Sep 9, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Matt Williams said before Monday’s game he wouldn’t manage late-inning situations any differently despite a bullpen in flux, extra options due to September roster expansion and the night’s opponent being the Atlanta Braves. But then the game unfolded and, with a two-run lead entering the eighth inning, the circumstances called for a little creativity. Up 2-0…
Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
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 EDT
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…
Aug 19, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
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…
Jul 16, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Clippard was minding his own business out in the visitors bullpen at Target Field, chatting with other pitchers on the NL All-Star squad, unsure if he would be appearing in this game at all. And then the call came, and the Nationals right-hander found himself warming up in a hurry, needed to…
Jul 15, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Everyone knew coming in what the 85th Midsummer Classic would be all about: Derek Jeter. And the Yankees shortstop didn’t disappoint in his 14th and final All-Star Game appearance. Afforded no fewer than three standing ovations, he rose to the occasion by going 2-for-2 with a double and a single, also…
Jul 15, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — Maybe I’m just a softie, but the All-Star Game has always held a special place in my heart. Where else can you find this kind of assemblage of baseball talent, outside of perhaps Cooperstown for one summer weekend, the sport’s best and brightest stars all gathered together in one place for 48 hours?…
Jul 13, 2014, 2:56 PM EDT
[Updated: 5:03 p.m.] Washington Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard has been added to the 2014 National League All-Star roster, the Nats announced on Sunday. The news comes two days after Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann, the team’s lone All-Star Game representative, was forced to leave Friday’s game against Philadelphia with a right bicep strain. Clippard, 29, was added…
Jul 3, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
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…
Jul 2, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT
The Nationals rattled off four straight wins mostly by pounding opposing pitchers to a pulp and then watching their own pitching staff mow through lineups. In order to pull off their fifth straight victory, they had to get dirty and grind for a change. Down three runs early to the Rockies on a sweltering Wednesday…
Jun 23, 2014, 10:16 AM EDT
You don’t have to remind Tyler Clippard that the Braves have been his kryptonite of late; he’s already well aware. The Nationals’ setup man has been solid all season against the majority of clubs around baseball, owning the second highest mark in the majors for holds with 17 and having recently come off a stretch in…
Jun 22, 2014, 7:47 PM EDT
Winning two games out of a four-game set technically goes down as a split, as both teams leave the park without a series win. But for the Nationals to take two against the Braves this weekend, given the recent history between the two, this one sure feels different for Washington. Before Thursday’s series opener, the Nationals…
Jun 19, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
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, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ most-dominant stretch of baseball in some time had been notable for the number of blowout victories this club had been stringing together over the last two weeks. Last night’s 2-1 win in San Francisco, then, was the outlier of the group. This was no cakewalk. This was a nip-and-tuck ballgame the likes of…
May 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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 15, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week: Record: 2-4 Team slash: .205/.246/.328 Team ERA: 4.45 Runs per game: 2.6 STOCK UP Tyler Clippard, RP: 3 GP/2-0/0.00 ERA/0.00 WHIP There were few bright spots during a somewhat tumultuous week for the Nationals, so it’s been slim pickings recently trying to find out whose stock has been rising. However,…
Apr 23, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT
Record: 3-4 Team slash: .173/.272/.268 Team ERA: 3.68 Runs per game: 3 STOCK UP Tanner Roark, SP: 13.0 IP/2.08 ERA/10K Roark had a very solid week, even if his numbers don’t jump out at you. He pitched well enough to win in each of his two starts, but didn’t get enough run support to be the…
Apr 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Tyler Clippard has been among baseball’s most-effective relievers for more than four years now, and he has shown an ability to bounce back from several rough stretches along the way. Which is why Nationals manager Matt Williams has continued to show faith in the 29-year-old set-up man and why he didn’t hesitate to stick with…
Apr 22, 2014, 12:23 AM EDT
Through the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the only winning campaigns since the Nationals moved to Washington in 2005, one could argue their most consistent position player was Ian Desmond, and their best relief pitcher was Tyler Clippard. Somehow, three weeks into this new season, each has become their own unique liability. Desmond is committing errors…
Apr 19, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT
Nursing a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals – a team they had not beaten in eight consecutive tries – the Nationals nearly saw it slip away. Struggling relief pitcher Tyler Clippard took over for starter Gio Gonzalez to begin the inning, and needed 26 pitches to…
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 12, 2014, 1:19 AM EDT
ATLANTA — There’s something about these games between the Nationals and Braves, something that elevates them from mere afterthoughts in a 162-game season into epic clashes with twists and turns and oddities that just don’t seem to happen against any other opponent. There’s also something about the most-common result of these nip-and-tuck games: The Braves…
Feb 24, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Tyler Clippard threw off a bullpen mound today, showing no ill effects of a minor back injury that had sidelined him nearly a week ago. “All normal,” the Nationals reliever said. “I mean, I need to iron out some pitching stuff. But physically, I feel good.” Clippard had been restricted since tweaking…
Feb 20, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Though the Nationals have no major injuries throwing a wrench into the early days of spring training, two pitchers are dealing with minor issues that have altered their workout regimens: Tyler Clippard and Ross Ohlendorf. Clippard has not fully participated in drills the last two days after tweaking his back. The reliever…
Feb 19, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT
The Nationals’ bullpen was a bit of a liability last season, just one year after being a major strength for the club. They had issues with righty/lefty balance and an overall lack of depth. This year the Nats hope they’ve fixed those problems, bringing in Jerry Blevins to a unit that will also have one…
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 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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