May 21, 2014, 12:28 AM EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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…
May 18, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT
Updated at 6:43 p.m. An enhanced MRI test of Gio Gonzalez’s injured shoulder showed no structural damage, only inflammation, giving the Nationals reason to believe the left-hander’s first career stint on the disabled list will be a short one. Gonzalez, who was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday morning, was examined by an orthopedist and…
May 18, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Amid the disheartening news that Gio Gonzalez was heading to the DL with a shoulder inflammation, the Nationals took the field this afternoon trying to overcome yet another injury to a key player, win their weekend series against the Mets and potentially take over first place in the NL East. They…
May 18, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT
While the Nationals await word of Gio Gonzalez’s enhanced MRI, hoping they aren’t about to lose yet another key player to a long-term injury, they’ve got a chance to win this weekend series against the Mets. They also could move into first place if the Braves lose again in St. Louis. So there’s plenty on…
May 17, 2014, 8:54 PM EDT
Since joining the Nationals 2 1/2 years ago, Gio Gonzalez has been prone to the occasional ragged start, sometimes the downright ugly start. But it has never happened to him twice in a row, and that’s why alarm bells are now ringing in the wake of the left-hander’s poor performance Saturday during a 5-2 loss…
May 17, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With an opportunity to beat the Mets for the 10th consecutive time, the Nationals had to like their chances this afternoon. Gio Gonzalez had a track record of dominance against New York’s lineup, and the Nats have beaten up on the Mets’ pitching staff so far this season. Then the game…
May 17, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT
Adam LaRoche stretched out his strained right quad muscle on Friday for the first time since landing on the disabled list and was stunned that he felt no evidence of the injury that had been hampering him for several weeks, giving the veteran first baseman reason to believe he’ll be able to return when eligible…
May 17, 2014, 12:24 PM EDT
The Nationals have had their way with the Mets so far this season, sweeping the opening series at Citi Field and then hanging on to win last night on South Capitol Street. But the dominance extends beyond that. Indeed, today the Nats will be seeking their 10th consecutive win over New York, a streak that…
May 17, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
The game was well in hand. The Nationals held a 5-2 lead over the Mets with two outs in the ninth, nobody on base, and all Rafael Soriano had to do was retire one more batter before giving up three runs. And then Soriano walked pinch-hitter Juan Lagares on four pitches. And then he walked…
May 16, 2014, 10:17 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a rough stretch that included 11-of-14 games on the road, the Nationals finally got a chance to open a nice run of games at home — 15 of 19 — and clearly appeared to enjoy the familiar surroundings and enthusiastic crowd. The Nats pounced on Mets left-hander Jonathan Niese, scoring…
May 16, 2014, 6:32 PM EDT
Greg Dobbs’ primary job with the Nationals is to come off the bench and produce a key hit late in games. But the newly signed veteran believes he’s more productive when given at least an occasional opportunity to be in the starting lineup, and it looks like he’ll get that opportunity in D.C. as long…
May 16, 2014, 3:19 PM EDT
The Nationals are back home at last, refreshed after a West Coast swing and ready to enjoy a week-long homestand against the Mets and Reds. It begins tonight with Tanner Roark on the mound against left-hander Jonathan Niese. Roark is coming off a fantastic start in Oakland — it ended in no-decision after Rafael Soriano…
May 16, 2014, 1:02 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. Detroit Tigers (LW: 1) — Zuckerman: Every member of their rotation has an ERA under 3.25. 2. San Francisco Giants (LW: 2) — Hughes: San Francisco is 5-1 against the Braves this year and Michael Morse has…
May 15, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week: Record: 2-4 Team slash: .205/.246/.328 Team ERA: 4.45 Runs per game: 2.6 STOCK UP Tyler Clippard, RP: 3 GP/2-0/0.00 ERA/0.00 WHIP There were few bright spots during a somewhat tumultuous week for the Nationals, so it’s been slim pickings recently trying to find out whose stock has been rising. However,…
May 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals now have played 40 games, roughly one-quarter of their season. And what conclusions can be drawn about this 21-19 team at this juncture? Not a whole lot. Some things have gone well. Some things have not. And some things really have not. We’ll try to put it all into perspective by breaking down…
May 14, 2014, 6:14 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In the finale of what became a frustrating West Coast trip, the Nationals once again struggled to produce at the plate with a makeshift lineup. But they had a highly effective Doug Fister on the mound for them, and because of him, they gave themselves a chance to beat the Diamondbacks.…
May 14, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT
A frustrating road trip for the Nationals ends today in Phoenix with a matinee against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Nats got swept in Oakland and have split the first two games of this series, so even a win today would send them home only 2-4 on the trip. A loss would leave them…
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.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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