May 3, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Though there weren’t any actual fireworks here last night, there were two incidents that clearly didn’t sit well with the Nationals: Cliff Lee’s quick-pitch up-and-in to Denard Span in the fifth, and Carlos Ruiz’s high-and-hard non-slide into Ian Desmond in the ninth. How upset were the Nats with those two events? I guess…
May 3, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — It has happened nine times now, nine times in 29 games. And every time it happens, the Nationals give themselves even more reason to believe they can do it again. Trailing a ballgame late, they rallied to win in dramatic fashion. Friday night’s 5-3 victory over the Phillies was merely the latest example…
May 3, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Benches and bullpens emptied in the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night, and though no punches were thrown between the Nationals and Phillies, Denard Span and Cliff Lee did exchange some verbal barbs about an incident sparked by Lee’s up-and-in quick-pitch to an unsuspecting Span. “I don’t think he was…
May 2, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as a stellar pitching matchup between Stephen Strasburg and Cliff Lee, but this game was decided well after both starting hurlers were out of the game. The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Jayson Werth dropped a foul ball that…
May 2, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Doug Fister threw 76 pitches over 3 2/3 innings Friday night in what is expected to be the right-hander’s final rehab start before joining the Nationals’ rotation next week. Pitching for Class AA Harrisburg at Reading, Fister allowed two runs and two hits, walking three while striking out five. He cruised through three…
May 2, 2014, 6:22 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Wilson Ramos made his return to the field earlier Friday at extended spring training and immediately gave the Nationals reason to believe it won’t be much longer before their starting catcher returns from a broken bone in his left hand. Ramos caught three innings in Viera, getting three at-bats in which he homered…
May 2, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Hello from Citizens Bank Park, where tonight the Nationals open a three-game weekend series against the Phillies, with a star-studded pitching matchup on tap: Stephen Strasburg vs. Cliff Lee. Strasburg returns to the scene of his worst moment in baseball: The mound where his elbow blew out in 2010, requiring Tommy John surgery.…
May 2, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
We touched on a bunch of Nats-related subjects on this week’s episode of The Baseball Show. Rob Carlin, Joe Orsulak and I looked at just how good Tanner Roark has been since debuting late last summer, comparing his stats to a fellow rotation mate who arrived with just a bit more hype than he did.…
May 2, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
A hodgepodge of Friday morning thoughts before I hop on I-95 and head up to Philadelphia for the weekend… — The Nationals about to face a major, week-long test going up against six quality, veteran pitchers against the Phillies and Dodgers. It begins tonight with Cliff Lee, whose 40-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far this season…
May 1, 2014, 5:44 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) – Hughes: After getting shelled by the Marlins on Wednesday, Aaron Harang now sports the worst ERA among Braves starters at 2.97. 2.97! 2. Oakland Athletics (LW:…
May 1, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Well, the season’s first month is now complete, and what a tumultuous month it was for the Nationals. Wilson Ramos broke his hand on Opening Day. Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t throw the ball across the diamond, then broke his thumb on a pickoff play at second base. Doug Fister hurt himself on the final day of…
Apr 30, 2014, 11:14 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A tumultuous opening month for the Nationals ended with a couple of much-needed wins in a comfortable place. Taking advantage of Minute Maid Park’s quirky dimensions — not to mention the perpetually struggling Astros — the Nats followed up Tuesday night’s 1-run victory with a blowout in the finale of this…
Apr 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
The Nationals tonight go for a sweep of this brief, 2-game series in Houston, and they’ll do so with a lineup stacked with right-handed hitters against Astros lefty Brett Oberholtzer. Denard Span is the only left-handed bat in Matt Williams’ starting nine, which means the red-hot Adam LaRoche gets a rare day off. (UPDATE: LaRoche…
Apr 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
It has been easily forgotten because of everything that has transpired since, but it’s worth a friendly reminder: Adam LaRoche carried an injury-plagued Nationals’ lineup during the first two months of the 2012 season. While Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos all spent time on the disabled list, LaRoche was the one…
Apr 29, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: As Bryce Harper was in a hospital bed recuperating from thumb surgery earlier in the day, his Nationals teammates took the field in Houston trying to overcome the latest significant injury to their starting lineup. They jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, getting a towering home run from Jayson Werth…
Apr 29, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Bryce Harper had surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ligament in his left thumb, letting the world know all was fine by tweeting a photo of himself post-operation giving a thumbs-up sign. “On the road to recovery..Everything went great and I’ll be back soon! Thank you to all the fans for the support!” Harper posted…
Apr 29, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT
The Nationals know they’re going to be without Bryce Harper — who had surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb — for the next two months or so. Tonight, we begin to find out how they deal with the prolonged loss of one of their key regulars. Who replaces Harper in…
Apr 29, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT
Seeking extra bullpen help for the immediate future while paving the way for Doug Fister’s pending return to their rotation, the Nationals will promote reliever Ryan Mattheus from Class AAA before tonight’s series opener in Houston and send struggling starter Taylor Jordan to Syracuse, a source with knowledge of the roster move confirmed. The transaction…
Apr 28, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
Bryce Harper needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and is expected to miss approximately two months, a source familiar with the Nationals outfielder’s condition confirmed Monday evening. Harper was examined by a specialist at The Cleveland Clinic earlier Monday, receiving a second opinion after having his thumb examined by another…
Apr 28, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
We don’t know yet how long the Nationals will be without Bryce Harper, who is getting a second opinion today on his sprained left thumb. But whether Harper misses the minimum 15 days or significantly more, the Nats do know who needs to step up in his place: Nate McLouth. Signed in December to a…
Apr 26, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
On July 30, 2010, Mike Rizzo made a deadline deal with the Rangers that seemed notable at the time only for the fact the Nationals general manager was able to find a taker for under-performing, aging shortstop Cristian Guzman. The two minor-league pitchers the Nationals received in return for Guzman had little pedigree. Ryan Tatusko…
Apr 26, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In a star-studded Nationals rotation, Tanner Roark can easily be overlooked. That may not be the case much longer. Roark tossed the game of his life this afternoon, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning and then going the distance for his first career shutout, surrendering only three hits to…
Apr 26, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
Updated at 5:01 p.m. Bryce Harper was due to have an MRI performed on his swollen left thumb late Saturday afternoon after the Nationals outfielder was examined by a hand specialist during the club’s 4-0 victory over the Padres. The MRI is standard procedure, and the Nationals remain hopeful that the injury is not serious,…
Apr 26, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT
Let’s get right to the most-significant news of the morning: Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals’ lineup after jamming his left thumb sliding into third base last night. Harper’s thumb remains swollen, and though X-rays were negative, he is scheduled to be examined by a hand specialist today. Manager Matt Williams still doesn’t believe…
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…
NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
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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