Oct 1, 2014, 11:21 PM EST
Two years later, the Nationals will finally get their chance to face the Giants in the postseason. San Francisco won Wednesday night’s NL Wild Card game, riding Madison Bumgarner’s dominant pitching performance and Brandon Crawford’s grand slam to beat the Pirates and a stunned sellout crowd at PNC Park 8-0, setting up an NLDS showdown…
Oct 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
When the Nationals prepared to face the Cardinals in the 2012 NLDS, they tried to downplay the significance of their lack of October experience vs. their highly decorated counterparts from St. Louis. By the time that series ended in heartbreaking fashion, more than a few players acknowledged what so many suspected: Experience does count in…
Sep 30, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Suffering from Nats withdrawal right now? Not sure you can make it til Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday afternoon? Well, here’s something to help get you through this little break before the playoffs. ESPN 980 AM was nice enough to invite me to join Tim Murray for a 2-hour special show last night…
Sep 30, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
There’s been plenty of talk over the last few weeks of the Nationals being the most-complete team in baseball, the postseason contender with the fewest areas of concern. That may well be true, but that doesn’t mean they have zero areas of concern. No ballclub is perfect, including the Nats, and every one enters October…
Sep 29, 2014, 6:43 PM EST
The Nationals’ first two games in what they hope will be a lengthy postseason run will be played in the afternoon. Though they won’t know precisely what time it all begins until they know the identity of their first-round opponent. Major League Baseball announced starting times this evening for the first weekend of the postseason,…
Sep 29, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
Hey, remember when the biggest questions facing the Nationals were things like: “How many innings will Stephen Strasburg pitch this season?” and “How many errors will Ryan Zimmerman commit at third base?” and “Will the No. 5 starter be Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan or Tanner Roark?” Ah, those were the days. But that’s what we…
Sep 29, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
No-hitters usually catch you by surprise. They come out of nowhere. A random Tuesday in May in front of a sparse crowd. A Thursday getaway in July, with an unheralded pitcher putting everything together to author the one shining moment of his career. Shoot, until yesterday afternoon the only guy in Nationals history to take…
Sep 27, 2014, 9:21 PM EST
The only way the rest of the baseball world likely will ever vindicate Mike Rizzo and his decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg prior to the 2012 postseason is if Strasburg helps lead the Nationals to a World Series title some day. And even then, some of those who pilloried Rizzo for his controversial decision…
Sep 27, 2014, 7:05 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The truck keeps rolling along, no matter what’s at stake right now. The Nationals could’ve taken Saturday off but instead went out and put forth another impressive effort to beat the Marlins and improve to 32-13 down the stretch, with one game to go on the regular-season slate. It certainly helps…
Sep 26, 2014, 10:41 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For the first time in 160 games this season, the Nationals took the field with absolutely nothing at stake, at least from a team standpoint, after clinching home-field advantage through the NLCS earlier in the afternoon. So manager Matt Williams used almost exclusively backups in the nightcap of his team’s second…
Sep 26, 2014, 6:38 PM EST
They’ve locked up home-field advantage through the NLCS. So, there really isn’t much of anything left for the Nationals to play for in the final three games of the regular season. Manager Matt Williams does still plan to play his regulars Saturday and Sunday (perhaps pulling them early after five or six innings) but for…
Sep 26, 2014, 5:37 PM EST
For the second time in three years, no team in the National League will finish with a better record than the Nationals. Thanks to Doug Fister’s 4-0 shutout victory over the Marlins in the first half of Friday’s day-night doubleheader, the Nationals locked up home-field advantage through the NLCS, duplicating their feat from 2012. “If…
Sep 26, 2014, 3:38 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Upon clinching the NL East title 10 days ago, the Nationals all insisted they would continue to play hard the rest of the way, attempting to win as many more games as they could and clinch the NL’s best record. Well, they did it with three games to spare. Behind an…
Sep 26, 2014, 1:18 PM EST
Denard Span returned to the Nationals’ lineup Friday afternoon, his right knee still scraped up but feeling well enough to return to the field three days after it was injured on a diving catch. Span said he tested the knee prior to Thursday night’s game, running on a treadmill and jumping rope, and emerged with…
Sep 26, 2014, 10:02 AM EST
Apparently they enjoyed playing two games yesterday so much, the Nationals decided they might as well do it again today! Yes, it’s the second half of a rare, back-to-back doubleheader, with the Marlins now in town for the final series of the regular season. There is something at stake in today’s 1:05 p.m. game: One…
Sep 24, 2014, 8:16 PM EST
Wednesday night’s rainout forced the Nationals to make several pitching adjustments in preparation for the back-to-back doubleheaders they now must play against the Mets and Marlins. But it also may have helped them set up their preferred postseason rotation order, with Stephen Strasburg now lined up to start Game 1 of the NLDS. With day-night…
Sep 24, 2014, 7:00 PM EST
Updated at 7:51 p.m. Tonight’s game against the Mets has been postponed due to rain. The Nationals announced they’ll play a day-night doubleheader against New York on Thursday, with a makeup game at 1:05 p.m. followed by the originally scheduled game at 7:05 p.m. Fans holding tickets for tonight’s rainout can use them for seats…
Sep 24, 2014, 6:36 PM EST
Though he was back in the Nationals’ lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Mets, Ryan Zimmerman was penciled in to play left field again, still not ready to take his position at third base as the regular-season finale draws closer. Zimmerman, who hadn’t been in the starting lineup for three straight days after feeling…
Sep 24, 2014, 1:29 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 5-1 Team slash: .244/.287/.381 Team ERA: 1.87 Runs per game: 3.16 STOCK UP Adam LaRoche, 1B: 2 HR/ 5 RBI/ 1.089 OPS If this is indeed LaRoche’s final season with the Nationals, he’s definitely making a lasting impact as the team heads into the postseason.…
Sep 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
Imagine a right-hander who has won 15 games (tied for the club lead and sixth in the National League), sports a 2.85 ERA (12th in the league), is about to surpass 200 innings pitched and has 10 quality starts in 13 tries since the All-Star break with a 2.65 ERA and 1.04 WHIP during that…
Sep 23, 2014, 10:03 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The 2014 NL East champions finally returned home tonight, a full week removed from their division clincher in Atlanta, and were given a heroes’ welcome from a crowd of 30,714 that looked for every possible opportunity to shower the home team with love. Tanner Roark got a standing ovation as he…
Sep 23, 2014, 3:31 PM EST
The last time the Nats took the field at Nationals Park, they were in very good position in the NL East, but not even close to clinching anything. They led the Braves by 8 games as they headed out of town for an 11-day road trip. Well, they’re back tonight, and that lead in the…
Sep 23, 2014, 12:22 PM EST
ATLANTA BRAVES The Braves’ disappointing fall from contention to elimination is finally complete, as their chase for a postseason berth officially came to an end a few days ago in a 10-2 loss to the Mets. Given this year’s post All-Star break free fall and that this is the first time Atlanta has missed the…
Sep 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
It’s been a full week now since the Nationals clinched the NL East title, and yet there are still 10 days to go until they take the field for Game 1 of the NLDS. So there’s plenty of time left for Mike Rizzo, Matt Williams and Co. to decide which 25 players will make their…
Sep 22, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
MIAMI — Adam LaRoche makes a point not to think about his future beyond this season, lest he start worrying more about where he’ll play in 2015 than what he and the Nationals might yet accomplish in 2014. “I kind of purposely try to stay away from it,” he said Sunday morning in the clubhouse…
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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