Aug 6, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Bryce Harper is searching at the plate, this much is obvious. Every time it appears the young slugger is headed on the right track, he falls back into a mini-slump and starts flailing at pitches he has little chance of hitting with authority. Harper now has stepped to the plate 205 times this season, a…
Aug 5, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT
Here is the current state of the Nationals, summed up in one inning of baseball played Tuesday night during a 6-1 loss to the Mets: They scored a run without producing a hit. Then their first hit of the game actually prevented a run from scoring. Something’s just not adding up at the moment for…
Aug 5, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Stuck in a disappointing stretch of baseball, the Nationals hoped to get back on track against a Mets club they have owned since late last season, winning 10 of their last 11 head-to-head meetings. Instead, they squandered a bunch of early opportunities against right-hander Zack Wheeler and couldn’t overcome Gio Gonzalez’s…
Aug 5, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT
Erick Fedde heads to Viera, Fla., Wednesday to begin the long, slow rehab from Tommy John surgery, but before embarking on that monotonous journey, the Nationals’ top draft pick got to enjoy a whirlwind day in the District. Fedde, the 16th overall pick in the June draft out of UNLV, toured Washington and then spent…
Aug 5, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Updated at 5:15 p.m. Trying to bolster a talented bullpen that has appeared worn down in recent weeks, the Nationals acquired veteran left-hander Matt Thornton off waivers from the Yankees. The Nationals aren’t giving up a player in a trade for Thornton; they simply were awarded a waiver claim and thus are responsible only for…
Aug 5, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT
After a quick, makeup game with the Orioles, the Nationals now wrap up their homestand with a 3-game series against a Mets club they’ve beaten 12 of their last 13 meetings. They’ll be without Wilson Ramos, who was placed on the paternity leave list in anticipation of the birth of his first child. Jose Lobaton…
Aug 5, 2014, 2:02 PM EDT
The Nationals placed Wilson Ramos on the paternity leave list and recalled fellow catcher Sandy Leon from Class AAA Syracuse to take a roster spot after Ramos’ wife gave birth to the couple’s first child. Ramos’ wife, Yeli, gave birth Tuesday morning to a baby girl in the Washington area. Her husband left Nationals Park…
Aug 5, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
ATLANTA BRAVES What has happened to the Braves? After a stretch where it looked like the race for the division title would be neck-and-neck with Washington, Atlanta has suddenly fallen on hard times. The Braves are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and currently sit three games back of first place. Getting swept…
Aug 5, 2014, 12:38 AM EDT
A manager has a split-second to make an in-game decision, and he must consider all sorts of factors in that split-second afforded him before somebody has to step to the plate or throw a pitch. As soon as Wilson Ramos singled to right-center in the bottom of the sixth Monday night, Matt Williams had a…
Aug 4, 2014, 10:17 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Thanks to a rainout last month, the final chapter of this year’s Battle of the Beltways was bumped to tonight, a 1-game makeup to decide whether this would end up a 4-game split or a 3-1 series victory for the Orioles. By night’s end, this series had turned as orange as…
Aug 4, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT
There’s something about July that seems to bring the best out of Jayson Werth. The Nationals right fielder was named NL Player of the Month on Monday, the second consecutive July he has earned the award. Werth hit .337 with 11 doubles, six homers, 24 RBI and a 1.133 OPS while also leading the league…
Aug 4, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT
Though they faced each other three times last month, the Nationals and Orioles knew their annual Battle of the Beltways wouldn’t be completed until tonight, when the two clubs could play their makeup game required from a rainout at Nationals Park. Baltimore took two of those first three games, so the Nats need a win…
Aug 3, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT
The Nationals enter Sunday looking to split their four-game series with Philadelphia, thanks to an 11-0 beatdown of the Phillies on Saturday night. Runs, however, could be a little harder to come by on this particular day. It’s a marquee pitching matchup at Nationals Park with Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55) going up against Cole Hamels…
Aug 2, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT
By the fourth inning, the Nationals led by 11 runs, turning the Phillies pitching staff into mincemeat and allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief and just play out the string under no pressure. But when Saturday night’s game was only two batters into the bottom of the first, when the outcome was still…
Aug 2, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: How about we just do “Game in a word” tonight? The answer is: Rout. OK, a few more details than that. The Nationals annihilated the Phillies pitching staff, starting with A.J. Burnett, who let six of the 11 batters he faced reach safely, capped by Anthony Rendon’s 3-run homer in the…
Aug 2, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Though he has begun to see success again since the All-Star break, hitting .304 with an .820 OPS over his last 14 games, Bryce Harper’s swing remains something of a work-in-progress. Harper continues to tinker with his batting stance on a nightly basis, often making tweaks from one at-bat to the next. And as he…
Aug 2, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
The bad news: The Nationals have lost six of their last nine. The good news: The Braves also have lost six of their last nine. So the Nats’ lead in the NL East remains 1 1/2 games, despite their recent struggles. They’ll try to get back on track tonight after dropping the first two games…
Aug 1, 2014, 11:24 PM EDT
There are nights when a manager will explain a loss away by claiming his guys hit the ball hard, but everyone knows it’s mere lip service for an otherwise lackluster performance at the plate. And then there are nights when a manager will say it, and there isn’t a soul in the building who could…
Aug 1, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals, to the surprise of nobody, got another strong start from Doug Fister. They got some quality defense from a host of players, including Jayson Werth and the just-acquired Asdrubal Cabrera. And they consistently hit the ball hard against Philadelphia right-hander Roberto Hernandez. Sounds like the formula for a win,…
Aug 1, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT
Asdrubal Cabrera has arrived and will make his Nationals debut tonight, batting seventh and starting at second base against the Phillies. I would imagine that’s where we’ll see the former Indians infielder most of the time, though we’ll see how it all plays out. To make room for Cabrera on the active roster, the Nationals…
Aug 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ bullpen, as dominant a unit as there has been in baseball through much of the season, has suddenly and surprisingly fallen onto hard times. And Thursday night’s performance in a 10-4 loss to the Phillies was only the latest example. Asked to keep the game within striking distance after Gio Gonzalez lasted only…
Jul 31, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It could’ve been a great pitching showdown between a pair of accomplished lefties. Instead it turned into a laborious battle of bullpens after both Gio Gonzalez and Cliff Lee were knocked out early, for very different reasons. Lee retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but after throwing only…
Jul 31, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT
[Updated 6:30 p.m.] The Nationals’ sudden need for infield help prompted general manager Mike Rizzo to make a rare deal for a 2-month rental player on Thursday: Asdrubal Cabrera, who was acquired from the Indians for Zach Walters less than an hour before the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline. Cabrera, 28, is a natural shortstop who…
Jul 31, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT
We take a look at the Nationals’ past week, at a glance: Record: 3-3 Team slash: .231/.326/.265 Team ERA: 3.32 Runs per game: 3 STOCK UP Tanner Roark, SP: 2-0/ 1.29 ERA/ 0.64 WHIP Roark’s season thus far has been nothing short of a cinderella story. Despite the 27-year-old righty’s stigma of being a supposed “back of…
Jul 31, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
In five years now as general manager of the Nationals, Mike Rizzo has approached all trade discussions with an underlying philosophy: Any move made must be in this team’s best interests not only in the short-term but especially in the long-term. That philosophy has served the Nationals well, allowing them to slowly assemble a roster…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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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