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…
Sep 21, 2014, 5:39 PM EST
MIAMI — There was a point — honestly, not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things — when Stephen Strasburg’s standing within the Nationals’ pitching staff was up for debate. And the debate wasn’t whether he deserved to be considered the Nats’ No. 1 starter. It was whether he deserved to be…
Sep 21, 2014, 3:41 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Playing their 17th consecutive game and wrapping up an 11-game road trip, the Nationals rested several key regulars, including Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth. And given Stephen Strasburg’s longstanding struggles at Marlins Park, there had to be some concern heading in about this group’s odds of winning. But Strasburg…
Sep 21, 2014, 12:32 PM EST
MIAMI — Ballplayers excel at blocking out the big picture and focusing on the here-and-now, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. As Aaron Barrett’s first season in the big leagues winds down, with his first postseason appearance awaiting, the Nationals’ young reliever admits he has taken a moment or two recently to…
Sep 21, 2014, 11:44 AM EST
MIAMI — Stephen Strasburg has pitched very well lately — he has a 1.69 ERA, 28 strikeouts and zero walks over his last four starts — and the Nationals would love for him to continue his winning ways this afternoon at Marlins Park (where he owns a 6.90 ERA in six career starts). But Strasburg…
Sep 20, 2014, 11:51 PM EST
MIAMI — He hadn’t played in a big-league ballgame in two months, and he was the first to admit earlier Saturday he had no idea what to expect when he stepped onto the field at Marlins Park in his first game back from a major hamstring injury. By the end of the night, after Ryan…
Sep 20, 2014, 10:09 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Boosted by the return of Ryan Zimmerman after a two-month DL stint, the Nationals came out of the gates a bit sluggish tonight. They fell into a 2-0 hole via a Little League home run that featured errors by both Denard Span and Jordan Zimmermann. They also grounded into three straight…
Sep 20, 2014, 6:34 PM EST
MIAMI — Ryan Zimmerman is back in the Nationals’ lineup, that much he knows. What the veteran slugger doesn’t know is how much of a factor he’ll be in the Nats’ upcoming postseason run after missing the last two months with a major hamstring injury that still hasn’t completely healed. “I won’t be 100 percent…
Sep 20, 2014, 3:26 PM EST
MIAMI — The Nationals have played great baseball for the last two months, going 34-21 to win the NL East and assume the top spot in the entire NL heading into the season’s final week. But they have every reason to believe they’re an even better team now that Ryan Zimmerman has returned from a…
Sep 19, 2014, 11:39 PM EST
MIAMI — They’ve got the National League’s best record. They’ve been on a tear this month, going 12-6 in September. They’ve been even better on this final road trip of the regular season, winning 7 of 9 after Friday night’s 3-2 victory over the Marlins. And now the Nationals are about to be completely healthy…
Sep 19, 2014, 9:57 PM EST
GAME IN NUTSHELL: With Adam LaRoche back in the lineup and Ryan Zimmerman back in the dugout, the Nationals looked complete as a ballclub for this game. And though they didn’t necessarily play their best game of the last week, they still managed to do enough right to improve to 7-2 on this final road…
Sep 19, 2014, 6:29 PM EST
MIAMI — Ryan Zimmerman has completed his rehab stint in Viera, Fla., will rejoin the Nationals tonight at Marlins Park and is likely to be activated off the disabled list in time for Saturday night’s game. Manager Matt Williams said the injured slugger passed his final test in Viera — seven innings in left field…
Sep 19, 2014, 3:43 PM EST
MIAMI — Matt Williams, as promised, will keep playing all his regulars down the stretch. And tonight, that really means all his regulars. Adam LaRoche returns after sitting out last night’s game to nurse his ailing back. Everybody else remains. (And Ryan Zimmerman could rejoin the group tomorrow, by the way). Meantime, Doug Fister is…
Sep 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
MIAMI — We’ve seen several moments in the last few weeks that have suggested Bryce Harper has finally turned a big corner at the plate, and we saw another one Thursday night late in the Nationals’ 6-2 win over the Marlins. Facing left-hander Dan Jennings out of the bullpen, Harper mashed a double off the…
Sep 18, 2014, 11:28 PM EST
MIAMI — A month ago, when he was laboring through the toughest stretch of his Nationals career, Gio Gonzalez noted that he felt like he was still trying to catch up to the rest of his rotation mates after missing a month with shoulder inflammation. Perhaps that was Gonzalez’s biggest problem all along: He was…
Sep 18, 2014, 9:57 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals put most of their regulars — all but Adam LaRoche, still nursing a sore back — in the lineup Thursday, but for three innings you would’ve thought the backups were again. Miami left-hander Brad Hand retired the first 10 batters he faced, causing perhaps a mild stir among the…
Sep 18, 2014, 6:40 PM EST
MIAMI — While the rest of the Nationals regulars returned to the lineup Thursday night against the Marlins, Adam LaRoche was given another day off to rest his lower back, which has been tight off and on for several weeks now. LaRoche’s condition actually is better now than it was in the past when he…
Sep 18, 2014, 3:44 PM EST
MIAMI — Hello from Marlins Park … well, actually I’m not at Marlins Park at the moment I type this. I’m at a TV studio in downtown Miami getting ready for today’s Baseball Show on Comcast SportsNet. We’ll be on live at 4 p.m., talking about the Nationals’ division clincher, what they’re going to do…
Sep 18, 2014, 11:11 AM EST
30,000 FEET ABOVE GEORGIA — With the NL East title locked up, the focus for the Nationals shifts away from the field and toward the questions this team must answer before its postseason run begins two weeks from Friday. And there is no greater question, as manager Matt Williams admitted yesterday, than Ryan Zimmerman’s status…
Sep 17, 2014, 11:30 PM EST
ATLANTA — On the day after they clinched the NL East title, they rested. Having expended significant amounts of effort both physical and mental over the last six months to win their division — and having celebrated the accomplishment deep into Wednesday morning — members of the Nationals starting lineup were given a collective day…
Sep 17, 2014, 9:52 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: They won the NL East title Tuesday and celebrated deep into the night, so Matt Williams decided to give all of his regulars Wednesday night off. Really, all of them. The Nationals fielded a lineup made up entirely of veteran backups and September call-ups, with rookie Blake Treinen getting the ball…
Sep 17, 2014, 6:36 PM EST
ATLANTA — Though the lineup they fielded Wednesday night wouldn’t suggest it, the Nationals say they will play most of their regulars over the final week and a half of the regular season and attempt to secure home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. Manager Matt Williams gave all of his regulars Wednesday’s game off,…
Sep 17, 2014, 3:34 PM EST
ATLANTA — Contrary to what you might think when you look at tonight’s lineup, the Nationals are not playing a split-squad game in Lake Buena Vista. They are indeed playing an actual Major League Baseball game in Atlanta. It counts in the standings and everything. You just won’t find any regulars on the field. Matt…
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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