Jun 4, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Not that ever doubted himself, but given his recent struggles, Jordan Zimmermann understood the importance of his dominant start last night against the Phillies. “It was big,” the right-hander admitted after tossing eight scoreless innings in the Nationals’ 7-0 blowout win. “May was a pretty rough month for me. Hopefully June has better things to…
Jun 3, 2014, 9:48 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The familiar sight of Ryan Zimmerman taking the field for the Nationals for the first time in 7 1/2 weeks surely was comforting to his teammates, manager and the crowd of 25,291. The unfamiliar sight of him taking his position not at third base, but in left field for the first…
Jun 3, 2014, 3:24 PM EST
I think it’s safe to say plenty of people — myself included — predicted Ryan Zimmerman would one day play something other than third base for the Nationals. I think it’s also safe to say very few people — if any — prior to about two weeks ago would have predicted Zimmerman’s first start at…
Jun 2, 2014, 11:35 PM EST
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — He played a total of 21 innings in left field over the last three days, during which time only a couple of balls were even hit his way. That’ll have to be enough for Ryan Zimmerman, who now expects to rejoin the Nationals for Tuesday’s series opener against the Phillies, make his…
Jun 2, 2014, 5:08 PM EST
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Hello from Pfitzner Stadium, home of the Class A Potomac Nationals, and for the third straight day home to left fielder Ryan Zimmerman. Yes, left fielder. Zimmerman is once again in the outfield tonight for what should be the final appearance of his brief rehab assignment. He’s batting third, wearing No. 24…
May 31, 2014, 12:21 AM EST
As Ian Desmond crossed the plate on the heels of the first 3-run homer struck by a Nationals batter in eons, anybody who stood within shouting distance of the fired-up shortstop had to brace himself for what was about to be unleashed. Desmond got Jayson Werth first with an emphatic high-five. Adam LaRoche and Nate…
May 30, 2014, 9:52 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After an agonizing loss Wednesday night in which they couldn’t produce the one clutch hit that would’ve won the game — a theme that has been all too familiar this season — the Nationals came back refreshed today hoping for better results in their series opener against the Rangers. Then they…
May 30, 2014, 6:26 PM EST
Gio Gonzalez’s return from a shoulder inflammation is ramping up, with the left-hander ready to face live hitters again. Gonzalez threw 35 pitches off a bullpen mound on Thursday and reported no problems with his shoulder. “It feels extremely better,” he said. “I might have been a little tick off in my mechanics. But other…
May 30, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
It’s not their first-ever visit to D.C. — they were here in 2008 — but it’s always notable when the Texas Rangers come to town, given that franchise’s history. For 11 seasons from 1961-71, they were the expansion Washington Senators, the team of Frank Howard and Ted Williams and the original curly W logo. How…
May 30, 2014, 3:07 PM EST
Updated at 5:51 p.m. Ryan Zimmerman’s long road back from a broken thumb suddenly looks a lot shorter. Zimmerman will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac tonight, batting third and serving as designated hitter at Pfitzner Stadium, his first game appearance in nearly seven weeks. Out since fracturing his right thumb April 12…
May 30, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Quick: Name the Nationals’ most-productive offensive player over the last 2 1/2 weeks. Ian Desmond? Nope. Adam LaRoche? Sorry. Nate McLouth? No chance. Wait, no, actually it is McLouth. Seriously. Over the Nationals’ last 15 games, McLouth leads the club with a .324 batting average, .419 on-base percentage and four stolen bases. OK, so that’s…
May 29, 2014, 6:53 PM EST
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: 1. Giants (LW: 3) — Roney: As disappointing as the pitching was last year, it’s been so much better one through five this year. Even Lincecum has been solid. 2. Athletics (LW: 1) — Roney: Billy…
May 29, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
If there was one guy on the roster coming out of spring training that gave the Nationals no cause for concern, it was Jordan Zimmermann. The right-hander had been a model of consistency and success for three seasons, and there was no reason to believe anything would be different this time around. Well, two months…
May 28, 2014, 10:53 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In the wake of Tuesday’s rainout, Matt Williams decided to alter his pitching rotation, bypassing rookie Blake Treinen and sticking with Jordan Zimmermann on normal rest. The move made sense, especially considering Zimmermann’s past struggles when pitching on extra rest, but then the right-hander took the mound and once again didn’t…
May 28, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
And we’re back at Nationals Park, hoping the weather cooperates tonight and allows the Nationals and Marlins to wrap up their abbreviated, rain-shortened series and at least get two games in. The forecast once again doesn’t look great, with storms expected to roll through here at some point this afternoon/evening. After postponing last night’s game…
May 28, 2014, 1:16 PM EST
ATLANTA BRAVES Superb pitching and just enough hitting. It’s been the Braves’ formula for success this season, and one they continue to ride as they still sit atop the division this week. They may not have the best lineup in the league, but at this rate, they may not have to. They have enough talent…
May 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Matt Williams, from the moment he took over as manager of the Nationals, has preached an aggressive style of baserunning, encouraging his players to make a more concerted effort to take extra bases when given the opportunity. Which isn’t to say he wants his players running at will on the bases, either. In his words,…
May 27, 2014, 7:16 PM EST
Updated at 8:12 p.m. A major thunderstorm that swept through the Washington area forced the postponement of Tuesday night’s game between the Nationals and Marlins, which will not be made up for some time, perhaps not until the final weekend of the season. Rain began falling at Nationals Park shortly after 6 p.m. and became…
May 27, 2014, 5:58 PM EST
Ryan Zimmerman will take a full round of batting practice and field groundballs at third base Wednesday for the first time since fracturing his right thumb April 12, but the injured Nationals slugger continues to work in left field as the Nationals try to prepare themselves for a variety of scenarios moving forward. After an…
May 27, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
The Nationals aren’t scoring runs. This probably isn’t news to you. They’ve scored a total of 14 runs over their last six games (five of them losses). In their 26 losses this season, they’ve scored 52 total runs. Yes, that’s an average of 2 runs per game. (FYI: They’ve scored an average of 5.84 runs…
May 25, 2014, 6:38 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — There are pitchers who will openly say they take the mound with a little extra emotion and motivation when their club is in the midst of a losing streak and desperately needs to put an end to it. Some guys relish the idea of being their team’s stopper. Doug Fister, though, doesn’t buy…
May 25, 2014, 4:44 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They entered today on a four-game losing streak, with a sub-.500 record and mounting concern in the clubhouse. Yet the Nationals had to feel encouraged about their chances in their series finale at PNC Park, for several reasons: 1) They had Adam LaRoche back from the DL, 2) They were facing…
May 25, 2014, 12:54 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — There was perhaps no more pleasant development for the Washington Nationals in April than the re-emergence of Danny Espinosa after a disastrous 2013 that threatened his future with the organization. And there has been perhaps no more discouraging development for the Nationals in May than the regression of Espinosa back into the form…
May 25, 2014, 10:28 AM EST
PITTSBURGH — You may want to avert your eyes for a moment, but I feel compelled to share this fact: If the Nationals lose today, they would suffer their first four-game sweep since July 2009 against the Cubs, their first four-game road sweep since August 2008 in Milwaukee. Yikes. But enough with the negative news.…
May 25, 2014, 12:21 AM EST
PITTSBURGH — Stephen Strasburg wants to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. The Nationals want Strasburg to be the guy on the mound trying to pitch his way out of jams in huge spots late in ballgames. So it was that…
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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