Jul 6, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
A Nationals club that boasts the NL’s fourth-best record but fewer dominant performances by individuals so far this season received only one All-Star selection Sunday evening: right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. There’s still a chance of more Washington representation at Minnesota’s Target Field on July 15, with infielder Anthony Rendon one of five candidates in the NL’s…
Jul 6, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Needing a win to avoid their first series loss in three weeks, the Nationals looked a big sluggish. Jordan Zimmermann was effective, tossing six scoreless innings, but wasn’t especially sharp and had to be pulled due to a high pitch count. The lineup, meanwhile, scratched out a quick run off Jake…
Jul 6, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT
Matt Williams has had a full, healthy roster for six games now. And aside from one day off for Wilson Ramos, the Nationals manager has used the exact same guys in his lineup for all six games. Hey, there’s something to be said for continuity, especially when your team has won four of the first…
Jul 4, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
It’s Independence Day in Washington, which means three things: 1) Fireworks on the National Mall tonight, 2) the Nationals hosting a ballgame at 11:05 a.m. and 3) Terrible heat and humidity for both events. Er, actually, strike that last one, because it’s an unseasonably cool, dry and windy July 4 for a change. No complaints…
Jul 3, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
All-Star rosters will be announced on Sunday, and while most of the discussion in relation to the Nationals has been about the worthiness of Adam LaRoche or Anthony Rendon, we haven’t talked a whole lot about the worthiness of several members of their bullpen. And we should be, because there are no shortage of worthy…
Jul 2, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT
The Nationals rattled off four straight wins mostly by pounding opposing pitchers to a pulp and then watching their own pitching staff mow through lineups. In order to pull off their fifth straight victory, they had to get dirty and grind for a change. Down three runs early to the Rockies on a sweltering Wednesday…
Jul 2, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Seeking a 3-game sweep of the Rockies and a 5-game winning streak overall, the Nationals dug themselves into an early hole when Michael McKenry launched a 3-run homer off Doug Fister in the top of the second. Fister, though, settled down after that, and even when the right-hander gave up hard-hit…
Jul 2, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT
Though he’s batting sixth for the third consecutive night since coming off the disabled list, Bryce Harper will move up in the Nationals’ lineup at some point this season, manager Matt Williams insisted today. Still fielding questions in the wake of Harper’s controversial comments Monday in which the 21-year-old outfielder openly disagreed with his manager’s…
Jul 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
If Matt Williams’ grand plan is to move guys around the field and throughout his lineup on a daily basis, he isn’t doing it yet. The Nationals tonight are fielding the same lineup they used the previous two nights with only one exception: Jose Lobaton is catching, with Wilson Ramos getting the night off. Look,…
Jul 2, 2014, 1:17 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .229/.304/.358 Team ERA: 3.43 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Gio Gonzalez, SP: 1-0 / 7.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA It might be too early to make any grand proclamations, but perhaps we’re in the midst of witnessing a midseason rebound for Gonzalez. He…
Jul 2, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT
Jayson Werth hasn’t been himself lately at the plate, and he knows it. “Just been dealing with a little leak there for … god, feels like a couple months,” he said. “I’ve been battling. I’ve been grinding.” Werth’s slump hasn’t been quite as long as that, but over a 3-week stretch from June 11 until…
Jul 2, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT
In the wake of one of the worst performances of his career, Stephen Strasburg mentioned a mechanical glitch he needed to fix, a small tweak he felt would lead to fewer pitches left over the heart of the plate. Just as important, though, may have been the mental adjustment Strasburg was able to make and…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With the hubbub (and a dash of controversy) of Monday night behind them, the Nationals got down to business tonight and resumed the grind of the season with their healthy lineup still intact. On a sweltering night at the ballpark, they picked up right where they left off Monday, pounding the…
Jul 1, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
Matt Williams met with Bryce Harper today and then made a concerted effort to diffuse any notion of perceived animosity between the Nationals manager and his 21-year-old star. “I’ve got to let you guys know something: I’ve got Bryce’s back, in every way,” Williams said prior to the Nationals’ game against the Rockies. “And that…
Jul 1, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
Matt Williams could have made changes to his starting lineup tonight, choosing to move guys around the diamond as the Nationals manager has suggested he’ll do now that he has a fully healthy roster again. Or Williams could look at last night’s 7-3 thumping of the Rockies and conclude: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t…
Jul 1, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES What a difference a week makes. Seven days ago, the Braves looked like they were in a middle of a midseason tailspin, enduring a tough June stretch that saw them relinquish their division lead to the Nationals. But after winning six out of the last seven games — the best mark in the…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman had taken his position at third base 1,119 previous times in the big leagues, so his trot from the Nationals dugout across the infield Monday evening should have been the epitome of routine. This, however, wasn’t like any of the previous occasions. This was the first time Zimmerman played third base since leaving…
Jun 30, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For the first time in three months, the Nationals took the field tonight feeling like a complete ballclub again. With Bryce Harper off the disabled list, the entire lineup was together again. And boy did it have to feel good for this team and an energetic crowd of 33,660 that made…
Jun 30, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT
Well, here it is. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Has there ever been a more-anticipated starting lineup reveal in Nationals history? And the answer is … Ryan Zimmerman is back at third base for the first time since he fractured his thumb way back on April 11. Bryce Harper is back in left…
Jun 30, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT
For more than two months, Matt Williams has been waiting to fill out a lineup card that includes Bryce Harper in it. And for several weeks, the Nationals’ first-time manager has been contemplating just how much he wants to shake up the rest of his lineup as a result of Harper’s return. The time has…
Jun 29, 2014, 2:02 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. Athletics (LW: 1) — Roney: Sean Doolittle is the latest Baseball’s Unhittable Closer. Still wondering why Beane went out and got Jim Johnson. 2. Brewers (LW: 3) — Hughes: They can certainly hit, but it might be…
Jun 29, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT
CHICAGO — The optimist will look at the fact the Nationals are tied for first place, with the best pitching staff in baseball, sporting a +39 run differential despite the fact they had their full, Opening Day lineup together for all of seven innings … on Opening Day. The pessimist will look at the fact…
Jun 29, 2014, 12:33 AM EDT
CHICAGO — Forget who you’re playing or what the circumstances suggest, a doubleheader sweep is no sure thing. Now play that doubleheader at the end of a 7-game road trip, in sweltering humidity interrupted only by a 55-minute downpour, needing to win both ends of the twinbill to salvage a series split and maintain your…
Jun 28, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If you’re going to spend the entire day and night at the ballpark, might as well win two ballgames. The Nationals will leave Chicago exhausted but happy to have taken both ends of their doubleheader with the Cubs, salvaging a 4-game series split at Wrigley Field. And few will be happier…
Jun 28, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
CHICAGO — And we’re back for our second game of the day here at Wrigley, the final game of this series. The Nationals need another win to salvage a 4-game split, and to do that they’ll need to beat Jeff Samardzija and finally provide some run support for Blake Treinen. Treinen returns from Syracuse as…
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