May 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Some ballgames are loaded with twists and turns and enough key decisions to leave armchair managers second-guessing for days. And then there are ballgames like the one played last night at Chase Field, a 3-1 Diamondbacks win over the Nationals that was about as clear-cut as they get. If you missed it, here’s the Cliff…
May 13, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT
The Nationals certainly are capable of coming from behind to win games; they’ve already done it 11 times this season. Which means they’ve only taken a lead and held it through an entire game nine times. In order to add to the total of the second category, they need to start scoring early runs and…
May 13, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES For a few weeks, it looked like the Braves were in the midst of an early season tailspin. Losers of seven straight games, their longest losing streak in two years, Atlanta saw its reign as division leader slip away as the Nationals and Marlins kept creeping up the standings. But after a solid…
May 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
If you weren’t able to stay awake through the conclusion of the Nationals’ 6-5 victory over the Diamondbacks late last night … well, you can be excused. It’s tough to ask anyone to stay up well past midnight for a mid-May ballgame out west. You’re in luck, though, because your humble beat reporter is paid…
May 12, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
After a brutal weekend in Oakland, the Nationals limp into Phoenix to face a Diamondbacks club that surprisingly has been among the majors’ worst so far this season (though Arizona has won seven of its last 10 to right the ship somewhat). Matt Williams, who played and coached for the D’backs and who lives in…
May 12, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT
The Nationals have signed Greg Dobbs to a minor-league contract, acquiring the veteran pinch-hitting specialist, who was released by the Marlins last week. Dobbs, 35, spent the last four seasons with Miami, where he saw significant playing time and posted a .264 batting average with a .307 on-base percentage and .362 slugging percentage. Re-signed over…
May 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
It may not have felt like it, considering he didn’t make his season debut until May 9, but the Nationals rushed Doug Fister back from the disabled list. After straining his lat muscle on the final day of spring training, Fister was back on the mound making his first rehab start April 17 at extended…
May 9, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
The Nationals have been touting Doug Fister as one of baseball’s most under-appreciated pitchers since the day they acquired him from the Tigers way back in December. Tonight, we finally get a chance to see the right-hander on the mound, wearing a Nationals uniform, starting a big-league game. A pair of spring training injuries —…
May 8, 2014, 4:29 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: 4) – Hughes: Detroit has the most wins in the A.L. and Miguel Cabrera is hitting .270. Yea, they’re pretty good. 2. San Francisco Giants (LW: 5) – Roney: Odd to see a winless…
May 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
When Stephen Strasburg struck out Miguel Olivo and Justin Turner in succession to end the top of the seventh inning yesterday afternoon, the crowd of 34,756 at Nationals Park rose and saluted the right-hander as he retreated to the dugout. Everyone in attendance had every reason to believe Strasburg’s afternoon was complete. He had thrown…
May 7, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After waiting out a 1-hour, 40-minute rain delay — what else is new? — Stephen Strasburg took the mound trying to pitch the Nationals to a series victory over a tough opponent, something they hadn’t yet done this season. The right-hander delivered, though only after another shaky first inning. Strasburg gave…
May 7, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT
The Nationals activated Wilson Ramos off the 15-day disabled list this morning and inserted their starting catcher right back in their starting lineup for today’s series finale against the Dodgers. Ramos had been out since breaking the hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day, making his return in 32 days, ahead of schedule.…
May 7, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
[Updated 11:25 a.m.] Matt Williams was driving to Nationals Park on Wednesday morning while doing his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan, when his day took a strange turn. While talking to The Junkies at a traffic light on South Capitol St., he heard a loud sound coming from the side of his Chevy…
May 7, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
It’s another cloudy day in D.C., and the grounds crew is standing at the ready with the tarp at Nationals Park, with a storm system approaching from the northwest. Looks like it’s going to hit the area before today’s scheduled 1:05 p.m. first pitch. The question is whether it will pass through before then. As…
May 7, 2014, 12:32 AM EDT
Blake Treinen was summoned into the manager’s office Tuesday night after an 8-3 loss to the Dodgers and told he was being sent back to Class AAA Syracuse after making his first career start for the Nationals. Treinen was down on himself after giving up three runs in the top of the sixth, a rally…
May 6, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw on the mound making his first start in more than a month. The Nationals had Blake Treinen on the mound making his first career start. Gross mismatch? Well, not for the first five innings. Kershaw and Treinen traded zeroes, each impressing in his own way as…
May 6, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT
Wilson Ramos was back at Nationals Park on Tuesday, his injured left hand feeling so strong, he expects to come off the disabled list and start behind the plate Wednesday afternoon against the Dodgers. “I think so,” he said. “I think that’s the plan for now.” So, no more rehab for Ramos, who has been…
May 6, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT
And we’re all back at Nationals Park, a mere 14 hours after the conclusion of last night’s rain-delay-o-rama, which saw the Nats pull off a 4-0 victory over Zack Greinke and the Dodgers and move into first place in the NL East. So, forgive everybody here for being a bit tired and cranky right now.…
May 6, 2014, 1:21 AM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: This was supposed to be a big-time pitchers’ duel between two of the NL’s best right-handers: Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. Mother Nature, though, had something very different in mind. A 3-hour, 17-minute rain delay in the middle of the fourth inning prevented two starting pitchers from going deep into the…
May 5, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT
After a bit of a frustrating weekend in Philadelphia, the Nationals are back home ever so briefly this week for a three-game series with the Dodgers, who are sending their best to the mound each day. It begins tonight with Zack Greinke, who has opened the season 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA. The right-hander has…
May 5, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Despite injuries to three key members of their lineup, their biggest offseason acquisition and a trusted veteran off the bench, the Nationals have managed to keep their heads above water through the season’s first five weeks. So even though the mood inside the visitors’ clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park yesterday was down following a frustrating,…
May 4, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Though they’ve managed to be more productive at the plate than most would have thought given the prolonged absence of three key lineup regulars, the Nationals still aren’t taking full advantage of the mountains of opportunities they keep giving themselves. Take Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Citizens Bank Park, a game in which Gio…
May 4, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: When the Phillies had to scratch Cole Hamels from today’s start due to flu-like symptoms, the Nationals figured they were catching a break. Not exactly. Replacement starter Roberto Hernandez was downright dominant, carrying a shutout into the eighth inning. Gio Gonzalez was equally dominant, but the Nationals left-hander gave up one…
May 4, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Craig Stammen joined one of the rarest of fraternities on Sunday: Major-league ballplayers with college degrees. After passing his final exams from the University of Dayton, where he first enrolled in 2002, Stammen officially was among the Class of 2014 honored at Sunday’s graduation ceremony. The right-hander wasn’t there to receive his diploma…
May 4, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — It’s a cool, windy, cloudy Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, which hosts a rare, 3:05 p.m. Sunday game today. The reason: There was a massive 10-mile race in the area this morning, the traffic from which is only just now starting to dissipate. Once they get going today, it’ll be Gio Gonzalez…
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