Apr 26, 2014, 12:59 AM EDT
Matt Williams only wanted his Nationals to keep giving themselves opportunities to drive in runs, insisting more opportunities would eventually lead to more runs. Little could the rookie manager have realized how dramatically that would prove true only 24 hours after one of the most-frustrating offensive performances in club history. The Nationals torched the Padres…
Apr 26, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT
Updated at 12:25 a.m. Bryce Harper’s biggest hit in two weeks may have come at a price, but the Nationals’ young star doesn’t believe the left thumb injury he suffered Friday night sliding into third base on a clutch triple is serious. “I didn’t think so,” Harper said following the Nationals’ 11-1 win over the…
Apr 25, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an agonizing, extra-inning loss in which they simply could not buy a clutch hit, the Nationals completely flipped the script. But this lopsided victory may have come at a price, with Bryce Harper leaving early with an apparent left hand injury. Harper appeared to hurt himself sliding…
Apr 25, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT
After 3 1/2 weeks of controversial calls that left nearly everyone in baseball confused over what constituted a catch and what didn’t, Major League Baseball abruptly changed its interpretation of the so-called “transfer rule” on Friday, and members of the Nationals couldn’t be happier about it. “The longer it went on, and the more occasions…
Apr 25, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
One night after stranding 14 men on base and setting a franchise record by going 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position, the Nationals have to hope they’ll be more productive at the plate in the second of their four-game series with the Padres. Matt Williams, showing confidence in a lineup that did rack up 16…
Apr 25, 2014, 12:57 AM EDT
If the Nationals keep giving themselves opportunities to drive in runs, they will eventually convert at least some of those opportunities, that’s what Matt Williams insists. “It’s part of the game, and it is the game,” the rookie manager said after watching his team go a staggering 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position during Thursday…
Apr 24, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Fresh off a pair of tough series against the Cardinals and Angels, the Nationals now get a chance to close out their season-long homestand with four games against the offensively challenged Padres, who entered the day with the fewest runs in the majors. But a couple of clutch hits off Jordan…
Apr 24, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Atlanta Braves (LW: 1) – Roney: The game-calling might not be quite there, but Evan Gattis is making sure they don’t miss Brain McCann too much. 2. Milwaukee Brewers…
Apr 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals have produced enough late rallies already this season — they’ve got seven come-from-behind victories in 22 games — that they don’t ever feel a sense of panic, or feel like all hope is lost. But last night’s bottom-of-the-ninth drama was particularly out-of-the-blue given the situation. Trailing 4-1 and showing little sign of life…
Apr 23, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Trying to avoid an interleague series sweep, the Nationals needed a good start from Gio Gonzalez. They got one, but that still wasn’t good enough. Until some high drama in the bottom of the ninth. Cruising for five innings, Gonzalez quickly got into trouble in the sixth when he walked Mike…
Apr 23, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman and Scott Hairston each are making progress in their recovery from injuries, Nationals manager Matt Williams said Wednesday. Zimmerman, out since fracturing his right thumb on April 12, has begun conditioning exercises and has even performed some light fielding drills, using only his glove hand for now. The veteran third baseman is running…
Apr 23, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
If the Nationals want to avoid getting swept tonight by the Angels, they might want to at least give themselves a fighting chance and not dig themselves into an early hole yet again. Nine times this season they have given up at least two runs in the first inning; five times they’ve given up at…
Apr 23, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals intended all along for both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan to retain their spots in the starting rotation until Doug Fister was ready to return from a strained lat muscle, likely in early-May. At that point, the club would decide which young right-hander deserved to remain in the rotation and which one would…
Apr 22, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT
Updated at 11:55 p.m. Some around the baseball world recently had been questioning whether the significance of 500 home runs had diminished, especially in the wake of the steroid era. Try telling Albert Pujols what he accomplished Tuesday night at Nationals Park wasn’t significant. The veteran slugger understands the magnitude of what he just did,…
Apr 22, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout drew all the attention when this series began. Tonight, though, a far more-established star reminded everyone just how special he is. Albert Pujols became just the 26th player in baseball history to join the 500 Home Run Club, launching a pair of blasts off right-hander Taylor…
Apr 22, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT
Doug Fister pitched three innings in an extended spring training game Tuesday and reported no problems with his strained lat muscle, leaving the right-hander on track to join the Nationals’ rotation in about two weeks. Fister threw 44 pitches and “felt really good with it,” according to manager Matt Williams. On the disabled list since…
Apr 22, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT
For those who were wondering if Matt Williams might give the struggling Ian Desmond a mental night off, the answer is no. At least not on this night. Desmond, who last night committed his MLB-leading eighth and ninth errors of the young season, is right back in there at shortstop against Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs.…
Apr 22, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
Updated at 6:07 p.m. The Nationals, as expected, recalled right-hander Aaron Barrett from Class AAA on Tuesday and optioned lefty Xavier Cedeno back to Syracuse in a bullpen-bolstering move. Barrett, who dominated in his first two weeks as a major-league reliever and retired 13-of-16 batters faced, was sent down April 12 when the Nationals needed…
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 21, 2014, 10:24 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as a star-studded showdown between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, but the two phenom outfielders played little role in the outcome of this game. Instead, unheralded starting pitchers Tanner Roark and Garrett Richards kept pitching themselves out of jams, with a lone fourth-inning run manufactured by the Nationals…
Apr 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ late-inning rallies, capped by Denard Span’s walk-off sac fly, were the featured storyline of yesterday’s 3-2 victory over the Cardinals. But there was plenty more worth analyzing from the game, which included all sorts of twists and turns and notable developments. Let’s dig deeper into some of those other angles… — Stephen Strasburg…
Apr 20, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT
As Denard Span stepped to the plate late Sunday afternoon, bases full of teammates and the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, he paused for a moment to examine the Cardinals’ unusual-looking infield alignment. “I counted,” he said. “I’m saying: ‘One, two, three, four, five. … A groundball is probably not going to…
Apr 20, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Twenty-four hours after a drama-filled loss that was highlighted by Matt Williams’ decision to bench Bryce Harper for failing to run out a routine grounder, the Nationals were back on the field with renewed purpose in their series finale against the Cardinals. Harper was back in the lineup himself and he…
Apr 20, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT
The Nationals were adamant about retaining Danny Espinosa on the heels of a disastrous 2013, despite interest from other clubs over the winter, for one simple reason: He would be their best option to take over an everyday role in the event of injury to any of their starting infielders. Sure enough, with Ryan Zimmerman…
Apr 20, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, which means Bryce Harper is out of the doghouse and back into the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see what the fan reaction is when his name is announced and when he steps to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the first. It’ll also…
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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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- Adam LaRoche notches three hits, Nats down Rockies
- Zimmermann returns to mound after injury
- Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett also wouldn't mind being traded to the Nats
- Healthy Nationals lineup has become NL's best
- Around the NL East: Are the Phillies on the verge of a fire sale?
- Ian Desmond notches five hits, Nats rock Colorado
- Harper sits, Zimmerman in left as Nats face Rockies
- NL East: Lee and Cishek drawing interest on trade market
- Dan Uggla signs with the San Francisco Giants
- Nats fan sports 'Curly W' beard (PHOTO)