Werth DHing, Schierholtz will play right

SEATTLE - The Nationals will get to utilize the designated hitter for the next three days, and Jayson Werth will handle that role tonight. Werth will be in his normal No. 3 spot in the batting order, but will not roam right field here at Safeco Field. Nate Schierholtz will play right, getting his first start as a National. As I wrote earlier, we'll get ... read more

Another test, this time out west

SEATTLE - Hello from the great Northwest, where the weather is lovely, the seafood is tremendous and there is practically a Starbucks on every single corner. I had heard that coming in - that coffee shops were all over the place here. But you seriously cannot walk half a block in Seattle without seeing coffee sold somewhere, and Starbucks logos can be spotted pretty much ... read more

Williams, Desmond and Fister weigh in after Phillies complete sweep

Think Nationals manager Matt Williams is stewing over the Phillies' 8-4 come-from-behind win Wednesday night that gave them a series sweep? Think again. Sounds more like the skipper has already filed the three games at Citizens Bank Park away. The Nats might not be landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for another six hours, but Williams might as already be in the Pacific Northwest. The Nats ... read more

Inactivity is LaRoche's enemy, while Fister shuts down running game

Adam LaRoche's night off Tuesday because of a tightness in his back was nothing new for the veteran first baseman. He's battled back issues for five or six years now, and knows the triggers that cause him trouble. Inactivity is a problem, and this time, the 2½-hour bus ride from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia on Sunday evening apparently was the culprit. "I felt it for ... read more

LaRoche returns in finale against Phillies (plus programming reminder)

PHILADELPHIA - Adam LaRoche is back in the lineup in his normal spots at first base and clean-up for the Nationals in the finale of a three-game against the Phillies. LaRoche was out of last night's starting lineup, getting a rest while he nursed a tight back. Otherwise, the lineup looks very familiar in support of right-hander Doug Fister (12-4, 2.38 ERA) against Philadelphia's Kyle ... read more

Given more consistent at-bats, Frandsen heating up in August

PHILADELPHIA - Being a bench player is never easy. The inconsistent playing time, the tough late-game match-ups against hard-throwing relievers, the lack of live pitching to build timing before at-bats - it's all part of the gig, and it all makes the gig difficult. Add in the frustration that can build (and sometimes fester) when you don't succeed in your very limited opportunities, and it ... read more

Hearing from Williams, Frandsen, Desmond and Gonzalez after Nats' 4-3 loss

PHILADELPHIA - In a game that was seemingly filled with close, questionable calls, the Phillies got the benefit of the doubt on a few key ones, and they escaped with a hard-fought 4-3 win. The Nationals battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the eighth on Asdrubal Cabrera's solo homer. But the Phillies won a challenge in the ... read more

LaRoche out with tight back, Wednesday time change, Roark's innings and more

For those planning to watch Wednesday night's Nationals game at Citizens Bank Park, you'll have to tune in 30 minutes later than normal. First pitch has been backed up to 7:30 p.m. because the Phillies will be honoring the Mid-Atlantic Little League champion Taney Dragons in a pregame ceremony. As for tonight, first baseman Adam LaRoche is out of the Nats lineup, but not because ... read more