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…
May 24, 2014, 10:15 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A rare showdown between fellow No. 1 overall draft picks played out as most would have hoped, with Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole trading blows for much of the night in a tense, low-scoring ballgame. Strasburg, the top pick in 2009, appeared to have the edge on Cole, the top pick…
May 24, 2014, 6:15 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — Adam LaRoche walked into the visitors clubhouse at PNC Park this afternoon, found a locker waiting with his equipment and uniform already in place and made it clear he will be in the Nationals’ lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the the Pirates. “Yeah,” he said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.” Having emerged…
May 24, 2014, 3:13 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — There have been 49 Major League Baseball amateur drafts, and of the 49 players selected with the No. 1 overall pick, only 16 have been pitchers. And two of those 16 pitchers (Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole) will be on the mound tonight at PNC Park, squaring off against each other. It’s only…
May 24, 2014, 11:22 AM EST
PITTSBURGH — The Nationals woke up this morning a .500 club, and the majority of the blame for that is being heaped upon a lineup that ranks dead-last in baseball this month in runs (63), batting average (.228) and on-base percentage (.290). And rightfully so. The No. 1 issue facing this club right now is…
May 24, 2014, 12:06 AM EST
PITTSBURGH — The Washington Nationals, a team that only two months ago headed north from Florida with a loaded roster and the loftiest of expectations, fielded a lineup Friday night that featured one player with a batting average over .277. And that was their pitcher. Their cleanup man was hitting .182. The highest batting average…
May 23, 2014, 10:20 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s a struggle for the Nationals to score runs these days, with a lineup lacking Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper. But these guys seem to be finding new ways every night to drive themselves (and their fans) crazy when it comes to clutch situations at the plate. Despite a…
May 23, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — Gio Gonzalez’s planned throwing session Friday — his first since going on the disabled list Sunday — was called off after the Nationals left-hander noted stiffness in his injured shoulder. Manager Matt Williams expressed no concern about the development, referring to it as “normal” and saying Gonzalez simply will be pushed back a…
May 23, 2014, 3:32 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — Hello from beautiful PNC Park, which looks spectacular as always. After staying back in D.C. last night to appear on CSN’s Baseball Show, I made the easy drive up here this morning and will be on-site the rest of the weekend. The Nationals are trying to bounce back from a tough 3-1 loss…
May 23, 2014, 1:50 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. Oakland Athletics (LW: 3) – Zuckerman: It took a couple of years, but ex-Nats prospect Derek Norris is living up to the billing at last. 2. Detroit Tigers (LW: 1) — Roney: Really encouraging work…
May 22, 2014, 3:32 PM EST
Blake Treinen impressed in his first career start 16 days ago against the Dodgers. Tonight, the right-hander gets a chance to make a second impression, rejoining the Nationals rotation to replace the injured Gio Gonzalez. Treinen was very good in two starts with Class AAA Syracuse since we last saw him (three runs allowed in…
May 21, 2014, 10:44 AM EST
It’s been something of an odd, nomadic existence so far for Doug Fister. He was traded to the Nationals five months ago, but all of his time to date had been spent away from his new home. Fister spent the spring in Viera, Fla., with the rest of his teammates, then stayed there after landing…
May 21, 2014, 12:28 AM EST
What’s a good leadoff man worth? How much difference does it make if the guy atop a team’s lineup is productive or not? For the Nationals, it appears to mean everything. Put simply: When Denard Span does well, the Nats do well. When he doesn’t, they don’t. “It sets up everything,” teammate Jayson Werth said.…
May 20, 2014, 10:08 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Talk about an imposing matchup: The Nationals, who have scored the fewest runs in the majors in May and have struggled all season against right-handers, had to go up against the best pitcher in baseball to date. Johnny Cueto entered with a 1.25 ERA, the first pitcher modern baseball history to…
May 20, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
The latest X-ray of Ryan Zimmerman’s right thumb showed the fracture that has sidelined him more than five weeks has not fully healed, preventing the Nationals third baseman from being able to start hitting and delaying his eventual return from the disabled list. Zimmerman, out since fracturing the thumb on an April 12 pickoff play…
May 20, 2014, 3:23 PM EST
The Nationals’ lineup — in its current, injury-plagued form — is not particularly effective against right-handed pitching. Their .236 team batting average against righties ranks 23rd in the majors this season. (As opposed to their .284 batting average against left-handers, third-best in baseball.) So tonight’s matchup against Johnny Cueto does not particularly favor the Nats.…
May 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
When Ross Detwiler got Devin Mesoraco to popup to the third baseman in the top of the 15th inning late Monday night, the left-hander extended a streak of dominance by the Nationals bullpen to new, hard-to-fathom lengths. At that moment, the Nats relief corps had tossed 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. That’s more than three…
May 20, 2014, 12:04 AM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You never know what kind of ballgame you might see on a random Monday night in May. The 24,505 who came to Nationals Park tonight — or, at least, those who made it all the way to the end — were treated to one of the best-played, back-and-forth, dramatic, random Monday…
May 19, 2014, 6:12 PM EST
While Ryan Zimmerman waits to be cleared to resume full baseball activities, the Nationals are trying to find ways for their injured third baseman to get some work in without risking any further damage to his healing right thumb. That has included, for the last several days, significant time spent in left field shagging fly…
May 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
They’ve lost more than half their starting lineup to injuries at various points over the last two months. Their star-studded rotation has been decidedly average to date. And they’ve been among the worst defensive clubs in baseball. So how have the Nationals managed to go 23-20 over the season’s first seven weeks, leaving themselves a…
May 18, 2014, 7:22 PM EST
Wilson Ramos went 0-for-4 on Saturday and saw his batting average drop to .154. With the Nationals scheduled to wrap up their weekend series against the Mets with a traditional Sunday afternoon game, the recently injured catcher figured to get a standard day off to rest his legs and clear his mind. Ramos, though, went…
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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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- Scherzer and Strasburg learning from each other
- Nationals' Saturday workout is a washout
- Nats sign veteran lefty Hill to minor-league deal
- Do the Nats need another left-handed bat?
- Observations from Friday's workout in Viera
- Nats sing Happy Birthday to Denard Span, with bonus Danny Espinosa videobomb
- PHOTO: Looks like Scherzer will be a Jedi for Nats' 'Star Wars Day'
- LaRoche: Nats have transformed D.C. into a baseball city
- Matt Williams sets the tone for Nats on Day 1
- Will 2015 be a breakout year for Nats' RF Harper?