Aug 26, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES With the way the Nationals have played the last two weeks, it’s pretty established they’re the cream of the NL East crop. Trailing Washington by 7.5 games, hopes of a division title seem slim if you’re the Braves. However, Atlanta is still in pretty good position for a wild card berth, sitting just…
Aug 26, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Matt Williams is loathe to look ahead, certainly as far ahead as October when the calendar still reads August. We here at the Insider, on the other hand, don’t worry about such things. Especially with a very important date fast approaching. We’re five days away from baseball’s August 31 deadline to set postseason…
Aug 25, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — The way things have been going lately, the Nationals weren’t surprised in the least to mount a last-ditch rally against Jonathan Papelbon with two outs in the ninth Monday night. The only surprise was that they couldn’t quite finish it off and wound up losing for only the second time in 14 days.…
Aug 25, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals arrived in Philadelphia sky-high after a 9-1 homestand that left them the hottest team in the majors. Now they faced the opener of a tough, 3-city, 9-game road trip, hoping to carry over some of the positive momentum from D.C. That proved more difficult than anticipated tonight, thanks to…
Aug 25, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Though he was out of the Nationals’ lineup Monday night against the Phillies, Asdrubal Cabrera insists the injury he sustained to his right side Sunday isn’t serious and he could play if absolutely needed. Cabrera hurt himself hitting a grounder to short during the sixth inning of Sunday’s win over the Giants, feeling…
Aug 25, 2014, 3:39 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Hello from Citizens Bank Park, where a red-hot Nationals club coming off a 9-1 homestand now hopes to keep things rolling on one of the longer and tougher road trips of the season. A cross-country trek to Seattle and then Los Angeles looms, but first up are three games against the foundering Phillies,…
Aug 23, 2014, 9:41 PM EDT
Two batters into Saturday evening’s game, Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals already were trailing the Giants 2-0, and a rain-soaked crowd of 34,137 was murmuring, perhaps worried all the good vibes of the 10-game winning streak that ended Friday night were about to disappear into thin air. On the mound, though, Zimmermann barely batted an…
Aug 23, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Tim Lincecum has two Cy Young Awards on his mantel, two World Series rings on his fingers and a no-hitter on his resume from earlier this season. The only thing he doesn’t have: Any semblance of recent success against the Nationals, who have flat-out owned the right-hander the last five seasons.…
Aug 23, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
The Nationals signed Nate Schierholtz to a minor-league deal on Monday, thinking the veteran outfielder wouldn’t need much time in Syracuse before joining the big-league roster. Turns out he only needed four days at Class AAA. Schierholtz had his contract purchased Saturday by the Nationals, who felt the time was right to add an experienced,…
Aug 23, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT
The Streak ended last night at an even 10 games. Now the Nationals will try to start another one. They’ll hope to get back on track this afternoon when they again host the Giants, who are scratching and clawing themselves, trying to stay alive both in the NL West and Wild Card races. Jordan Zimmermann…
Aug 23, 2014, 12:42 AM EDT
There was a point late in Friday night’s game on South Capitol Street when the Nationals and a crowd of 33,718 felt like a comeback was possible, maybe even likely. Shoot, that’s all anyone around here had known for the previous week-and-a-half, when the hottest team in the majors kept finding ways to win ballgames,…
Aug 22, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If they wanted to become the first Washington baseball club to win 11 games in a row since 1933, the Nationals were going to need to beat Tim Hudson and a very good Giants team. No small task, especially given Hudson’s longstanding dominance of this franchise. Hudson once again proved a…
Aug 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
After watching his team get swept by a Nationals club riding a 10-game winning streak, the opposing manager complimented D.C.’s red-hot baseball team. “Everything that goes in a game is bouncing their way,” he said. “And to their credit, they are taking advantage of it.” Sounds about right. Except the opposing manager wasn’t Arizona’s Kirk…
Aug 21, 2014, 12:57 AM EDT
This shouldn’t be happening, not like this. It’s not that the Nationals have won nine straight games. And it’s not that they’ve won in walk-off fashion four of the last five nights. It’s that they’ve won three of the last four nights after blowing a lead in the eighth or ninth inning. Really, who does…
Aug 20, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In search of only the second 9-game winning streak in club history, the Nationals did plenty of things right. They got another highly effective start from Tanner Roark (seven scoreless innings), got a couple of big hits from Asdrubal Cabrera and Jayson Werth and a nice takeout slide from Bryce Harper…
Aug 20, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT
It’s been one month since Ryan Zimmerman last played for the Nationals. Whether the veteran third baseman will be playing again one month from now still remains a question mark, though manager Matt Williams remains confident Zimmerman will return from his hamstring injury before season’s end. “Sometime in September,” Williams said Wednesday afternoon. “When? I…
Aug 20, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
Only once in their nearly 10 seasons of existence have the Nationals rattled off at least nine straight wins (they did it in June 2005, then added one more for the even 10, establishing the club record). Tonight, they’ll try to make it nine in a row, riding the high of last night’s 8-1 thumping…
Aug 20, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 7-0 Team slash: .271/.343/.421 Team ERA: 2.01 Runs per game: 5 STOCK UP Adam LaRoche, 1B: 3 HR/ 7 RBI/.419 OBP When the Nationals are rolling like this, you could probably make a case for any number of guys being in this spot.…
Aug 20, 2014, 12:26 AM EDT
There are nights when the Nationals hope Stephen Strasburg takes the mound and does something like this, and then there are nights when the Nationals need Stephen Strasburg to take the mound and do something like this. It might sound harsh to suggest a team already on a 7-game winning streak needed eight innings of…
Aug 19, 2014, 9:58 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: As much as they enjoyed their wild victories over the last few nights, the Nationals knew their bullpen had been taxed to extreme levels after back-to-back, extra-inning games. So the goal tonight against the Diamondbacks was simple: Try to take a sizable lead and get a bunch of innings out of…
Aug 19, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES The good news for the Braves is that, after suffering through a brutal stretch, they’ve managed to rebound nicely by winning four straight games that included a sweep of the MLB-best Oakland Athletics. The bad news? The Nationals, the team they’re chasing in the division, have been scorching-hot and have won seven in…
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…
Aug 19, 2014, 12:21 AM EDT
It used to cross Adam LaRoche’s mind when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, or later, and realized a home run would win the game for his team. But at some point over the last 11 years, he realized it was doing him no good to worry about it.…
Aug 18, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Riding a season-high 6-game winning streak that included a weekend sweep of the contending Pirates, the Nationals opened a 4-game series against the non-contending Diamondbacks feeling mighty good about themselves. What they didn’t expect was a real battle against unknown Arizona left-hander Vidal Nuno, who went toe-to-toe with Jordan Zimmermann, and…
Aug 18, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT
Updated at 6:25 p.m. The Nationals signed Nate Schierholtz to a minor-league contract, and though the veteran outfielder will report to Class AAA Syracuse, there’s a good chance he’ll find his way to Washington in short order to bolster the club’s struggling bench for the stretch run. Schierholtz, who was designated for assignment by the…
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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)...
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