Jul 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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 27, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT
After a frustrating, 1-0 loss yesterday at Great American Ball Park, the Nationals return today needing a win to take the weekend series against the Reds and continue their impressive run. They’ve either won or split nine of their last 10 series. Who better, then, to have on the mound than Doug Fister? The right-hander…
Jul 26, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals have been on a tear at the plate in recent weeks, beating some decent pitchers along the way. But they hadn’t faced anyone quite like Johnny Cueto, who showed today why he has been among the NL’s most-dominant starters this season. Cueto tossed seven scoreless innings, striking out nine…
Jul 26, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
If you’re among those skeptics who keeps saying you’re waiting for the Nationals to go on a sustained run … well, perhaps you haven’t been paying very close attention. The Nats enter today’s game in Cincinnati having won 7 of 9 and 15 of 21. Since May 28, they are 31-17, the best record in…
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 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 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
They managed to keep their healthy lineup intact for 17 games before injury once again befell the Nationals last night. Ryan Zimmerman strained his right hamstring legging out a grounder in the top of the sixth at Coors Field, hustle that allowed a run to score and ultimately helped the Nationals secure a 7-4 victory…
Jul 22, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT
When last we saw Jordan Zimmermann on a mound, he was motioning for a trainer, his right biceps muscle having cramped up. Zimmermann was confident all along he wasn’t seriously injured, and an MRI of his arm revealed no elbow or shoulder issues, only a muscle strain. He skipped the All-Star Game and had his…
Jul 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
For months, they pined for the day they would be able to field a healthy lineup, recognizing they couldn’t truly evaluate themselves until all eight of their Opening Day starters were back together again. Well, three weeks later, the healthy Nationals now boast the NL’s most-productive lineup. Not to mention the league’s best record. With…
Jul 21, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT
Before Bryce Harper returned to his lineup three weeks ago, Matt Williams suggested he planned to mix and match his lineups, with Ryan Zimmerman in particular bouncing around multiple positions. To date, that hadn’t really happened. Zimmerman stayed at third base. Harper stayed in left field. Denard Span stayed in center field. Anthony Rendon stayed…
Jul 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals pulled out Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Brewers because of the bottom-of-the-ninth heroics by Jayson Werth, whose 2-out double scored Anthony Rendon all the way from first base and gave his teammates reason to mob him in the center of the diamond. Werth’s clutch hit, though, was made possible only by Rafael Soriano’s…
Jul 20, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
They spend hours before each series preparing for the upcoming opponent, studying the pitchers they’ll face, going over each outfielder’s strengths and weaknesses. Oftentimes, all the preparation is for naught. But sometimes, the perfect situation presents itself to use all that advanced scouting and apply it with the game on the line. That situation came…
Jul 20, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a chance to pick up yet another series victory, the Nationals turned to Gio Gonzalez, who had been dominant over the last few weeks. But when Gonzalez struggled to even get through the fourth inning, Matt Williams instead turned to his bullpen to pull this one off. Craig Stammen, Drew…
Jul 20, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT
There are few jobs in baseball tougher to master than pinch-hitting, so any evaluation of a player or a team’s performance in that realm has to be taken with a grain of salt. But facts are facts, and right now, Nationals pinch-hitters are among the worst in baseball. Collectively, they are hitting .153 as pinch-hitters,…
Jul 20, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
The Nationals have been playing pretty good baseball for awhile now, having lost only one of their last eight series (and that one’s a bit misleading because one of their four games with the Orioles was rained out, so technically they could still salvage a split after they play the makeup game). Today, they have…
Jul 20, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
After watching his team rack up 11 hits Friday night yet only push two runs across the plate, Nationals manager Matt Williams could only shake his head and ponder the mysteries of this great game. “That’s baseball, dude,” he muttered following a 4-2 loss to the Brewers. Baseball taketh away, but it also giveth as…
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…
Jul 18, 2014, 5:04 PM EDT
Jordan Zimmermann is on track to start Tuesday night for the Nationals in Colorado after playing catch Thursday and feeling no discomfort in his right arm. Zimmermann, who pulled himself out of his last start in Philadelphia with cramping in his biceps, took time off during the All-Star break to let the muscle rest and…
Jul 18, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
After four long days off, the baseball season resumes tonight, with the Nationals opening a brief, 3-game homestand against the Brewers before heading out on the road. Given the opportunity to reset his rotation over the All-Star break, Matt Williams decided to give the ball to Stephen Strasburg for the second-half opener. Strasburg will be…
Jul 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
After four long days without baseball (at least, anything other than the exhibition variety) the Nationals are back on the field tonight, hosting the Brewers in a nice weekend showdown between first-place clubs. Thus begins the unofficial second half of the season, the final 70-game stretch that will determine whether this team returns to the…
Jul 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Yes, I fully understand the first half of the 2014 baseball season ended more than two weeks ago and that at this point the Nationals have played 57 percent of their regular-season schedule. To which I say: So what? There weren’t a bunch of days off following Game 81 that required creative blog post ideas…
Jul 16, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance… Record: 3-2 Team slash: .224/.288/.407 Team ERA: 3.76 Runs per game: 5.2 STOCK UP Jayson Werth, OF: .333 AVG/ 4HR/ 10 RBI Like we mentioned last week, Werth reeaaally doesn’t want July to end. In the last few weeks alone, he’s accounted for half of his season home run…
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…
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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