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Zimmermann dominates Braves again in Nats’ 6-1 win

The Nationals’ bats jumped on Shelby Miller quickly, giving Jordan Zimmermann more than enough offense to beat the Braves 6-1 tonight. Zimmermann dominated Atlanta for the second time in the last six days. He scattered six hits with six strikeouts and no walks over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Zimmermann’s control and command was superb as the right-hander only threw 24 balls out of his 109

Zimmermann shuts down Braves (Nats win 6-1)

The Nationals managed only one run off Braves starter Shelby Miller over seven innings last Wednesday night. Tonight, they exploded for four runs in the opening frame off the right-hander. Denard Span started it off with a single to left. Danny Espinosa then pounded a double to the gap in left-center field, scoring Span all the way from first. Some aggressive base running landed Espinosa

Zimmermann and Miller set to duel again (with lineups)

Right-handers Jordan Zimmermann and Shelby Miller are set to tangle for the second time in less than a week when the Nationals and Braves face off tonight in Atlanta. Both came away without a decision in the Nationals 2-1, 11-inning win last Wednesday in D.C. Zimmermann threw eight scoreless frames in that game, scattering six hits and striking out three without a walk. He left Continue reading ....

Dan Uggla leading in supporting role

Dan Uggla has just one home run this year, but it’s arguably the biggest homer blasted for the Nationals all season. Staring at a puzzling 7-13 start and mired in a six-game losing streak, the Nats found themselves trailing by eight runs in Atlanta on April 28. But resilience took over, and so did some heavy bats as the Nationals chipped away at the Braves’

Strasburg, Desmond are experiencing resurgences

The Nationals’ season-high eight-game winning streak came to an end with Sunday night’s 8-5 loss to the Phillies in the series finale. Despite the setback, the Nationals head to Atlanta experiencing the potential resurgence of two key players: right-hander Stephen Strasburg and shortstop Ian Desmond. Strasburg pitched brilliantly in yesterday’s 3-2 win over Philadelphia in the first game of the doubleheader. The 26-year-old gave up

Tough outing for Roark as Nationals split doubleheader

PHILADELPHIA - The Phillies pounded out 16 hits as the Nationals fell 8-5, ending a season-best eight-game winning streak. Having burned Gio Gonzalez in yesterday’s delayed postponement, Nationals manager Matt Williams made the call to start Tanner Roark in the second game of today’s doubleheader. “He knew yesterday he was going to get the second game today,” Williams said of Roark. “He was prepared.” The

Nats’ eight-game winning streak ends with 8-5 loss

PHILADELPHIA - Some opportune hitting and well-placed grounders led to four runs for the Phillies in the second inning against Nationals starter Tanner Roark. Cody Asche singled to start the frame and then Andres Blanco belted a line drive double to right. The Nationals opted to bring the infield up and Phillies starter Severino Gonzalez hit a bouncing ball to Tyler Moore, but Asche was

Healthy Strasburg spins gem for Nats’ eighth straight win

PHILADELPHIA - Stephen Strasburg delivered his best start of the year as the Nationals held on to beat the Phillies 3-2 in the first game of today’s doubleheader. Strasburg allowed a solo homer in the second and an RBI single in the sixth to Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur, but that was about it. The tall righty fanned nine Phillies while scattering four hits with

Roark starts Game 2, Harper sits

PHILADELPHIA - Nationals manager Matt Williams will give the ball to Tanner Roark to start Game 2 of the doubleheader. Roark hasn’t pitched since he followed Strasburg to the mound for two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Braves. That was Roark’s first relief appearance since returning to the bullpen after going 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts from May 25-June

Strasburg leads Nats to 3-2 win in Game 1 of doubleheader

PHILADELPHIA - Bryce Harper wasted no time testing his hamstrings out after belting a two-out double down the right field line in the first. Wilson Ramos ended up stranding Harper to close out the frame. Stephen Strasburg struck out Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard to end a 14-pitch scoreless first inning. But in the second, Jeff Francoeur jumped all over Strasburg, rocking a 95 mph

Bryce Harper returns for Game 1 of doubleheader (with lineups)

PHILADELPHIA - Bryce Harper returns to the Nationals lineup for Game 1 of today’s straight doubleheader with the Phillies. It will be Harper’s first game action since he injured his right hamstring late in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Braves. Harper ripped a one-out double in the 11th inning, but pulled up lame as he arrived at second base. Harper was checked out briefly, but

Williams, Gonzalez left frustrated after delayed postponement

PHILADELPHIA - With a massive storm bearing down on the eastern seaboard, the Nationals and Phillies got under way this afternoon - but under questionable conditions. They made it only through the top of the second before the game was halted due to heavy rain. After a lengthy delay, a decision was finally made to postpone the game and play it as part of a

Williams with latest on Harper, Span and Escobar (game postponed)

PHILADELPHIA - Nationals manager Matt Williams must have felt like he was filling out a Grapefruit League road game lineup earlier this afternoon. Ian Desmond is the only Nationals everyday starter playing as Williams will be without injured stars Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Yunel Escobar. Not to mention that Wilson Ramos is resting after catching the last four games and, of course, Anthony Rendon

Bryce Harper out for third straight game (with lineups)

PHILADELPHIA - Bryce Harper will miss his third straight game with tightness in his right hamstring. Harper initially experienced the setback while running to second after ripping a double in the 11th inning of Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the Braves. Harper remained in the game that night to score the winning run, but hasn’t played since. Nationals manager Matt Williams said yesterday that Harper underwent

Who are these guys? Nationals bench comes through in 5-2 win

PHILADELPHIA - When Denard Span’s back spasms forced Nationals manager Matt Williams to re-release his revised lineup card about an hour before first pitch last night, the result resembled a spring training batting order. Then Yunel Escobar left the game and by the time the bottom of the first inning started, the lineup had progressed to a mix of names from a March split squad

Max Scherzer dominates Phillies for 100th career win

PHILADELPHIA - As Max Scherzer took the mound in the sixth inning of tonight’s 5-2 Nationals win over the Phillies, not one person was surprised that the imposing right-hander had yet to allow a single base runner. Why would they be? It was third time in as many starts that Scherzer had gone through five innings completely perfect. And it was coming on the heels

Updates on Span and Escobar as Nats’ injury report grows

PHILADELPHIA - About an hour before first pitch, Nationals center fielder Denard Span experienced another bout of back spasms and was forced to sit out tonight’s 5-2 win over the Phillies. Span said he felt fine when he showed up at Citizens Bank Park and proceeded to go through his regular pregame routine. His batting practice session in the cage was interrupted by a meeting.

Max Scherzer powers Nationals to 5-2 win

PHILADELPHIA - Back spasms forced Denard Span out of tonight’s game, with Michael A. Taylor taking over center field and the leadoff spot in the order. Taylor smacked the first pitch from Phillies starter Aaron Harang over center fielder Odubel Herrera’s head for a double. Two batters later, Harang ran an 89 mph fastball in hard on Yunel Escobar’s left hand, sending him to the

Williams reacts to Rendon’s trip to DL and Harper’s latest setback

PHILADELPHIA - Just as the Nationals seemingly were separating themselves from the competition in the National League East, the injury bug has struck again. Second baseman Anthony Rendon was the first bad news, the Nationals placing the 25-year-old infielder on the 15-day disabled list earlier today with a left quadriceps strain. Then came news that right fielder Bryce Harper will miss his second straight game

Back spasms force Span to join Harper on sidelines (updated lineups)

PHILADELPHIA - Right fielder Bryce Harper will miss his second straight game after pulling up lame with a right leg cramp on a double in the 11th inning of Wednesday’s victory over the Braves. Harper remained in that game, scoring the game-winning shortly after, but was unable to play yesterday. Nationals manager Matt Williams yesterday called Harper’s absence in the lineup nothing but a “day

Anthony Rendon to 15-day disabled list, Emmanuel Burriss has contract selected

PHILADELPHIA - After beginning the 2015 season on the disabled list, infielder Anthony Rendon finds himself back on it, this time with a left quad strain. Rendon missed the first 52 games of the season, recovering from a left knee sprain followed by a left oblique strain, and didn’t make his season debut until June 4. In his 18 games this season, he is batting

What’s next for Max Scherzer?

Following yesterday’s 6-0 shutout win in which Doug Fister extended a franchise-best record of scoreless innings by Washington Nationals starters to 41 1/3 innings, outfielder Clint Robinson was asked what he expects when Max Scherzer takes the hill in Philadelphia tonight. “I don’t know,” Robinson said with a look of amazement as reporters laughed. “What do you guys think? I’d expect the same thing he

Braves swept out of town by Nats’ relentless pitching attack

The Nationals’ starting rotation seems to be settling into a groove, which has to be a scary thought for the rest of the National League. Doug Fister was the latest to spin a gem, as the Nationals shut out the Braves 7-0 and earn a sweep of the three-game series. Fister blanked Atlanta for seven innings, helping the Nationals set a new franchise record of

Fister, Nats sweep Braves with 7-0 shutout

Denard Span roped a single to right to start the game and when Nick Markakis muffed the ball, Span took second. For Markakis, the gaffe broke a 398-game errorless streak, the longest by an outfielder in Major League Baseball history. Span advanced to third on Danny Espinosa’s sacrifice bunt and then scored easily on Yunel Escobar’s groundout to second. Doug Fister has given up one

Williams insists it’s just a day off for Harper and Rendon

The Nationals will face the Braves in this afternoon’s series finale without right fielder Bryce Harper and second baseman Anthony Rendon. Harper pulled up limp after mashing a one-out double in the 11th inning last night. Nationals manager Matt Williams and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz went out to check on Harper, who told them his right leg cramped up. Harper convinced Williams he was

Harper, Rendon missing from Nats lineup for Braves finale (updated)

If the Nationals are going to complete their sweep of the Braves, they’ll have to do so without right fielder Bryce Harper and second baseman Anthony Rendon, both of whom are out of today’s starting lineup. No official word yet on what’s up with either Harper or Rendon. Harper appeared to be in some discomfort when he reached second base on his 11th-inning leadoff double

Jordan Zimmermann latest Nats starter to go scoreless

Entering this year, the Nationals were expected to cruise through the regular season and into October on the shoulders of their imposing starting rotation. But injuries to right-handers Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg and inconsistent pitching from lefty Gio Gonzalez interfered with the expected success that most assumed would simply be a foregone conclusion. Even Jordan Zimmermann ran into a rut, losing his previous three

An emotional Ian Desmond provides walk-off win

On an emotional night, Ian Desmond delivered a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning, scoring Bryce Harper to give the Nationals their fifth straight win in a 2-1 triumph over the Braves. It’s been a season full of ups and downs for Desmond, who is likely to be playing his last year with the Washington Nationals, the only professional organization he

Nats win 2-1 in 11th on Desmond’s sacrifice fly scoring Harper

The Braves have base hits in five of seven innings against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann, but nothing to show for them. Zimmermann has thrown 76 pitches through seven scoreless frames with no walks and two strikeouts. Anthony Rendon gave the Nationals their only baserunner against Braves starter Shelby Miller on a single in the fourth. Otherwise, Miller has completely shut down the Nats with four Continue reading ....

Williams makes All-Star case for Escobar; light practice for Zimmerman

After sitting out last night and missing two of the last four games, shortstop Ian Desmond returns to the lineup as the Nationals look to claim their second straight series win tonight. “I just wanted to give him a rest and let him clear out and get back at it,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “So he did a lot of work in the cage

Zimmermann aims to find winning ways (with lineups)

Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound in the midst of a personal three-game losing streak. Over the uncharacteristic stretch, Zimmermann has been tagged for 13 runs in 15 1/3 innings (7.86 ERA) and opponents have batted .386 against him. The 29-year-old right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 12 career starts against Atlanta. The Nationals have won both of Zimmermann’s outings versus the Braves this

Best of the decade: Back to the postseason in 2014

As the Nationals celebrate 10 seasons in Washington, D.C., we reflect on some of the best moments since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital. Each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks, check out Nationals Pastime for a remembrance of one of the watershed moments in Nationals history. Some wore ski goggles, others swimming goggles to protect their eyes from the sting of champagne. Bryce

Strasburg comfortable and in command in Nats’ 3-1 win

Stephen Strasburg returned to the mound to throw five scoreless innings as the Nationals beat the Braves 3-1 in the series opener. Strasburg, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list late Tuesday afternoon, was aggressive with his fastball all night, striking out six on high heaters while scattering four hits with one walk. “I wanted to go out there and just execute pitches and

Five scoreless from Strasburg helps Nats to 3-1 win

After a 2 hour and 12 minute rain delay, Stephen Strasburg finally took the mound for his much awaited first start after returning from the 15-day disabled list earlier today. Braves second baseman Jace Peterson greeted Strasburg with a shot to straightaway center that Denard Span was able to run down on the warning track. Strasburg then struck out center fielder Cameron Maybin on a

Nats choose to send Joe Ross back to minors instead of bullpen (game started)

The Nationals chose to option right-handed rookie Joe Ross to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Stephen Strasburg’s return from the 15-day disabled list this afternoon. Nationals manager Matt Williams said Ross “seriously opened eyes” during his first stint in the big leagues. The 22-year-old Ross made the jump from Double-A Harrisburg for his major league debut on June 6 at Nationals Park. He allowed

Which Stephen Strasburg will return to the mound tonight? (game started)

The Washington Nationals welcome a healthy Stephen Strasburg back to the mound tonight in the series opener against the Atlanta Braves. It’s Strasburg’s first start in the majors since May 29 when he lasted only 16 pitches after experiencing neck tightness following the first inning. The next day Strasburg landed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left trapezius muscle, but the 26-year-old said

Stephen Strasburg returns from DL to start tonight (with lineups)

Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound tonight for the first time since a strained left trapezius muscle landed him on the 15-day disabled list on May 30. The day before, Strasburg’s neck tightness forced him out of his start in Cincinnati after throwing only 16 pitches. He said the muscle spasms settled down shortly after and he began throwing again just a few days into

Stephen Strasburg expected to return from DL for start

It’s expected that right-hander Stephen Strasburg will come off the 15-day disabled list and return to the mound for tonight’s series opener with Braves at Nationals Park. Manager Matt Williams opted to delay naming his starter for tonight’s game, but all signs point to Strasburg, who emerged from last Wednesday’s rehab start at Double-A Harrisburg appearing comfortable and confident. Strasburg ended up on the DL

No-hitter earns Max Scherzer NL Player of the Week honors

After pitching his first career no-hitter on Saturday, Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer earned National League Player of the Week honors this afternoon. Scherzer was one strike away from throwing the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball history when he hit Pirates pinch-hitter Jose Tabata in the left elbow. That was the only baserunner Scherzer allowed as he re-focused and was able to get Josh

Bryce Harper keeps slugging away during gritty weekend performance

Bryce Harper’s health has been well-chronicled and the 22-year-old has lived under a microscope for most of his four-year career. Fluke injuries have interfered with lofty expectations, causing Harper to miss more than 100 games over the last two seasons. But aside from missing games after two plunkings this season, Harper has largely been on the field, arguably performing as arguably the game’s best player.

Records fall as Nats sweep Pirates

The Nationals limped into this weekend just a game above .500, with their star slugger wounded and a rookie on the mound facing the red-hot Pirates, winners of their past eight. Not only did the Nats bring a screeching halt to Pittsburgh’s scorching streak, they did it in record fashion, sweeping the Pirates after this afternoon’s 9-2 thumping. And just like that, the Nationals find

Jose Tabata robs Max Scherzer of perfection

Jose Tabata simply ruined Max Scherzer’s bid for perfection in a way that some would say is weak or cheap. With Scherzer standing one strike away from becoming just the 24th pitcher in Major League Baseball’s storied history to spin a complete game without allowing a single baserunner, Tabata compromised the game’s integrity. The electricity of a closing thunderstorm rivaled the moment with a sold-out

Nats explode for nine in the first, sweep Pirates

Inspired by Max Scherzer’s stunning no-hit performance yesterday, the Nationals offense exploded by tying a club record with nine runs scored in the first inning. Pirates starter Charlie Morton came into today’s start riding a five-game winning streak and boasting a sterling 1.62 ERA. He was able to get Denard Span to line out to begin the game, but then the wheels fell off. Yunel

Rendon sits, Tabata in for Pirates and Roark back (with lineups)

The Nationals reinstated right-hander Tanner Roark from the Paternity List (on Father’s Day no less) and optioned righty Taylor Hill back to Triple-A Syracuse. Yunel Escobar is back at third base while Anthony Rendon sits today. Danny Espinosa gets the start at second base where he made a spectacular defensive play yesterday to get Pedro Alvarez out at first base, preserving Max Scherzer’s perfect game

It’s a no-hitter for Max Scherzer

Six days ago, Max Scherzer’s bid for perfection was ruined on a broken-bat bloop single in the seventh inning. Scherzer, in the proverbial zone, carried his dominant swagger into this afternoon where he fell one strike shy of perfect game before finishing off his first career no-hitter in the Nationals’ 6-0 win over the Pirates. “Let’s go. Let’s get on the mound, I’m coming after

Almost perfect, Max Scherzer throws no-hitter in Nats’ 6-0 win

Max Scherzer’s dominance from last Sunday’s one-hit shutout has carried over into today’s start. Scherzer has retired the first 12 Pirates he’s faced. He whiffed the side in the fourth, with Andrew McCutchen the final victim to go down swinging. Scherzer has struck out 21 batters in his last 13 innings. Bryce Harper put the Nationals on the scoreboard with a leadoff bomb in the

Harper’s text to Williams: “I’m good to go”; Escobar late scratch

Nationals manager Matt Williams’ phone buzzed early today with a message from his star right fielder Bryce Harper. “I got a text from him this morning that said, ‘I’m good to go,’” Williams said. “So, yeah, he’s ready to go.” Harper returns to the lineup after missing just one game with a strained left hamstring. He took an alarming spill after launching an errant throw

Bryce Harper back in Nats lineup (with Pirates lineup)

Bryce Harper is back in the Nationals lineup after exiting early in Thursday’s contest with what was determined to be a mild left hamstring strain. As usual, he’ll be roaming right field and batting cleanup. Ian Desmond will sit for the second straight game. Desmond has 15 errors in 66 games this season. Max Scherzer will take the mound (7-5, 1.93 ERA) this afternoon, one

Unfazed by the spotlight, Joe Ross continues impressing

In the first inning of Joe Ross’ third big league start last night, the rookie right-hander stood on the mound and peered down at Pirates All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen, the National League’s 2013 MVP. “I try not to make it more than it is just because I want to stay focused on what I’m trying to do and execute my pitches,” Ross said. “But,

Ross makes his case in dominant 11-strikeout performance

The Nationals’ starting rotation was described as potentially historic coming into this season. When critics were searching for new superlatives for the Nats’ big five, nobody had any idea, not even the Nationals brass, that 22-year-old rookie Joe Ross would provide some of the most dominating performances to help hold the team together before the All-Star break. In just the third start of his big

Rookie Joe Ross fans 11 in 4-1 Nats win

The Nationals went to work early against Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett, who entered tonight with the fourth-best ERA in the majors at 1.89. Denard Span pulled a groundball single to right to lead off the first. Anthony Rendon gave the Nats runners at the corners with no outs on a base knock to right. And Yunel Escobar followed with sharp groundout to Pirates shortstop Jody Mercer,

Ian Desmond sits as struggles continue

For the second time in the last week, Ian Desmond is out of the starting lineup for the Nationals. Desmond has struggled at the plate for most of the season. In 17 games this month, Desmond is hitting only .143 (9-for-63) with one homer and three RBIs. Before tonight’s game, manager Matt Williams discussed what he’s looking for Desmond to accomplish during the day off.

Bryce Harper won’t play; Williams reacts (with lineups)

Bryce Harper is out of the Nationals lineup today after suffering a mild strain of his left hamstring last night. Clint Robinson will play right field and bat cleanup. I caught up with manager Matt Williams at Nationals Park in an exclusive live video chat for MASNsports.com earlier this afternoon. “(Bryce) is here,” Williams said. “He’s getting some treatment. We’ll see how he is today

Bryce Harper relieved hamstring injury doesn’t appear serious

A gale force gust may have blown through the nation’s capital late last night when a collective sigh of relief was released upon hearing the term “minor” associated with Bryce Harper’s latest injury, a left hamstring strain. With heavy showers having passed through downtown D.C. about 30 minutes before, Harper slipped on the wet grass in right field while making an aggressive throw to the

Bryce Harper suffers mild left hamstring strain, to be evaluated further Friday

Bryce Harper left tonight’s 5-3 loss to the Rays in the six inning with what Nationals manager Matt Williams called a “mild left hamstring strain.” That seems to be promising news considering the tense moments following Harper’s injury. The Rays trailed 3-2 with Logan Forsythe on second and Steven Souza Jr. on first with one out in the top of the sixth when Asdrubal Cabrera

Bryce Harper leaves 5-3 loss with mild hamstring strain

Bryce Harper leaves in sixth: Harper left the game in the sixth after it appeared that his left leg gave out on a throw to the plate. Harper immediately went to the ground after the throw and remained there for a few minutes as Nationals manager Matt Williams and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz jogged out to check on him. Kuntz seemed to be examining

No restrictions on Fister; Williams sets rotation, plus Strasburg update

Veteran right-hander Doug Fister returns to the mound tonight after spending 34 days on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his throwing arm. Nationals manager Matt Williams indicated that there are no restrictions on Fister’s start. “He’s not on a pitch count, per se,” Williams said. “We’ll just see how the game goes. But he feels good about it. He feels healthy.

Doug Fister returns to the mound, Hill optioned (with lineups)

In Doug Fister’s last start, the right-hander lasted only two innings after surrendering seven runs, including two on homers, in a loss in San Diego on May 14. The next day, Fister landed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm. Fister will make his first start tonight after being activated off the DL this afternoon by the Nationals.

Trea Turner impresses at Harrisburg

The Nationals had quite a show at Double-A Harrisburg yesterday as Stephen Strasburg took the mound with widely hyped prospect Trea Turner behind him at shortstop. Turner was playing in just his second game with the Senators after finally arriving following a six-month wait after he was dealt to the Nationals as a player to be named. San Diego selected Turner 12th overall out of

Offense disappears for Nats in 5-0 shutout

The Nationals team charter may have misplaced the team’s bats somewhere on the 924-mile trip back to D.C. from St. Petersburg, Fla. A day after banging out a team-record 23 hits and pouring in a season-high 16 runs, the Nationals managed to squeeze out just two singles while being shut out 5-0. “It happens,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “If I had the formula ...

A confident Stephen Strasburg emerges after rehab start

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Without a goatee and wearing a different uniform and number, Stephen Strasburg took the mound at Metro Bank Park looking like a different person. In his first, and most likely his last, rehab start for Double-A Harrisburg, Strasburg allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in five innings. But Strasburg’s line doesn’t come close to Continue reading ....

Stephen Strasburg sharp in Harrisburg rehab start

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Stephen Strasburg appears sharp and comfortable in his first minor league rehab start at Double-A Harrisburg. Strasburg retired the first seven batters he faced, featuring his blazing fastball topping out at 97 mph. Strasburg used eight pitches (seven fastballs) to record two groundball outs and one weak fly ball to right in the first. In the second, Strasburg coaxed a broken bat

Best of the decade: Mr. Walk-Off started it all on Father’s Day in 2006

As the Nationals celebrate 10 seasons in Washington, D.C., we reflect on some of the best moments since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital. Each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks, check out Nationals Pastime for a remembrance of one of the watershed moments in Nationals history. Last month, Ryan Zimmerman beat the Yankees when he blasted his 10th career walk-off home run, putting

Top to bottom, Nationals pound Rays 16-4

The Nationals finished up their six-game road trip with a relentless barrage of offense in tonight’s 16-4 drubbing of the Rays. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash used two position players to pitch the final two innings while the Nats racked up a single-game team record 23 hits. The onslaught began with a monumental clout off the bat of Clint Robinson that literally never came down.

Nats pound Rays 16-4 with record offensive night

The Nationals came out swinging against Rays starter Alex Colome tonight. Denard Span led off the game with a single and then Bryce Harper ripped a two-out double to the gap in right-center. Former Nat Steven Souza Jr. did an excellent job of cutting off the ball and holding Span at third, where he stayed as Ramos grounded out to end the inning. Colome wasn’t

Rendon quickly improving at the plate (with lineups)

Bryce Harper returns to right field a night after going 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts as the designated hitter. Harper has calmed his strikeouts down considerably since the first month of the season. He has just six in 55 plate appearances in June and yesterday was his first game with multiple whiffs since May 27. With Yunel Escobar serving as the DH tonight,

Notes on Roark, Fister, Strasburg and Desmond

With the approaching return of Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day disabled list, it appears Tanner Roark’s stint in the starting rotation is coming to an end. Depending on how Nationals manager Matt Williams chooses to slot out his starters for the remainder of the week, tonight could be Roark’s last or at least second to last start for a while before heading

Gonzalez’s short outing leaves Nats frustrated in 6-1 loss

Any thought that Max Scherzer’s awesome performance would carry over into Gio Gonzalez’s start was eliminated rather quickly tonight. A day after Scherzer pitched a complete-game one-hitter, Gonzalez managed to hang around for just 3 1/3 innings as the Rays went on to thump the Nationals 6-1. The Rays filled the bases in the first on a single and two walks before Gonzalez narrowly escaped

Gonzalez roughed up in Nats’ 6-1 loss

After quickly recording the first two outs, Gio Gonzalez labored through the remainder of the first inning. Gonzalez gave up a couple of walks and a base hit to load the bases before Danny Espinosa bailed him out of the jam. Rays first baseman Jake Elmore tapped a curveball back to Gonzalez, who fielded it well, then errantly threw to first base. Espinosa, making only

Bryce Harper returns, will DH vs. Rays (with lineups)

Bryce Harper missed his second game of the season yesterday after catching a fastball on the inside of his left knee in the ninth inning on Saturday. Harper is set to return tonight as Nationals manager Matt Williams has the 22-year-old penciled in as the designated hitter for the interleague contest against the Rays. It will be the first time Harper will serve as the

Max Scherzer wasn’t perfect, but still scored 100

Max Scherzer wasn’t perfect yesterday, but he did achieve a score of 100. That lofty number in statistician Bill James’ Game Score metric is actually rarer than throwing a perfect game. Twenty-three men have thrown perfect games in baseball history, but only 11 had reached the century mark for Game Score before Scherzer’s 16-strikeout, one-hit, one-walk complete game shutout yesterday. Digging deeper, just five

Nearly perfect still left Scherzer feeling sweet in one-hit shutout

It has long been said that baseball is a game of inches. Nationals ace Max Scherzer can relate to that better than anyone today after a broken-bat blooper from Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez floated just beyond the webbing of second baseman Anthony Rendon’s glove, falling safely into right field and spoiling Scherzer’s perfect game bid in the seventh inning. “I put some hair on

Nobody’s perfect, but Max Scherzer was close in Nats’ 4-0 win

The Nationals jumped on the scoreboard first this afternoon. Denard Span bounced a single up the middle to lead off the third and then picked up his sixth stolen base. Danny Espinosa gave the Nats runners at the corners with a line drive just over the outstretched glove of Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett and into right field. Anthony Rendon followed with a sacrifice fly

Nats without Bryce Harper in finale (with lineups)

Bryce Harper is out of this afternoon’s lineup after being nailed by a 95 mph on the inside of his left knee during his final plate appearance in the ninth inning yesterday. The third-pitch heater from Brewers right-hander Michael Blazek ran in hard on Harper, leaving the young star hobbled and unable to continue in the game. It’s the second time this season that Harper

The long wait for Trea Turner is over (updated)

A day after rookie Joe Ross was stunning while snatching his first major league win, it appears the Nationals are primed to receive the final piece of the haul resulting from last December’s three-team trade with the Padres and Rays. Highly regarded Padres shortstop prospect Trea Turner was widely known as the deal’s player to be named, who would eventually join Ross with the Nationals

Ross impresses in first major league win (Harper injury update)

After a couple of weeks of erratic baseball, the Nationals seemed to rally around right-hander Joe Ross in a dominant and complete effort to help the rookie nab his first career major league win in a 7-2 victory over the Brewers. Milwaukee scored two on Ross in the second, but that was it as the 22-year-old went on to blank them for the next six

Ross, Nats dominant in 7-2 win (Harper injured)

The Nationals triggered their struggling offense early today. Anthony Rendon and Yunel Escobar each knocked a one-out base hit in the first. Bryce Harper then delivered his 50th RBI of the season on a line drive single to left field, which scored Rendon. But the Nats left two on as Wilson Ramos struck out and Danny Espinosa grounded out to end the inning. Nationals rookie

Harper needs support, Espinosa starts at first base (with lineups)

The Nationals are desperately searching for production behind Bryce Harper in the lineup as they continue to struggle to score runs. Harper factored in three of the Nats’ four runs last night - mashing a solo homer, delivering an RBI single and scoring after drawing his major league-leading 51st walk. Teams continue to pitch around Harper with no consistent threat lurking in the order. Even Continue reading ....

Nats asking a lot from rookie Joe Ross in second start

Having dropped 11 of their last 14, including the first two in a four-game set in Milwaukee, the Nationals pitching staff can’t be in optimal condition. Jordan Zimmermann hung around for only 3 1/3 innings last night, once again leaving heavy work for the taxed Nats bullpen. Right-hander Taylor Jordan was the first to follow Zimmermann to the mound in the fourth. He promptly served

Nats outplayed all over the field in 8-4 loss

Not much is going right for the Nationals these days. Even the normally reliable Jordan Zimmermann scuffled through his second rough start in a row as the Brewers doubled up the Nats 8-4 on Friday night. It started off poorly for Zimmermann, who walked Brewers center fielder Gerardo Parra on four pitches with one out in the first. It seemed as if Zimmermann might escape,

Zimmermann knocked out early (Nats lose 8-4)

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann was forced to battle through a 31-pitch first inning that resulted in two unnecessary Brewers runs. Indecisiveness between Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon on a poorly played ground ball left the Brewers with right fielder Ryan Braun on first base instead of the inning ending on a double play. First baseman Adam Lind followed with a single and then third baseman

Nats hoping Zimmermann delivers in homecoming (with lineups)

The Nationals enter tonight’s matchup in Milwaukee as losers in 10 of their last 13 games. Jordan Zimmermann will take the hill in hopes of creating some momentum for the Nats. Zimmermann returns to his home state, where he holds a 2-0 record with a 1.50 ERA against the Brewers at Miller Park. Overall, the Wisconsin native is 4-0, having allowed two earned runs or

Questions continue for bullpen after Aaron Barrett forced to leave Nats’ 6-5 loss

Nationals right-hander Aaron Barrett left last night’s loss with an apparent injury moments after giving up the Brewers’ eventual game-winning run. After delivering a 93 mph fastball to Brewers’ second baseman Hernan Perez, Barrett slowly walked back toward the mound. Nationals manager Matt Williams and pitching coach Steve McCatty, noticing something was wrong, immediately came out of the dugout for a chat with Barrett. After

Roark takes blame in Nats’ 6-5 loss

The Nationals let a four-run lead evaporate in tonight’s 6-5 loss to the Brewers. Once again, the Nationals offense struggled, managing just one base hit after the fourth inning. The Nats collected eight hits early, but it was mostly shoddy defense from the Brewers that enabled the Nats to take a 5-1 lead. The Brewers began chipping away at the margin against Nats starter Tanner

Nats blow four-run lead in 6-5 loss

After helping the Nationals end a three-game slide with the game-winning RBI yesterday, Denard Span wasted no time getting his ballclub started tonight. The Nats center fielder roped a double off the right field wall to lead off the game. Brewers starter Matt Garza was able to retire Anthony Rendon and Yunel Escobar before facing Bryce Harper with two outs. Garza’s 3-1 fastball ran in

Desmond sits, Espinosa in (with lineups)

After starting in all 59 of the Nationals’ games this season, Ian Desmond is out of the lineup tonight. Danny Espinosa, who has been swinging a hot stick, starts at shortstop in place of Desmond. Desmond has struggled at the plate where he is just 5-for-43 (.116) in his last 11 games. Meanwhile, Espinosa is batting .313 (10-for-36) over the same stretch, which also includes

Ryan Zimmerman lands on 15-day disabled list (den Dekker recalled)

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Zimmerman has been dealing with the foot soreness for most of the season. Since reaching a season high .248 batting average back on May 15, Zimmerman is only 9-for-70 (.129) with one homer and seven RBIs. The move is retroactive to June 10. Nationals manager

Nationals acquire David Carpenter for bullpen support

In hopes of bolstering the backend of their bullpen, the Nationals made a move by acquiring right-hander David Carpenter from the New York Yankees this morning in exchange for minor league infielder Tony Renda. The 29-year-old Carpenter pitched to a 4.82 ERA over 18 1/3 innings in 22 appearances for the Yankees this year. He was designated for assignment by New York on June 3.

Danny Espinosa fighting for playing time anywhere on the field

Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters after yesterday’s 5-4 win that he had to figure a way to keep Danny Espinosa’s bat in the lineup. His saying that is understandable after the six-year veteran went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double, a RBI and two runs scored. His eight home runs are secon- best on the Nationals as is his .842 OPS. But Espinosa is

Michael A. Taylor, Denard Span clutch in Nats’ 5-4 comeback win

The young and the old helped the Nationals to a much needed 5-4 win in 11 innings over the Yankees this afternoon. After the Nats’ lead disappeared in the seventh, rookie Michael A. Taylor answered with a clutch two-run game-tying homer in the eighth. A stout performance from the Nats bullpen extended the game into the 11th inning, where 31-year-old Denard Span legged out an

Span’s gritty day helps Nats to 5-4 win in 11 innings

The Nationals finally displayed some clutch hitting in the third inning today. With two outs, Danny Espinosa sliced a double down the left field line off Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. Denard Span immediately followed with his own double, slapped just inside the bag at third, scoring Espinosa for the game’s first run. Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has surrendered one hit and walk with three strikeouts

Span in, Zimmerman out in Bronx finale (with lineups)

The Nationals will get their second look at Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi this season. Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper both tagged Eovaldi for solo homers on May 19 as the Nats scored five runs in his 4 1/3 innings. Harper bombed his 20th homer of the year in last night’s loss. The blast came in the 58th game, making Harper the fastest player to reach Continue reading ....

Best of the decade: 10-game winning streaks in 2005, 2014

As the Nationals celebrate 10 seasons in Washington, D.C., we reflect on some of the best moments since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital. Each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks, check out Nationals Pastime for a remembrance of one of the watershed moments in Nationals history. Not much was expected of the Nationals in their inaugural season of 2005. Hall of Famer Frank

Another quiet night from Nats offense leads to a third straight loss

The Nationals managed to put only a solo homer from Bryce Harper on the scoreboard tonight as they fell 6-1 to the Yankees. Runs figured to be hard to come with right-handers Max Scherzer and Masahiro Tanaka showcased in the night’s premier pitching duel, and they were until the bottom of seventh inning. With the game knotted at 1-1, Scherzer came out to start the

Scherzer takes the loss as Nats fall 6-1

In a game featuring top-flight starting pitching, a couple of solo homers are the only runs on the scoreboard. Nationals starter Max Scherzer flinched first. Leading off the third inning, Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew belted a fastball over the right field fence. Scherzer missed on the heater, leaving it on the inner half of the plate and Drew made him pay with his eighth

Scherzer, Tanaka headline marquee pitching matchup (Span late scratch)

Denard Span is set to lead off and play center field for the Nationals tonight, two days after he was forced to leave Sunday’s loss due to back spasms. Like many in the Nats lineup, Span has also been slumping lately. He is just 3-for-24 (.125) over his last six games. Yunel Escobar is the designated hitter for the interleague game at Yankee Stadium. That

Nationals draft Vanderbilt’s Rhett Wiseman and Iona’s Mariano Rivera Jr.

The Nationals have a theme going in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. They dipped into the talent-rich SEC pool to select junior Rhett Wiseman from Vanderbilt University in the third round (No. 103 overall). Wiseman becomes the third outfielder the Nats have drafted this year following LSU’s Andrew Stevenson and Arizona prep star Blake Perkins from Verrado High School. Wiseman, 20, is slashing .316/.418/.567 this

Rizzo on Stevenson: “This guy plays 100 mph with his hair on fire”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo opted for a couple dynamic outfielders with the team’s 58th and 69th picks in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. Louisiana State University’s Andrew Stevenson was Rizzo’s first selection this year followed by Blake Perkins, a prep prospect out of Verrado High School in Arizona. “We’re adding to our already fertile stable of athletes,” Rizzo said. “You know our motto here

Injuries leave streaky Nats confused

Who are these Washington Nationals? Are they the team that baffled baseball coming out of the gates with a 7-13 mark in their first 20 games and have now stumbled to a 2-8 record in their last 10? What happened to those guys in May that won 18 of the 27 games? “I don’t know, man,” Denard Span said. “We’ve been streaky. Obviously this year,

Inconsistency leads to third straight series loss

After winning a franchise best nine consecutive series, the Nationals dropped their third straight after falling 6-3 to the Cubs in the finale of this weekend’s four game set. “Am I concerned? No, I’m not concerned,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “What we need to do is play every day. It’s the same team that was really good in May. It’s been a little rough

Cubs pound 10 hits off Zimmermann, Nats lose 6-3

The Cubs combined a double from left fielder Chris Coghlan and a single from shortstop Starlin Castro to score the game’s first run in the second inning. The Nationals answered in the bottom of the frame. After Wilson Ramos reached on an error by Castro, Ian Desmond launched his fifth homer of the year to deep right-center field. Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann has allowed one

Escobar returns, Zimmerman sits (with lineups)

Yunel Escobar returns to the Nationals lineup this afternoon after missing the past two games with a sore right wrist. Escobar injured his wrist on a check swing in the first inning of Thursday’s loss to the Cubs and immediately left the game. Nationals manager Matt Williams has Escobar slated to bat second and playing third base with Anthony Rendon still in the cleanup role

With or without offense, Nationals will lean on Jordan Zimmermann

The Nationals will look to Jordan Zimmermann to salvage a split with the Cubs in today’s series finale. Aside from his second start of the season against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Zimmermann has been stellar. The right-hander has allowed just seven earned runs over 41 innings in his last six starts to lower his season ERA to 2.88. “I’ve been feeling good,” Zimmermann

Runs hard to come by for Nats lately

The Nationals have now dropped seven of their past nine games after the offense was non-existent for much of today’s 4-2 loss. Cubs starter Jason Hammel, a Nats killer, ran his career record against Washington to 9-0 after allowing just two solo homers to Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper while striking out seven over eight innings and a batter. It has been a while since

Sluggish Nats offense returns in 4-2 loss

Joe Ross came out aggressive in his major league debut. The 22-year-old right-hander started his big league career with a strikeout after delivering Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler a steady dose of 95 mph heaters. Ross has retired the first nine batters he has faced with three strikeouts. Wilson Ramos opened the scoring in the second with a massive solo homer to deep left-center that

Span continues stunning defense and Ross set for debut (with lineups)

Denard Span leads the Nationals into today’s early afternoon game against the Cubs. Despite recovering from two offseason abdominal surgeries and currently dealing with a sore right knee, Span continues to play defense at the highest level. With the Nats clinging a two-run lead in the eighth inning last night, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo blasted a sinker from right-hander Blake Treinen the opposite way

Espinosa, Roark charge up Nats in 7-5 win

When the season started, Tanner Roark was on the outside looking in on the Nationals starting rotation. After Anthony Rendon finally returned yesterday, Danny Espinosa was presumably the odd man out in the Nats lineup. Tonight, both Roark and Espinosa starred for the Nats in a 7-5 victory over the Cubs that snapped a three-game slide. The Nationals offense entered tonight sleepwalking through the last

Offense shows life in Nats’ 7-5 win

The Nationals offense has been struggling badly as of late, especially with runners in scoring position. Danny Espinosa took care of that early tonight. After Wilson Ramos singled to right and Ian Desmond ripped a double to left, Espinosa belted a monster three-run homer to deep left-center that landed in the seats beyond the Cubs bullpen. Espinosa is second on the Nationals behind Bryce Harper

Williams juggles lineup hoping to spark Zimmerman

Nationals manager Matt Williams will again be short-handed tonight, playing without Yunel Escobar, who injured his right wrist on a check-swing during his first at-bat last night. Escobar left the game immediately and underwent X-rays shortly after, which proved negative. “He’s still a little sore so we’ll have to keep evaluating day to day and see where he’s at,” Williams said. “It’s a big force

Rendon starts at third as Escobar sits (with lineups)

Yunel Escobar is out of the lineup tonight after injuring his right wrist during a checked swing in his first at-bat in last night’s 2-1 loss to the Cubs. X-rays were negative for Escobar, who was due for further evaluations today at Nationals Park. Anthony Rendon gets the start at third base in his second game of the season. He debuted with a single and

On second thought, maybe Anthony Rendon will play third

The Nationals can’t seem to catch a break. Teammates welcomed Anthony Rendon back to the lineup last night. The 24-year-old took the field at second base to start the game and then singled in his first at-bat. But when the second inning started, Rendon moved over to third base, replacing Yunel Escobar, who was forced to leave the game after feeling pain in his right

Robinson’s blunder costs Rendon a chance in Nats’ 2-1 loss

The script seemed to be written. In his long-awaited season debut, Anthony Rendon stepped to the plate with Michael A. Taylor standing on second base and Clint Robinson on first with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Nationals trailing by one run. But the script went up in flames as the game ended in the unlikeliest of ways with Cubs catcher

Quiet bats spoil Rendon’s return in Nats’ 2-1 loss

Much like tonight’s game, Gio Gonzalez was slow to get started. After a 1-hour, 51-minute rain delay, Gonzalez loaded the bases on a walk and two singles. He then battled Cubs right fielder Junior Lake before walking him on the eighth pitch to bring center fielder Dexter Fowler to the plate for the game’s first run. The Cubs followed with another run on shortstop Starlin

After frustrating injuries, Rendon ready to make season debut (game started)

Anthony Rendon hasn’t played a game with his Nationals teammates since March 9. The 24-year-old is set to bat second and start at second base in his season debut tonight after the Nats reinstated him from the disabled list earlier this afternoon. “It feels good,” Rendon said. “I had a frustrating few months, but I’m happy to be back.” Rendon initially sprained his left MCL

Anthony Rendon set to start tonight against the Cubs (game delayed)

The Nationals finally welcome Anthony Rendon back to their lineup tonight. The 24-year-old will make his season debut after missing the first 53 games with a sprained left MCL and a strained left oblique. Rendon will bat second and start at second base against the Cubs. Last season, Rendon finished fifth in the National League MVP vote after batting .287 with 21 homers, 83 RBIs

Anthony Rendon reinstated, set to make season debut

Anthony Rendon is back. The 24-year-old was reinstated this afternoon and is set to make his 2015 debut after missing the first 53 games of the season recovering from a left knee sprain followed by a left oblique strain. On his rehab assignment, Rendon hit .250 with three doubles, three RBIs, three walks and one run scored over eight games with Double-A Harrisburg. The Nats

Anthony Rendon could provide “jolt” for scuffling Nats’ offense

After steamrolling through the West Coast a few weeks ago, the Nationals’ offense seemed to be developing into a juggernaut. The Nationals won five of seven on that swing, hitting .312 as a team and scoring an eye-popping 53 runs. But the offense has been more of eyesore since. The untimely hitting from the early season has returned as have some slumps for key producers

Nats dominated by Jays 8-0 in series finale

The Nationals won nine consecutive series behind an explosive offense and stingy pitching. Tonight, they had neither while falling to the Blue Jays 8-0 and dropping their second straight series. With Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister on the disabled list, Nationals manager Matt Williams turned to right-hander Taylor Jordan to make a spot start tonight. It couldn’t have started any worse for Jordan, who walked

Taylor Jordan roughed up in Nats’ 8-0 loss

Not the beginning right-hander Taylor Jordan was looking for in his first big league start of the season. Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes drew a four-pitch leadoff walk. Third baseman Josh Donaldson, the reigning American League Player of the Week, followed with a line drive pounded over Denard Span’s head for a double. Reyes crossed the plate when right fielder Jose Bautista singled. Another base

Max Scherzer named National League Pitcher of the Month

Behind a 5-1 record and a 1.67 ERA in May, Nationals starter Max Scherzer was named the National League Pitcher of the Month. Scherzer lost his first start of the month before winning his final five in a row. He allowed just eight earned runs while striking out 56 and walking only eight in 43 innings. In four of Scherzer’s six outings, the right-hander struck

Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Month

After busting out with an offensive assault throughout May, Bryce Harper was rewarded as the National League Player of the Month. The announcement was more a formality after Harper was earlier named Player of the Week in the NL in back-to-back weeks. Over 26 games in May, Harper’s binge included 13 homers, four doubles, a triple, 28 RBIs and 24 runs scored. He batted .360

Jordan on mound, Span back for finale (with lineup)

Taylor Jordan will get his first start of the season tonight, and the right-hander will look to lead the Nationals to a series win over the Blue Jays after a split in yesterday’s doubleheader. He made his season debut Friday, coming in for Stephen Strasburg who exited after an inning plus a batter with neck tightness. Jordan was solid through his first four innings of

Jordan gets the start tonight, plus notes on Treinen and Taylor

Right-hander Taylor Jordan makes his first start for the Nationals this evening as they attempt to claim the finale of the three-game interleague set with the Blue Jays. Jordan is filling Stephen Strasburg’s spot in the rotation after the right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left trapezius muscle. Jordan’s only appearance this season came in relief of Strasburg last Friday.

Scherzer left frustrated after lead escapes in 7-3 loss

After rolling off five straight victories, Nationals ace Max Scherzer was bound to hit a bump in the road. It just didn’t figure to come from Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar, who tagged Scherzer for two costly homers in the Nats’ 7-3 loss in Game 2 of Tuesday’s split doubleheader. Through 52 games this year, Pillar hit two homers. By the sixth inning tonight,

Homers hurt Scherzer as Nats fall 7-3

Max Scherzer labored through a 26-pitch first inning, which included a walk and a poor throwing error from Yunel Escobar. Scherzer seemed to get back on track as he retired the first two batters of the second inning on just three pitches. But with two outs, Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar pulled a solo homer to left. It was Pillar’s third home run of

Span, Zimmerman sit; Nats recall den Dekker (with lineups)

Major League Baseball rules allow teams to add a 26th man to their rosters for the second game of doubleheaders scheduled less than 48 hours in advance. The Nationals chose to recall outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Syracuse this afternoon to fill that spot for Game 2 tonight. den Dekker was on the Nationals’ opening day roster, going 0-for-2 while appearing in four games

Dominant performance from Jordan Zimmermann in 2-0 Nationals win

The explosive Blue Jays offense entered the first game of today’s split doubleheader leading the majors with 268 runs scored. Against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman, they scored none. Zimmerman blanked Toronto for eight innings as the Nats shut out the Blue Jays 2-0. “Really good,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Zimmermann’s performance. “He was in command from the first pitch, you know, throwing it

Zimmermann blanks Blue Jays in Nats’ 2-0 win

Jordan Zimmermann has pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits with three strikeouts. Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey matched Zimmermann for a while, blanking the Nationals until Zimmermann helped his own cause to start the fifth. On a full count, Zimmermann knocked an 82-mph fastball from Dickey up the middle for a leadoff single. After Yunel Escobar walked, Ian Desmond dropped a sacrifice bunt

Stephen Strasburg diagnosed with left trapezius strain

Tests confirmed that Stephen Strasburg is suffering from a strained left trapezius muscle, according to Nationals manager Matt Williams. “It’s tight, and they’re working on it,” Williams said. “Of course, it affects his neck and his upper back. So just getting that calmed down as we go along here and then get him back to throwing at some point.” The neck tightness forced Strasburg out

Zimmermann looks to end Nats’ three-game losing streak (with lineups)

After last night’s postponement, the Nationals and Blue Jays are set to play a split-doubleheader under gloomy and threatening skies today. Jordan Zimmermann starts Game 1 with Max Scherzer getting the ball in the nightcap. Zimmermann has pitched at least six innings and allowed three or fewer earned runs in all but one of ten starts this season. He enters today’s outing with a 4-2

Williams’ advice on facing Dickey’s knuckleball: “See it high, let it fly”

The Nationals enter today’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays with a pretty formidable pair taking the hill. Nats manager Matt Williams will throw Jordan Zimmermann in the afternoon and Max Scherzer this evening. Meanwhile, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will also stick to his scheduled starters with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey going in the daytime and right-hander Marco Estrada pitching at night. Several current Nationals are

Nats throwing Zimmermann and Scherzer at Blue Jays in Tuesday’s doubleheader

Heavy thunderstorms rolling through the nation’s capital forced the postponement of tonight’s game. The Nationals and Blue Jays will make it up as part of a split doubleheader on Tuesday with the afternoon game scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. Nationals manager Matt Williams will throw a pretty stout 1-2 punch at the Blue Jays tomorrow with Jordan Zimmermann set to start in the daytime

Williams updates Fister; tonight’s game postponed, split doubleheader tomorrow

Nationals manager Matt Williams was encouraged by right-hander Doug Fister’s bullpen session this afternoon. It was Fister’s first since landing on the 15-day disabled list with a right flexor strain in his forearm. “He’s done flat ground, long toss, the standard protocol ... but today was off the slope,” Williams said. “Twenty-25 (pitches). He’s got to continue to increase those bullpens until he’s ready to

Rendon continues with rehab assignment; Span’s knee still sore (game postponed)

Anthony Rendon was back at Nationals Park for a full workout this afternoon after spending the weekend playing for Double-A Harrisburg. Rendon has yet to take the field for the Nationals this season after being sidelined initially with a sprained left MCL and, more recently, a strained left oblique. The 24-year-old was 1-for-4 with an uncharacteristic three strikeouts while playing seven innings at second base

Denard Span out tonight with sore knee (with lineups)

The Nationals will be without center fielder Denard Span for tonight’s game. The 31-year-old is dealing with a sore right knee resulting from an awkward fielding play in Chicago early last week. Span left yesterday’s 8-2 loss in the eighth inning. Rookie Michael A. Taylor replaces Span in center field while Yunel Escobar returns to the leadoff spot in the order. The Blue Jays are

Rivero recalled, Grace optioned; Nats trade for Walters

The Nationals recalled left-hander Felipe Rivero this afternoon and optioned lefty Matt Grace to Triple-A Syracuse. Grace was unable to record an out in the seventh inning yesterday while allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. The 26-year-old had pitched well for most of his 17 appearances since making his major league debut on April 22. Grace went 2-1 with a 5.25 ERA

Report leaves Bryce Harper sounding doubtful for Home Run Derby

Bryce Harper left Cincinnati without a homer in the Reds’ three-game sweep. It may wind up being a theme. Harper’s travel arrangements have most likely already been booked to return to Great American Ball Park in mid-July for the 86th Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The 22-year-old was announced last week as the frontrunner in the early release of the National League’s fan vote. It

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