Jun 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After heartache last night, would this finally be the night the Nationals would get past that oh-so-pesky roadblock known better as the Atlanta Braves? In a word, yes. Doug Fister was brilliant, tossing eight scoreless innings in a big-time start by the big right-hander. And the Nationals lineup delivered three clutch…
Jun 21, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT
Updated at 8:21 p.m. Bryce Harper will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on Monday, according to a source familiar with the Nationals’ plan for their injured outfielder, and begin the final stage of recovery process that should have him back in the big leagues on or around July 2. Harper, out since…
Jun 21, 2014, 3:39 PM EDT
There are perhaps two ways to look at last night’s game from the Nationals’ perspective. On one hand, they lost to the Braves, yet again, perhaps in a fashion more excruciating than any previous loss to Atlanta this year. On the other hand, they staged a fairly epic rally in the bottom of the ninth…
Jun 21, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: 1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: In a season of vast parity, they stand out right now as one of the only elite teams in the sport. 2. San Francisco Giants (LW: 2) – Zuckerman: They’ve been in a…
Jun 21, 2014, 1:20 AM EDT
As the ball went screaming off Anthony Rendon’s bat and soared toward the bullpen in deep left-center field, anything seemed possible, from the Nationals’ standpoint, for the first time in a long time. What’s that about this team’s mental hurdle trying to beat the Braves? How about a game-tying, 2-out, bottom-of-the-ninth homer off Craig Kimbrel…
Jun 20, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: How do you put an end to a dominant streak by one club over yours, one that may have gotten into to your heads? How about a stunning, bottom-of-the-ninth rally against the best closer in the game? Unfortunately, that only works if you then finish things off with the winning run in…
Jun 20, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
There’s really not much else to say about the Nationals and the Braves. You know the drill by now. All we can do at this point is wait and see what tonight’s game brings in this lopsided rivalry. Stephen Strasburg has the ball, and he’s been very good lately (2.15 ERA over his last 10…
Jun 19, 2014, 11:52 PM EDT
It’s one thing to consistently lose to a good team. It’s quite another to consistently get beaten up at a rate that suggests there is a vast talent difference between the two clubs, which nobody believes is the case when the Nationals play the Braves. But the numbers don’t lie, and the numbers at this…
Jun 19, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If the Nationals hoped to open a big, 4-game series against the Braves on the right foot and begin to put to rest any questions about their ability to beat their NL East rivals, this wasn’t particularly the way to do it. The Nats were shut out by Gavin Floyd, until…
Jun 19, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 2-4 Team slash: .214/.308/.277 Team ERA: 4.42 Runs per game: 2.66 STOCK UP Rafael Soriano, RP: 3 GP, 3.0 IP/2 SV/0.00 ERA He might frighten fans every time he comes in a game during a save situation, but Soriano still finds a way to get it…
Jun 19, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT
They weathered an up-and-down first two months to the season, treading water while a host of key players overcame injuries, and have since gone on their first sustained run of the year, winning 12 of 18 and taking over first place in the NL East. And now, the Nationals really find out where they stand…
Jun 19, 2014, 12:57 AM EDT
From the day he took over as Nationals manager, Matt Williams preached aggression on the bases. But rarely has this team put that philosophy into practice over the season’s first 2 1/2 months. Then came Wednesday night’s series finale against the Astros, a 6-5, come-from-behind victory keyed by an Anthony Rendon homer, a Nate McLouth…
Jun 18, 2014, 10:49 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On a sweltering night on South Capitol Street, the Nationals made everyone sweat a little more with their play on the field. Gio Gonzalez labored through five innings in his return from a month-long stint on the DL. The lineup failed to capitalize on several early opportunities to knock out Scott…
Jun 18, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT
Matt Williams shed some more light on his plan once Bryce Harper returns from the disabled list in a few weeks, a plan that could see several regular members of the lineup bounce around from position to position on a daily basis to maximize everyone’s playing time. Harper’s return from surgery to repair a torn…
Jun 18, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
Gio Gonzalez last started a game for the Nationals on May 17, and the results weren’t pretty. On the heels of an even uglier start in Oakland, the left-hander allowed five runs and seven hits in only three innings against the Mets, saw his ERA spike to 4.62 and then admitted afterward he had shoulder…
Jun 18, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
Any fears that the weekend slump that befuddled the Nationals would carry over into arguably their most-important homestand of the season to date were erased five batters into the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night. Three hits off talented Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, two of them RBI doubles, gave the Nats an early 2-0…
Jun 17, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a long — and quite eventful — road trip, the Nationals came home an enigma of sorts. Was this a team starting to put everything together for the long haul, or was a weekend sweep in St. Louis a harbinger of more struggles to come? We don’t…
Jun 17, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT
It’s been some time since we last saw the Nationals on the friendly confines of South Capitol Street. They left town 12 days ago, starting to get hot, then they got really hot on the West Coast, then they got really cold over the weekend in St. Louis. What team should we expect tonight taking…
Jun 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Long before he became a professional ballplayer, Ryan Zimmerman thought about doing something to help raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, the disease his mother Cheryl first learned she had nearly 20 years ago. Once he did reach the major leagues with the Nationals, Zimmerman realized he now had the opportunity to make a difference. So…
Jun 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Remember when the Nationals were baseball’s hottest team? Well, that was three whole days ago, and you’d be surprised how much can change in only three days. After a 4-1 loss to the Cardinals last night, the Nats now find themselves in a 3-game funk. And make no mistake, it qualifies as a funk, at…
Jun 14, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
There was a point back in April when Stephen Strasburg looked out of whack. He sported a 6.00 ERA, was surrendering more hits than he had at any previous time in his career and seemed to have trouble deciding when and how to use all four of his pitches. Then Strasburg faced the Cardinals on…
Jun 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
On the heels of what was — at least by one statistical measure — the best-pitched game in Nationals history, Jordan Zimmermann faced a daunting challenge trying to come anywhere close to duplicating his effort from five nights prior. Yet the right-hander very nearly did it last night in St. Louis, tossing his second straight…
Jun 13, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT
Fresh off their impressive 3-of-4 series in San Francisco, the Nationals now conclude their 10-game road trip with a weekend series in St. Louis. The challenge is no easier over the next three days against a Cardinals club that has won 9 of the last 11 head-to-head meetings between these two teams, beginning with that…
Jun 13, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: 1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 2) – Hughes: The Athletics host the Orioles right after the All-Star break. I’m sure their fans will be happy to see Manny Machado. 2. San Francisco Giants (LW: 1) – Hughes: They may…
Jun 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ just-completed week out west wound up as successful as anyone could have realistically imagined beforehand. In taking 2 of 3 from the Padres, then taking 3 of 4 from the Giants, the Nats catapulted themselves into first place in the NL East and for the first time in 2014 looked very much like…
NL EAST STANDINGS
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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)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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