Apr 20, 2014, 7:25 PM EST
As Denard Span stepped to the plate late Sunday afternoon, bases full of teammates and the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, he paused for a moment to examine the Cardinals’ unusual-looking infield alignment. “I counted,” he said. “I’m saying: ‘One, two, three, four, five. … A groundball is probably not going to…
Apr 20, 2014, 4:58 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Twenty-four hours after a drama-filled loss that was highlighted by Matt Williams’ decision to bench Bryce Harper for failing to run out a routine grounder, the Nationals were back on the field with renewed purpose in their series finale against the Cardinals. Harper was back in the lineup himself and he…
Apr 20, 2014, 12:29 PM EST
The Nationals were adamant about retaining Danny Espinosa on the heels of a disastrous 2013, despite interest from other clubs over the winter, for one simple reason: He would be their best option to take over an everyday role in the event of injury to any of their starting infielders. Sure enough, with Ryan Zimmerman…
Apr 20, 2014, 10:21 AM EST
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, which means Bryce Harper is out of the doghouse and back into the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see what the fan reaction is when his name is announced and when he steps to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the first. It’ll also…
Apr 18, 2014, 11:31 PM EST
Matt Williams wanted his players to be upset at themselves after Thursday night’s debacle of a loss. But the first-year manager also wanted them to forget all about that game the moment they left Nationals Park and return Friday committed to making things better. So what transpired over the course of 2 hours and 31…
Apr 18, 2014, 9:40 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an atrocious performance Thursday night, Matt Williams challenged his players to return to the park Friday with renewed focus and desire. The Nationals responded in kind, delivering the kind of well-played ballgame Williams had been seeking all along. Gio Gonzalez and Michael Wacha matched pitch-for-pitch, with Wacha…
Apr 18, 2014, 6:03 PM EST
Wilson Ramos took a key step Friday in his return from a broken bone in his left hand, taking light swings for the first time since suffering the injury on Opening Day and reporting no discomfort. “No pain,” the Nationals catcher said. “Not sore. It just feels a little weak.” Ramos broke the hamate bone…
Apr 18, 2014, 3:17 PM EST
Matt Williams wanted his players to be upset about last night’s debacle, but he also wanted them to leave it behind when they left the ballpark and return today committed to playing better ball. We’ll find out how they respond in a few hours. Williams is going with the same lineup that managed only two…
Apr 18, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
Matt Williams knew there would come a time when he would be tested as a big-league manager for the first time. Not for anything he did or said in the dugout during a game. But for what he did or said in the Nationals’ clubhouse after a game. That test came Thursday night when, after…
Apr 17, 2014, 10:17 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: How about “Game in a word” instead of a “nutshell?” The word: U-G-L-Y. The Nationals trailed 3-0 in the first inning (yet again). They played some stupendously sloppy defense (yet again). And they let things get out of hand late. Taylor Jordan was roughed up early, with some major assists —…
Apr 17, 2014, 1:16 PM EST
Here is our first installment of MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: Click here to launch photo gallery. 1. Atlanta Braves – Zuckerman: If only they could play the Nationals every single night. 2. Oakland Athletics – Roney: Who would’ve thought trading for a closer wouldn’t…
Apr 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
We begin with a caveat that should be included in just about any analysis written about a major-league ballclub before the calendar shifts to May: It’s early, so it’s entirely possible this trend won’t sustain itself over the full season. But it has become the defining quality of the 2014 Nationals, at least to date:…
Apr 16, 2014, 9:48 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Desperate to close out a rough road trip on a high note, the Nationals found themselves in a familiar position tonight: Trailing early. Derek Dietrich’s fourth-inning homer off Tanner Roark left the Nationals in a 3-0 hole and surely left some wondering whether this would continue to spiral downward as several…
Apr 16, 2014, 3:40 PM EST
On the heels of a blowout loss last night, which came on the heels of a sweep in Atlanta last weekend, the Nationals wrap up their road trip tonight facing quite a stiff challenge: Jose Fernandez. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year is on the mound for the Marlins, having thoroughly dominated the Nats…
Apr 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
ATLANTA — Ever since declaring himself “pretty lost right now” at the plate nine days ago, Bryce Harper has been reluctant to say much of anything about himself. Even though the results of the last week suggest he’s anything but lost anymore. “I feel pretty good,” was the extent of Harper’s self-evaluation Sunday evening after…
Apr 13, 2014, 6:33 PM EST
ATLANTA — It would be one thing if the Nationals’ struggles against the Braves were limited to one bad weekend, as was the case the last three days at Turner Field. Or a couple of bad series, as has been case the last 10 days. But the lopsided nature of this NL East rivalry has…
Apr 13, 2014, 4:32 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals arrived at Turner Field today reeling from injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span and from back-to-back losses to a Braves club that has completely owned them the last two seasons. Could they find a way to salvage one weekend victory against their division rivals, as they did last…
Apr 13, 2014, 1:11 PM EST
ATLANTA — Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span provided updates on their respective injuries Sunday morning, each maintaining upbeat spirits after getting hurt on freak plays over the weekend. Zimmerman, who fractured his right thumb diving back into second base while getting picked off Saturday night, was wearing a splint and will be examined Monday by…
Apr 13, 2014, 11:46 AM EST
ATLANTA — The Nationals are a beaten-up bunch right now. Both in the physical sense, given the mounting injuries that culminated last night with Ryan Zimmerman fracturing his right thumb. And in the pure baseball sense, too, given two straight losses to the Braves to begin this weekend and four losses in five head-to-head games…
Apr 13, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
ATLANTA — Matt Williams sat back in his office chair at Turner Field and contemplated yet another question about yet another injury to yet another key member of his starting lineup. “It is what it is,” the first-year Nationals manager said. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. Gotta play.” That’s all Williams and anybody…
Apr 13, 2014, 12:06 AM EST
Updated at 12:06 a.m. ATLANTA — A Nationals club already reeling from several injuries to key players now will be without another lineup stalwart for an extended period of time after Ryan Zimmerman fractured his right thumb during Saturday night’s loss to the Braves. Zimmerman, who hurt himself while getting picked off second base in…
Apr 12, 2014, 10:43 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It’s a Nats-Braves game in Atlanta, so of course something strange was going to happen. Like Nate McLouth dropping a routine flyball while trying to transfer the ball to his throwing hand. Or Adam LaRoche cleanly catching a low line drive but having no ability to question the call of a…
Apr 12, 2014, 6:56 PM EST
ATLANTA — A Nationals club that already has had to deal with injuries to several key regulars in the season’s first two weeks has added another name to the fray, placing Denard Span on the 7-day concussion disabled list after the outfielder’s scary collision with Atlanta’s Dan Uggla during Friday night’s game at Turner Field.…
Apr 12, 2014, 3:36 PM EST
ATLANTA — So, what do the Nationals and Braves have in store for us tonight? If I were a betting man — and I’m not — I would take the odds on this being another close ballgame, likely requiring more than nine innings to be decided. Why? Because of the last seven games played between…
Apr 12, 2014, 10:48 AM EST
ATLANTA — There were no shortage of storylines to emerge from last night’s wild, 7-6, 10-inning loss at Turner Field. I focused more on the big picture in my game story, about the Nationals’ penchant for losing these kind of games to the Braves, but there were plenty more nuggets worth revisiting. Here’s a run-through…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
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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