Jul 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
If Matt Williams’ grand plan is to move guys around the field and throughout his lineup on a daily basis, he isn’t doing it yet. The Nationals tonight are fielding the same lineup they used the previous two nights with only one exception: Jose Lobaton is catching, with Wilson Ramos getting the night off. Look,…
Jul 2, 2014, 1:17 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 4-2 Team slash: .229/.304/.358 Team ERA: 3.43 Runs per game: 4.83 STOCK UP Gio Gonzalez, SP: 1-0 / 7.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA It might be too early to make any grand proclamations, but perhaps we’re in the midst of witnessing a midseason rebound for Gonzalez. He…
Jul 2, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT
Jayson Werth hasn’t been himself lately at the plate, and he knows it. “Just been dealing with a little leak there for … god, feels like a couple months,” he said. “I’ve been battling. I’ve been grinding.” Werth’s slump hasn’t been quite as long as that, but over a 3-week stretch from June 11 until…
Jul 2, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT
In the wake of one of the worst performances of his career, Stephen Strasburg mentioned a mechanical glitch he needed to fix, a small tweak he felt would lead to fewer pitches left over the heart of the plate. Just as important, though, may have been the mental adjustment Strasburg was able to make and…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With the hubbub (and a dash of controversy) of Monday night behind them, the Nationals got down to business tonight and resumed the grind of the season with their healthy lineup still intact. On a sweltering night at the ballpark, they picked up right where they left off Monday, pounding the…
Jul 1, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
Matt Williams met with Bryce Harper today and then made a concerted effort to diffuse any notion of perceived animosity between the Nationals manager and his 21-year-old star. “I’ve got to let you guys know something: I’ve got Bryce’s back, in every way,” Williams said prior to the Nationals’ game against the Rockies. “And that…
Jul 1, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
Matt Williams could have made changes to his starting lineup tonight, choosing to move guys around the diamond as the Nationals manager has suggested he’ll do now that he has a fully healthy roster again. Or Williams could look at last night’s 7-3 thumping of the Rockies and conclude: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t…
Jul 1, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES What a difference a week makes. Seven days ago, the Braves looked like they were in a middle of a midseason tailspin, enduring a tough June stretch that saw them relinquish their division lead to the Nationals. But after winning six out of the last seven games — the best mark in the…
Jul 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman had taken his position at third base 1,119 previous times in the big leagues, so his trot from the Nationals dugout across the infield Monday evening should have been the epitome of routine. This, however, wasn’t like any of the previous occasions. This was the first time Zimmerman played third base since leaving…
Jun 30, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: For the first time in three months, the Nationals took the field tonight feeling like a complete ballclub again. With Bryce Harper off the disabled list, the entire lineup was together again. And boy did it have to feel good for this team and an energetic crowd of 33,660 that made…
Jun 30, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT
Well, here it is. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Has there ever been a more-anticipated starting lineup reveal in Nationals history? And the answer is … Ryan Zimmerman is back at third base for the first time since he fractured his thumb way back on April 11. Bryce Harper is back in left…
Jun 30, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT
For more than two months, Matt Williams has been waiting to fill out a lineup card that includes Bryce Harper in it. And for several weeks, the Nationals’ first-time manager has been contemplating just how much he wants to shake up the rest of his lineup as a result of Harper’s return. The time has…
Jun 29, 2014, 2:02 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. Athletics (LW: 1) — Roney: Sean Doolittle is the latest Baseball’s Unhittable Closer. Still wondering why Beane went out and got Jim Johnson. 2. Brewers (LW: 3) — Hughes: They can certainly hit, but it might be…
Jun 29, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT
CHICAGO — The optimist will look at the fact the Nationals are tied for first place, with the best pitching staff in baseball, sporting a +39 run differential despite the fact they had their full, Opening Day lineup together for all of seven innings … on Opening Day. The pessimist will look at the fact…
Jun 29, 2014, 12:33 AM EDT
CHICAGO — Forget who you’re playing or what the circumstances suggest, a doubleheader sweep is no sure thing. Now play that doubleheader at the end of a 7-game road trip, in sweltering humidity interrupted only by a 55-minute downpour, needing to win both ends of the twinbill to salvage a series split and maintain your…
Jun 28, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: If you’re going to spend the entire day and night at the ballpark, might as well win two ballgames. The Nationals will leave Chicago exhausted but happy to have taken both ends of their doubleheader with the Cubs, salvaging a 4-game series split at Wrigley Field. And few will be happier…
Jun 28, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
CHICAGO — And we’re back for our second game of the day here at Wrigley, the final game of this series. The Nationals need another win to salvage a 4-game split, and to do that they’ll need to beat Jeff Samardzija and finally provide some run support for Blake Treinen. Treinen returns from Syracuse as…
Jun 28, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With a long day of baseball staring them in the face, the Nationals knew they needed to pour everything they had into the opener of today’s doubleheader at Wrigley Field, lest they drop their third straight to the Cubs (fourth straight overall) and face the daunting task of needing to beat…
Jun 28, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT
CHICAGO — Matt Williams today acknowledged, for the first time, that he knows what he’s going to do with the Nationals’ starting lineup once Bryce Harper returns. He’s just not ready to tell everyone what exactly that plan is. “Yeah, I’m not going to share it just yet,” the rookie manager said prior to Saturday’s…
Jun 28, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT
CHICAGO — Ernie Banks, as far as I know, isn’t here today. So I’ll just go ahead and say it: Let’s play two! Yes, the Nationals and Cubs have a day-night doubleheader on the docket, beginning with a 1:05 p.m. EDT opener and concluding with a 7:15 p.m. EDT nightcap (on Fox, FYI). If you…
Jun 27, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT
CHICAGO — It was still very early in a long ballgame, and there was plenty of time left for plenty more to develop at Wrigley Field. But when Ryan Zimmerman was thrown out at the plate in the top of the second inning Friday afternoon, and certainly when Danny Espinosa struck out with two men…
Jun 27, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of a frustrating loss in the fog, the Nationals returned to Wrigley Field today hoping that blue skies would produce a happier result. Instead, they dropped another game to the last-place Cubs, this time in unsightly fashion. The Nats were held to two runs by Jason Hammel, who…
Jun 27, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
CHICAGO — Way back on Sunday, as the Nationals wrapped up their homestand, Matt Williams mentioned that Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth were very much in need of a day off. Well, five days later, Werth has taken his break, sitting out the Nats’ series finale in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon. Desmond, though, has remained…
Jun 27, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
CHICAGO — Hey, we can actually see the rooftops here today! There’s still some fog lingering way off in the distance, closer to Lake Michigan, but the skies are mostly clear directly over Wrigley Field, a pleasant change from last night’s surreal scene. It’s Tanner Roark on the mound today for the Nationals, and just…
Jun 27, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT
CHICAGO — Denard Span saw the ball go off Luis Valbuena’s bat, looked up to the sky and saw nothing but a cool fog that had enveloped Wrigley Field in the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday night. So the Nationals center fielder did the only thing he could in that moment: Throw his arms…
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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- With help from his alter ego, Span again sparks Nats to win
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- Nats' Zimmerman takes significant step in recovery
- Nationals aim for team record 10th straight win vs. D-Backs
- Nationals' 9-game win streak is "absolutely epic"
- Are Nationals finally playing to full potential? (VIDEO)
- Mo'ne Davis and company have one more chance
- Young guns bat, slide Nationals to ninth-straight win
- Matt Williams projects when Ryan Zimmerman will return