this week’s episode, Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I brought in two excellent guests in USA Today national baseball writer Bob Nightengale and Harrisburg Senators infielder Matt Skole, one of the Nationals’ top prospects. Nightengale gave us a preview of the 2014 trade deadline and what he thinks both the Nationals and their rivals…
Jul 23, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With an opportunity to sweep the foundering Rockies and get their 9-game road off to a stellar start, the Nationals knew they’d need to compensate for the absences of Ryan Zimmerman (who was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain), Jayson Werth (given a day off to rest his…
Jul 23, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
First up, the news we all knew was coming: Ryan Zimmerman is headed to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The only question at this point is how long the Nationals’ third baseman will be out. It’ll be at least 15 days, obviously, and for now Zimmerman is being replaced on the active…
Jul 19, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT
If you wanted to pick one start that seemed to epitomize Stephen Strasburg’s season, this might well have been it. Strasburg was dominant at times Friday night, striking out nine Brewers while walking only one. Yet he was done in by a couple of home runs and a key, 2-out, 2-run single that ultimately left…
Jul 18, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals entered the All-Star break playing some of their best baseball of the season. They came out of their 4-day vacation a bit on the sluggish side. Stephen Strasburg served up a pair of early homers and despite settling down and churning out seven innings still departed with his team…
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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.
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