Jul 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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, 4:36 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS — It’s another cool, windy day in the Twin Cities, but thankfully there’s no rain in the forecast after last night’s already-tedious Home Run Derby was delayed. It should be a beautiful night as the baseball world converges on Target Field for the 85th All-Star Game. There are no shortage of big-name players to…
Jul 15, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
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 14, 2014, 10:04 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS — The Nationals always liked Kurt Suzuki and Derek Norris. They just liked Wilson Ramos better, which is why they were willing to trade away both catchers to the Athletics. Little could the Nationals — or anybody else, for that matter — have foreseen both guys blossoming into All-Stars this season. Yes, stroll through…
Jul 14, 2014, 7:59 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS — Hello from Target Field, where the Home Run Derby is about to begin. The weather conditions aren’t ideal; it has been raining on and all since mid-afternoon. But the skies are clear for the moment and they’re ready to get this annual event going. There are some changes from past years. For the…
Jul 14, 2014, 1:29 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Matheny, as Nationals fans surely know at this point, likes his guys. So it perhaps wasn’t surprising when the Cardinals manager chose one of his own to start Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. Matheny named Adam Wainwright as starting pitcher for the NL squad, selecting the veteran St. Louis ace over Dodgers ace…
Jul 13, 2014, 12:45 AM EST
PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Zimmerman has often talked about his ability to stay relaxed in critical moments at the plate, understanding that the pressure in those situations is not on himself but on the opposing pitcher. He’s been able to thrive so many times with the game on the line, though, not only by taking pressure…
Jul 13, 2014, 12:15 AM EST
Updated at 12:15 a.m. PHILADELPHIA —The Nationals don’t believe Jordan Zimmermann will need to spend any time on the disabled list after an MRI of his right arm taken Saturday revealed only a biceps strain, no structural damage. Manager Matt Williams dispersed results of the MRI following the Nationals’ 5-3, 10-inning win over the Phillies,…
Jul 12, 2014, 11:18 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A high-profile pitching matchup produced a low-scoring game, though neither Stephen Strasburg nor Cole Hamels would likely have called this one of their best outings of the season. Strasburg carried a shutout into the sixth but couldn’t finish that inning after his pitch count skyrocketed to 117. Hamels, meanwhile, gave up…
Jul 12, 2014, 3:33 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA — While we await the update on Jordan Zimmermann’s MRI, and debate his replacement on the All-Star roster, there is in fact another game taking place tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Featuring a star-studded pitching matchup: Stephen Strasburg vs. Cole Hamels. The Nationals will have Ian Desmond back in the lineup after he sat…
Jul 12, 2014, 3:03 PM EST
Updated at 8:13 p.m. PHILADELPHIA — The 102-loss, 2008 Nationals had All-Star Cristian Guzman. The 103-loss, 2009 Nationals had All-Star Ryan Zimmerman. The first-place, 2014 Nationals, however, will have no active players at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game after injured right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was replaced today by Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez. NL manager Mike Matheny of…
PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT IN
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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