Apr 16, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
On the heels of a blowout loss last night, which came on the heels of a sweep in Atlanta last weekend, the Nationals wrap up their road trip tonight facing quite a stiff challenge: Jose Fernandez. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year is on the mound for the Marlins, having thoroughly dominated the Nats…
Apr 16, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Stephen Strasburg took his second loss of the 2014 season on Tuesday night in a game that turned ugly very quickly. Strasburg gave up three earned runs in each of the first two innings against the Marlins, and was removed after four. He now sits 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA on the season and has…
Apr 12, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT
ATLANTA — There were no shortage of storylines to emerge from last night’s wild, 7-6, 10-inning loss at Turner Field. I focused more on the big picture in my game story, about the Nationals’ penchant for losing these kind of games to the Braves, but there were plenty more nuggets worth revisiting. Here’s a run-through…
Apr 11, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Not even Tolstoy would have enough ink to cram every detail of this ballgame into one leather-bound book, but we’ll try to present the Cliff Notes’ version… Tanner Roark was beaten around for four early runs, putting the Nationals in another early hole. Ryan Zimmerman’s bomb off Julio Teheran in the…
Apr 11, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
ATLANTA — Hello from Turner Field, where tonight the Nationals (owners of a best-in-baseball 7-2 record) open a big, three-game series with the Braves (who after losing two of three to the Mets sit at 5-4 overall). As has been noted, the Nats found themselves with the exact same record one year ago, facing the…
Apr 3, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT
It surely takes more than three games for a ballclub to establish an identity, and there’s no telling what may transpire over the next 5 7/8 months to shape the 2014 Washington Nationals.
But Matt Williams and Mike Rizzo wanted to put together a resilient team, one that obviously is loaded with talent but more importantly boasts the maturity, intensity and depth that so often is required to win ballgames when talent alone isn’t enough.
Apr 3, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT
Having already won the first two games at Citi Field, and with Jordan Zimmermann a late scratch due to a nasty stomach virus, the Nationals had to feel like anything positive that happened today would be the cherry on top of a successful season-opening series. Well, this turned into a whopper of a hot fudge sundae, because the Nats once again did everything right in trouncing the Mets to complete a series sweep.
Apr 3, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
Well, this wasn’t quite the scenario anyone expected today, with Tanner Roark starting the Nationals’ third game of the season. But with Jordan Zimmermann severely under the weather — he has a fever, was up all night vomiting and is receiving fluids now to combat dehydration — Matt Williams had to call an audible and gave the ball to Roark for this series finale at Citi Field.
Mar 29, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
After competing with each other for six weeks for the Nationals’ fifth starter job, it turns out both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan have made the team’s Opening Day roster. It happened because of an injury to starter Doug Fister, but both Roark and Jordan are excited for the opportunity no matter the circumstances. “It…
Mar 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The news that came out of Viera yesterday about Doug Fister could under no circumstances be considered positive. Just when it looked like the right-hander was on track to start the season on time, he was pulled from a minor-league game after only one inning with a strained lat muscle. Fister will be examined today…
Mar 26, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Six weeks of spring training haven’t been enough for the Nationals to settle on a No. 5 starter, so what’s a couple more days at this point? Manager Matt Williams said Wednesday the club still hasn’t made a decision on its last remaining roster question and won’t until after Tanner Roark and…
Mar 24, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Taylor Jordan handed the ball to Matt Williams with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and walked back to the first base dugout. And with that came the official conclusion of the evaluation phase of the Nationals’ No. 5 starter spring competition. Now comes the hardest part: Making the decision…
Mar 24, 2014, 7:41 AM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Aaron Barrett is having the time of his life right now, pitching extremely well in his first-ever big-league camp and thrusting himself smack dab into the middle of one of the Nationals’ toughest Opening Day roster decisions. The 26-year-old reliever has absolutely no idea where he’ll be living this time…
Mar 23, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Having seen both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan pitch for nearly six weeks now, Nationals manager Matt Williams admitted his opinion of either right-hander probably wasn’t to be altered much by each hurler’s final Grapefruit League start. There’s nothing wrong, however, with leaving a good impression on your manager’s mind…
Mar 23, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It’s going to be a warm Sunday afternoon at Tradition Field, where the temperatures are supposed to climb into the upper 80s. So it’s only fitting that the battle for the final spot in the Nationals’ rotation begins to heat up today, with Tanner Roark getting perhaps his last chance…
Mar 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
We have reached the home stretch of spring training. There are nine days left before the Nationals break camp and head north for good. Which means it’s just about time to make those final roster decisions that have been looming all spring. I’m heading back to Viera myself this morning and (hopefully) will be on-site…
Mar 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Ross Detwiler, and the Nationals’ decision to put the left-hander in their season-opening bullpen, grabbed yesterday’s headlines. But what about the remaining competitors for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation? How does that situation now sort itself out? Manager Matt Williams told reporters in Lakeland, Fla., yesterday that the decision will come…
Mar 17, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT
The Nationals haven’t named a No. 5 starter yet, but they have eliminated one very prominent name from the competition: Ross Detwiler. Matt Williams told reporters in Lakeland today that Detwiler will open the season in the Nationals’ bullpen, a decision the rookie manager cited as being in the club’s best interests. That leaves Tanner…
Mar 17, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT
It’s snowing in D.C., and it’s raining down in Florida, putting today’s game in Lakeland at least somewhat in jeopardy. If they do get started, it’ll be Tanner Roark on the mound for the Nationals, going up against a Tigers lineup that today includes Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera. Several Nats regulars made the trip.…
Mar 7, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT
With Doug Fister sidelined for the time being due to inflammation in his right elbow, the window of opportunity opens for some other members of the Nationals pitching staff. That includes Tanner Roark, who today gets a chance to make his first start of the spring, bumped up to take Fister’s spot instead of appearing…
Mar 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Each of the three contenders for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation has had the opportunity to pitch two innings now, and if this competition is strictly about performance, Ross Detwiler (who was roughed up by the Yankees for four runs — three earned — and five hits Monday) clearly has taken…
Feb 10, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT
With pitchers and catchers reporting on Thursday, it’s time to take a look ahead at the 2014 Nationals. Going into spring, how does their roster stack up? Mark and I filmed some spring training preview videos looking around the Nationals roster that we’ll have each of the next few days. The first takes a look…
Feb 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
As the countdown to spring training reaches its final days, we’re counting down the Nationals’ five biggest storylines of camp. We continue today with storyline No. 3: The open competition for the final spot in the starting rotation… Ross Detwiler didn’t have to compete for his spot in the Nationals’ rotation one year ago. And…
Feb 9, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 25 How acquired: Drafted 9th round, June 2009 2014 salary: N/A 2013 stats: 9 G, 51.2 IP, 59 H, 27 R, 21 ER, 11 BB, 29 K, 1.355 WHIP, 3.66 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 0.7 WAR 2014 storyline: Taylor Jordan enters spring training as one of three candidates competing for the fifth and final rotation spot.…
Feb 7, 2014, 7:21 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 27 How acquired: Trade with Texas Rangers, July 2010 2014 salary: N/A 2013 stats: 14 G, 5 GS, 53.2 IP, 38 H, 11 R, 9 ER, HR, 11 BB, 40 K, 0.913 WHIP, 7-1, 1.51 ERA, 2.41 FIP, 1.4 WAR 2014 storyline: Tanner Roark was one of the biggest surprises for the Nationals in 2013.…
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.
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