Patrick Reddington: Bryce Harper's patience paying off

Tom Koehler threw his arms up in anger. Or maybe disbelief. Or both, probably. With runners on first and third and two out in the fifth inning of Wednesday night's game in Miami, the Marlins' starter got ahead 1-2 on Washington's 22-year-old slugger, Bryce Harper, but the 93 mph fastball he threw up high inside ended up sailing out to right field in Marlins Park ... read more

Opposite dugout: After latest distractions, Mets need to focus on catching rival Nationals

Manager: Terry Collins (5th season) Record: 52-50 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Daniel Murphy (.271/.324/.393 with 36 RBIs), RF Curtis Granderson (.255/.350/.440 with 16 HR, 36 RBIs), SS Wilmer Flores (.249 with 10 HR, 40 RBIs), 1B Lucas Duda (18 HR, 45 RBIs), RHP Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA), RHP Jeurys Familia (27 saves, 2.22 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 4-6 Pitching ... read more

David Huzzard: Examining the final two months

Now that the Washington Nationals are almost fully healthy and have added Jonathan Paplebon, it is as good a time as any to discuss what to expect for the last couple of months of the season. The Nats may not be done adding players before the non-waiver trade deadline tomorrow or via the waiver trade market in August, but those moves are expected to be ... read more

Rachel Levitin: How will Jonathan Papelbon mix in with Nationals bullpen?

It looks like there's a new closing pitcher on Washington's roster. All-Star pitcher Jonathan Papelbon was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday in exchange for minor league pitcher Nick Pivetta, and now it'll be interesting to see how the team's newest player integrates into the clubhouse. Outside of the business of baseball, many fans have expressed displeasure with the selection. ... read more

Opposite dugout: Marlins haven't improved much since managerial change

Manager: Dan Jennings (1st year) Record: 41-58 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: SS Adeiny Hechavarria (.276, 37 RBIs), LF Christian Yelich (.265, 5 HR, 22 RBIs), 1B Justin Boar (.263 with 10 HR, 30 RBIs), RHP Jose Fernandez (3-0, 2.77 ERA), RHP Tom Koehler (8-6, 3.16 ERA), RHP A.J. Ramos Season series vs. Nationals: 4-2 Pitching probables: July 28: RHP Jordan Zimmermann vs. ... read more

Matt of Matt's Bats: Hoping for a big splash from Nats at trade deadline

The trade deadline: baseball's most frantic and exciting time of the year. Already, Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir and Juan Uribe have been dealt to the Royals, Astros and Mets, respectively. There are probably a lot more deals coming before July 31 as teams that are postseason contenders are buying, and teams that probably won't make it to October are selling. The first-place Nationals are probably ... read more

Marty Niland: Taylor's breakout recalls past Senators rookie phenom Allison

There's nothing quite like seeing a major league rookie come into his own, especially when he's making the most of an opportunity to fill in for a starter. You can say, "I remember when ..." So it was fun watching Michael A. Taylor have a breakout weekend, even though the Nationals lost a difficult series in Pittsburgh and saw their NL East lead over the ... read more

Patrick Reddington: Is trading for late-inning option worth cost of prospects?

There have been plenty of rumors involving the Washington Nationals as the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline approaches, and Nats GM Mike Rizzo has heard the chatter. One report after another says the Nationals are in the market for relief help. So are they looking for a set-up man? An eighth-inning option? "That seems to be the popular opinion," Rizzo joked in an MLB Network ... read more