Series opener delayed by rain (Nats lose 7-1)

Rain had been in the forecast all day, and sure enough it came as expected, delaying the start of the Nationals’ series opener against the Mets. For now, the Nats say they plan to begin at 8:10 p.m., hoping the skies clear enough and soon enough to get the full game in as scheduled and avoid a makeup date down the road at some point. ... read more

Why Dusty Baker doesn’t believe in personal catchers

Dusty Baker isn’t a big believer in the concept of personal catchers, but when he took the job as Nationals manager over the winter, he inherited the Gio Gonzalez-Jose Lobaton pairing. Gonzalez and Lobaton never formally were named as permanent batterymates, but the two had worked together in 19 of the left-hander’s final 23 starts in 2015 and enjoyed success. So Baker kept them together ... read more

Game 45 lineups: Nats vs. Mets

OK, let’s get the answer to your most important question out of the way: I don’t know. The question: Are they going to be able to play tonight? You know as much as I know. And if you don’t, just click on any weather forecast and look at the Doppler map. It’s probably going to rain, pretty hard, at some point late this afternoon/early this ... read more

More on last night’s blowout victory in New York

NEW YORK - While the focus of last night’s game was squarely on the Stephen Strasburg-Matt Harvey pitching matchup, there was plenty else notable about the Nationals’ 9-1 victory over the Mets. Before they get to Miami and open this weekend’s series with the Marlins (and before my colleague Byron Kerr takes the reins of the blog for the second leg of the road trip), ... read more

Nats praise dominant Strasburg, defend struggling Harvey

NEW YORK - The comparisons are inevitable and likely will follow both Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey through the ends of their respective careers. Both are hard-throwing right-handers who burst onto the scene as rookies, only to suffer torn elbow ligaments that required Tommy John surgery and a long road to recovery. That, of course, is where Strasburg and Harvey’s paths moved in alternate directions. ... read more

Strasburg cruises while Nats pummel Harvey in 9-1 victory

NEW YORK - Slump? What slump? Who said the Nationals couldn’t score runs in bunches? All they needed was to face Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey on consecutive nights. With a swift and emphatic flurry of hard-hit balls off the once-feared, suddenly-ineffective Harvey, the Nationals cruised to a 9-1 victory over the Mets tonight, following up last’s lopsided win with another one to capture the ... read more

Lineup knocks out Harvey in third inning (Nats win 9-1)

NEW YORK - Who would have guessed the cure for what ailed the Nationals lineup was ... Matt Harvey? These are strange times indeed, because the Nationals just got really healthy facing a remarkably ineffective Harvey, pounding the one-time Mets ace for nine runs in only 2 2/3 innings to open up a commanding 9-1 lead in tonight’s series finale. Daniel Murphy’s two-run homer in ... read more

Bryce Harper’s unusual slump: Few hits, tons of walks

NEW YORK - Bryce Harper doesn’t do most things like most other ballplayers. So it should come as no surprise that even Harper’s slumps aren’t like most slumps. Harper legitimately is slumping at the plate. Since April 27 (a span of 20 games), he’s batting just .167, which ranks 190th out of 195 qualifying major league hitters. Now, the catch: In that same timeframe, Harper’s ... read more