Sep 9, 2014, 12:27 AM EST
Matt Williams popped out of the dugout and walked toward the mound, which could only mean one thing as far as the crowd of 25,448 was concerned. Doug Fister’s night was done with two outs in the seventh, and the Nationals’ bullpen was going to need to finish off this victory over the Braves. Fans…
Sep 8, 2014, 9:45 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You want tense, September pennant-race drama against a division rival? You got it tonight when the Nationals and Braves opened a big, 3-game series that will go a long way toward either moving the Nats a step closer to the NL East title or allow Atlanta to sneak its way back…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:12 PM EST
Ryan Zimmerman was on the field during batting practice Monday, taking light grounders, jogging and throwing. The injured Nationals third baseman, though, still hasn’t been cleared for full running or swinging a bat, leaving him less and less time to get himself back in reasonable good shape for the end of the regular season. “The…
Sep 8, 2014, 1:39 PM EST
The Nationals will open their 2015 season at home against the Mets and will face all AL East teams in interleague play, including a potentially huge late-September showdown with the Orioles on South Capitol Street. Major League Baseball released the entire regular-season schedule this afternoon, one that features plenty of familiar matchups but also includes…
Sep 8, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Cole Hamels said it Sunday afternoon after taking a loss to the Nationals. “If they maintain the way they are playing right now,” the Phillies ace said, “they are going to be walking in a parade somewhere.” Strong words from a rival player, but one who has seen the Nationals enough this season (and especially…
Sep 7, 2014, 6:47 PM EST
The door to the right-field bullpen swung open, and as the crowd of 29,108 began to recognize a familiar figure and a familiar walk-in song emerging, applause began to circulate around Nationals Park. And by the time Drew Storen had two outs on Ryan Howard, finishing off the Phillies slugger with a devastating, 3-2 change-up…
Sep 7, 2014, 4:56 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Having lost the first two games of this series, not to mention five straight to the Phillies, and now needing to beat Cole Hamels to avoid a sweep, the Nationals weren’t exactly in an ideal situation this afternoon. But they came through with a strong, if not flawless, performance in this…
Sep 7, 2014, 12:41 PM EST
Well into spring training, Tanner Roark didn’t know if he’d even be a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation. He might have broken camp as a reliever. He might have begun the season in Syracuse. Roark, of course, did make the rotation and hasn’t ceded his spot since, pitching exceptionally well. But he’s also…
Sep 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EST
They’ve lost five straight games to the last-place Phillies, and if the Nationals are going to stop that surprising streak, they’re going to have to beat Cole Hamels this afternoon. That’s not something they’ve done on a regular basis in the past. The left-hander is 15-7 with a 2.58 ERA in 31 career starts against…
Sep 6, 2014, 8:07 PM EST
The Nationals, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s best teams not only this season but particularly over the last month. The Phillies, by all accounts, have been among baseball’s biggest disappointments, having held a firm grip on last place in the NL East since late June. How, then, to explain what has transpired when…
Sep 6, 2014, 6:40 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a demoralizing loss Friday night that cost Rafael Soriano the closer’s job, for at least a little while, the Nationals faced a longtime nemesis this afternoon, and didn’t fare much better than they had in the past. A.J. Burnett once again dominated this lineup, allowing just one…
Sep 6, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
Rafael Soriano, stuck in one of the worst pitching slumps of his career, will take at least a couple days off to refine his mechanics and clear his mind, leaving Nationals manager Matt Williams to pick a new closer from a pool of several bullpen candidates, at least on a temporary basis. Williams would not,…
Sep 6, 2014, 12:33 PM EST
It’s a new day at Nationals Park, where the home team will try to brush off the sting of last night’s disastrous loss to the Phillies. The question on everyone’s mind, of course: Who will close today if the opportunity presents itself? We’ll see if Matt Williams reveals a definitive answer during his pregame media…
Sep 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
And so the home stretch is upon us, the final sprint to the finish line for the Nationals, who spent most of the first half of the season hanging near the front of the pack but over the last month have burst out to take a big lead coming around the turn. (Sorry for all…
Sep 4, 2014, 2:09 PM EST
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-3 Team slash: .230/.286/.482 Team ERA: 3.16 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Bryce Harper, LF: .379 AVG/ 4 HR/ 1.212 OPS So um, perhaps he doesn’t need to be sent down to the minors after all. During a week in which the Nationals’…
Sep 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Ample time has now passed since the Nationals wrapped up their 8-5, 14-inning win in Los Angeles yesterday evening, enough time to process everything that happened during the longest game in club history (5 hours, 34 minutes). And the primary takeaway continues to be this notion: That was simply an epic baseball game, no matter…
Sep 3, 2014, 8:45 PM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: At the end of a long roller coaster of a road trip, the Nationals needed to beat the Dodgers to capture their second straight series out west against a contending opponent and salvage a 4-5 record overall on a 10-day jaunt that began with a surprising sweep in Philadelphia. But they…
Sep 3, 2014, 1:04 PM EST
Last night’s 4-1 loss to Clayton Kershaw and Co. may have been frustrating, but the Nationals still find themselves in an advantageous position today, with a chance to win this series from the Dodgers with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against rookie right-hander Carlos Frias (making his first career start after five relief appearances). Zimmermann…
Sep 3, 2014, 12:51 AM EST
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the season, and it lived up to the billing for awhile. Clayton Kershaw and Doug Fister swapped zeroes into the fifth inning, leaving everyone with the sense one crucial mistake might prove the difference in the game. Turns out a…
Sep 2, 2014, 5:51 PM EST
We’ve been anticipating this one for awhile now, ever since the pitching probables came out. It’s Doug Fister vs. Clayton Kershaw tonight in one of the premier matchups of the season, between the NL’s two best clubs. How good has Kershaw been? Well, consider that over his last 18 starts, he is 14-2 with a…
Sep 2, 2014, 1:07 PM EST
ATLANTA BRAVES The Braves enter the regular season’s final month very much alive for a chance to play October baseball. Despite the early season injuries, the inconsistency, the losing streaks and all the other turmoil, they’ve weathered the storm with a solid late-August run to keep themselves afloat. After a 4-3 week that included back-to-back…
Sep 2, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
The Nationals’ aren’t the best home-run-hitting team in the majors. Far from it. They didn’t even rank among MLB’s top-10 home run clubs entering play Monday. And the Nationals don’t boast one of the most-prodigious home-run hitters in baseball. Ian Desmond currently leads the way with 22 homers, and it’s unlikely anybody on the roster…
Sep 1, 2014, 4:52 PM EST
They were swept in Philadelphia. They took 2 of 3 in Seattle. So, what does the final leg of perhaps the Nationals’ toughest road trip of the season have in store? We’ll start to find out tonight when they open a big, 3-game series at Dodger Stadium against the team directly behind them for the…
Sep 1, 2014, 4:18 PM EST
The Nationals added six players to their roster Monday in the first round of September call-ups, promoting relievers Aaron Barrett, Xavier Cedeno and Blake Treinen, catcher Sandy Leon, first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore and outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from Class AAA Syracuse. All six players will be active and available for Monday night’s series opener in…
Sep 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
And so, August has come to an end, and what a month it was for the Nationals. It began with this team 10 games over .500, clinging to a 1 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East. It ended with this team 19 games over .500, now up 6 games (though that number…
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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