Sep 28, 2015, 5:42 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Given everything that has transpired over the last week — official elimination from the NL East race, the plunking of Manny Machado, the dugout brawl between Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper — there seemed little reason to pay attention to what actually was going to take place on the field Monday…
Sep 15, 2015, 6:43 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Wilson Ramos didn’t realize it until informed Tuesday afternoon. But upon learning he had played in his 114th game of the season the previous night, establishing a new career high, the Nationals catcher couldn’t hold back a wide smile. “You tell me that right now, and it makes me feel excited,” he said.…
Sep 7, 2015, 4:31 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: There was a different energy in the air this afternoon as the Nationals and Mets opened a 3-game series unlike anything previously seen in these parts. True pennant race baseball has come to D.C. The fans felt it. The players and managers certainly seemed to feel it, as well, resulting in…
Aug 28, 2015, 9:55 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Max Scherzer taking the mound used to be a sure thing for the Nationals. These days, it’s anything but. Scherzer’s August struggles continued when the right-hander served up a pair of early homers to the Marlins, putting his team in a hole. He did bounce back to finish his night on…
Aug 26, 2015, 6:12 PM EDT
It was never designed to happen. It just developed organically, with Jose Lobaton becoming the equivalent of Gio Gonzalez’s personal catcher over the course of the summer. Ten straight times Gonzalez took the mound to pitch, Lobaton took his spot behind the plate to catch the left-hander. Until Wednesday night, when Wilson Ramos served as…
Aug 26, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT
It’s been awhile since we talked about the Nationals and winning streaks in the same breath. Tonight, though, they have an opportunity to keep their current hot streak going, seeking to win four in a row for the first time since late June when they won eight in a row (that was the stretch that…
Aug 26, 2015, 12:34 AM EDT
There was no shortage of tangible evidence Tuesday night what the Nationals’ lineup is capable of doing now that it is complete for the first time all season. Wilson Ramos’ 2-run homer in the bottom of the second. Yunel Escobar and Ian Desmond’s 2-out RBI doubles later. And, most notably, Ryan Zimmerman’s sixth-inning grand slam…
Aug 25, 2015, 10:14 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It took 124 games, but Matt Williams finally had the opportunity to fill out his original, projected lineup, thanks to Denard Span’s return from a two-month stay on the DL with a lower back injury. And wouldn’t you know that long-awaited, complete lineup put together one of the Nationals’ best all-around…
Aug 24, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT
The Nationals know they have a long way to go before they can climb out of their current hole in the NL East standings. That said, the feeling among players after Sunday afternoon’s series-clinching win over the Milwaukee Brewers was the hope that their biggest bugaboo in recent weeks — the struggling offense — might finally start to…
Aug 22, 2015, 9:51 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Nationals tried not to make too much of Friday night’s unsightly loss to the Brewers, which came on the heels of a red-eye flight from Colorado following a long West Coast trip. The proof, though, would hinge on how they played in tonight’s second game against Milwaukee. The answer: Well.…
Aug 20, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling. Record: 2-4 Team slash: .239/.332/.410 Team ERA: 5.76 Runs per game: 5.16 STOCK UP Stephen Strasburg, SP: 2 GS/ 1-1/ 1.38 ERA The Nats rotation’s had a pretty tough time of late, struggling so often…
Aug 8, 2015, 9:44 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The sight of Stephen Strasburg taking the mound this season has produced plenty of emotions, unfortunately far too many of them negative after four months of struggles, injuries and some downright bizarre outings. But by the end of this night, after Strasburg had thoroughly dominated the Rockies in his return from…
Aug 6, 2015, 10:59 PM EDT
The Nationals’ offense has been a problem area in recent weeks, so one game will not solve all of their woes and reinstall them as one of the most potent lineups in the majors. But in Thursday night’s win, there were several indicators that suggest they are moving in the right direction as a team.…
Aug 6, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After an embarrassing loss Wednesday night, Matt Williams gathered his players together before Thursday’s game with a simple message: Play the game their way, aggressively, and good things would be more likely to happen. They did display some of that in their series finale against the Diamondbacks, swiping some bases and…
Aug 5, 2015, 12:13 AM EDT
Since the Nationals traded for Wilson Ramos back in 2010, he has shown flashes of All-Star capabilities as a catcher who can at times look like one of the best hitters in the league at his position. Injuries have always been his problem, at least until this year. Ramos has been in the lineup more…
Jul 21, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Jacob deGrom may be the reigning NL Rookie of the Year and may have been coming off a lights-out performance in the All-Star Game last week, but for six innings Tuesday night, Joe Ross was the more-impressive young right-hander on the mound at Nationals Park. Then came the top of the…
Jul 5, 2015, 11:48 PM EDT
Jordan Zimmermann’s last three starts have been special, and on Sunday, his excellent outing gave the Nationals a three-game sweep over the defending world champions. Zimmerman pitched seven solid innings, and Wilson Ramos slammed a tie-breaking homer as the Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 before 33,157 at Nationals Park on Sunday night. Zimmermann…
Jul 2, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
There are nights when the Nationals’ lineup looks capable of posting big numbers, no matter how many regulars find themselves shelved due to injury. And then there are nights like Wednesday. The Nationals looked feeble at the plate during their 4-1 loss to the Braves, held to a measly four hits by rookie right-hander Matt…
Jun 27, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — The Nationals submitted a lineup for Saturday’s game against the Phillies that featured only one player projected to start on Opening Day (Ian Desmond) hitting in a spot he rarely has held in his career (third). Such is life for Matt Williams right now, with six of his regular position players currently out…
Jun 26, 2015, 8:37 AM EDT
You’re not supposed to glean much from a two-game stretch, especially in the context of a full baseball season. But for Ian Desmond and the Nationals, the past 48 hours have provided hope that the three-time Silver Slugger Award winner could be on the verge of ending his prolonged slump. After notching the game-winning RBI the…
Jun 20, 2015, 12:12 AM EDT
One morning in March, Matt Williams and Steve McCatty ventured over to the minor-league complex in Viera, Fla., to watch left-hander Felipe Rivero pitch out of the bullpen. Before Rivero took the mound, though, a young right-hander named Joe Ross pitched. Ross didn’t make an overwhelming impression on the Nationals manager and pitching coach, but…
Jun 19, 2015, 9:41 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: With Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman already on the DL and Bryce Harper joining them on the bench after suffering a hamstring injury Thursday night, the Nationals lineup faced long odds against A.J. Burnett and a Pirates pitching staff that had been brilliant during their 8-game winning streak. So, naturally, that…
Jun 17, 2015, 12:14 PM EDT
Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling. Record: 4-3 Team slash: .294/.361/.462 Team ERA: 4.35 Runs per game: 6.0 STOCK UP Max Scherzer, SP: 1-0/ 9.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA Is there anything Scherzer can’t do? After his latest outing…
Jun 17, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
For all the anguish displayed over the last week — some of it admittedly deserved — the Nationals did just wrap up a 4-4 road trip. No, that shouldn’t be cause for celebration, but neither should it be cause for panic. Do the Nationals have their share of issues? Absolutely. This has been a painfully…
Jun 7, 2015, 9:32 AM EDT
When the Nationals broke out for seven runs on Friday night, the hope was certainly for that momentum to carry over on Saturday in their early afternoon bout with the Cubs. Manager Matt Williams had adjusted his lineup with Ryan Zimmerman batting second and Anthony Rendon hitting cleanup. He went with the same approach on…
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