Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EDT
The door to the right-field bullpen swung open, and as the crowd of 29,108 began to recognize a familiar figure and a familiar walk-in song emerging, applause began to circulate around Nationals Park. And by the time Drew Storen had two outs on Ryan Howard, finishing off the Phillies slugger with a devastating, 3-2 change-up…
Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Having lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five straight to the Phillies, and now needing to beat Cole Hamels to avoid a sweep, the Nationals weren’t exactly in an ideal situation this afternoon. But they came through with a strong, if not flawless, performance in this…
Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT
Well into spring training, Tanner Roark didn’t know if he’d even be a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation. He might have broken camp as a reliever. He might have begun the season in Syracuse. Roark, of course, did make the rotation and hasn’t ceded his spot since, pitching exceptionally well. But he’s also…
Sep 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
They’ve lost five straight games to the last-place Phillies, and if the Nationals are going to stop that surprising streak, they’re going to have to beat Cole Hamels this afternoon. That’s not something they’ve done on a regular basis in the past. The left-hander is 15-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 31 career starts against…
Sep 6, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT
The Nationals, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s best teams not only this season but particularly over the last month. The Phillies, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s biggest disappointments, having held a firm grip on last place in the NL East since late June. How, then, to explain what has transpired when…
Sep 6, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a demoralizing loss Friday night that cost Rafael Soriano the closer’s job, for at least a little while, the Nationals faced a longtime nemesis this afternoon, and didn’t fare much better than they had in the past. A.J. Burnett once again dominated this lineup, allowing just one…
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, 12:33 PM EDT
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, where the home team will try to brush off the sting of last night’s disastrous loss to the Phillies. The question on everyone’s mind, of course: Who will close today if the opportunity presents itself? We’ll see if Matt Williams reveals a definitive answer during his pregame media…
Sep 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
And so the home stretch is upon us, the final sprint to the finish line for the Nationals, who spent most of the first half of the season hanging near the front of the pack but over the last month have burst out to take a big lead coming around the turn. (Sorry for all…
Sep 4, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-3 Team slash: .230/.286/.482 Team ERA: 3.16 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Bryce Harper, LF: .379 AVG/ 4 HR/ 1.212 OPS So um, perhaps he doesn’t need to be sent down to the minors after all. During a week in which the Nationals’…
Sep 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Ample time has now passed since the Nationals wrapped up their 8-5, 14-inning win in Los Angeles yesterday evening, enough time to process everything that happened during the longest game in club history (5 hours, 34 minutes). And the primary takeaway continues to be this notion: That was simply an epic baseball game, no matter…
Sep 3, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long roller coaster of a road trip, the Nationals needed to beat the Dodgers to capture their second straight series out west against a contending opponent and salvage a 4-5 record overall on a 10-day jaunt that began with a surprising sweep in Philadelphia. But they…
Sep 3, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
Last night’s 4-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and Co. may have been frustrating, but the Nationals still find themselves in an advantageous position today, with a chance to win this series from the Dodgers with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against rookie right-hander Carlos Frias (making his first career start after five relief appearances). Zimmermann…
Sep 3, 2014, 12:51 AM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the season, and it lived up to the billing for awhile. Clayton Kershaw and Doug Fister swapped zeroes into the fifth inning, leaving everyone with the sense one crucial mistake might prove the difference in the game. Turns out a…
Sep 2, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT
We’ve been anticipating this one for awhile now, ever since the pitching probables came out. It’s Doug Fister vs. Clayton Kershaw tonight in one of the premier matchups of the season, between the NL’s two best clubs. How good has Kershaw been? Well, consider that over his last 18 starts, he is 14-2 with a…
Sep 2, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES The Braves enter the regular season’s final month very much alive for a chance to play October baseball. Despite the early season injuries, the inconsistency, the losing streaks and all the other turmoil, they’ve weathered the storm with a solid late-August run to keep themselves afloat. After a 4-3 week that included back-to-back…
Sep 2, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ aren’t the best home-run-hitting team in the majors. Far from it. They didn’t even rank among MLB’s top-10 home run clubs entering play Monday. And the Nationals don’t boast one of the most-prodigious home-run hitters in baseball. Ian Desmond currently leads the way with 22 homers, and it’s unlikely anybody on the roster…
Sep 1, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT
They were swept in Philadelphia. They took 2 of 3 in Seattle. So, what does the final leg of perhaps the Nationals’ toughest road trip of the season have in store? We’ll start to find out tonight when they open a big, 3-game series at Dodger Stadium against the team directly behind them for the…
Sep 1, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
The Nationals added six players to their roster Monday in the first round of September call-ups, promoting relievers Aaron Barrett, Xavier Cedeno and Blake Treinen, catcher Sandy Leon, first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore and outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from Class AAA Syracuse. All six players will be active and available for Monday night’s series opener in…
Sep 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
And so, August has come to an end, and what a month it was for the Nationals. It began with this team 10 games over .500, clinging to a 1 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East. It ended with this team 19 games over .500, now up 6 games (though that number…
Aug 31, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After beating up on Felix Hernandez on Friday night and then riding Stephen Strasburg’s dominating start Saturday night, the Nationals found themselves in a fortuitous position this afternoon, with an opportunity to sweep the Mariners on the road and fully make up for the sweep they suffered in Philadelphia to begin…
Aug 31, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT
When they arrived in Seattle three days ago, reeling from a 3-game sweep in Philadelphia, who would imagined the Nationals would find themselves where they do today: With an opportunity to now sweep the Mariners after taking the first two games of this series in impressive fashion. To pull this off, the Nats will need…
Aug 28, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — The Nationals arrived here late Sunday night, feeling like they could do no wrong after a 9-1 homestand catapulted them to the top of the NL standings and turned them into the talk of baseball. They left here late Wednesday night, feeling as down in the dumps as they’d been in quite some…
Aug 28, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — When it happened over the weekend against the Giants, it felt like one blip on an otherwise stellar summer of pitching dominance. When it happened again Wednesday night against the Phillies, you started to wonder whether this has quickly become more than a mere blip. Doug Fister has been the Nationals’ workhorse this…
Aug 27, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After losing the first two games of his series in large part due to lights-out pitching performances by A.J. Burnett and Cole Hamels, the Nationals knew they needed a win tonight to avoid a sweep at the hands of the last-place Phillies. They had to feel good about their chances, with…
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
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.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 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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