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After acquiring Jonathan Papelbon, Nats quiet as trade deadline passes

FLUSHING, N.Y. - The Nationals were quiet as the trade deadline expired earlier this evening. General manager Mike Rizzo didn’t wait until the end, making his splash on Tuesday in the controversial trade for veteran closer Jonathan Papelbon. “We thought improving the bullpen was something that we would like to do,” Rizzo said. “We thought if there was room to improve ourselves, we were fortunate

Mets win on Wilmer Flores walk-off homer in 12th (Bryce Harper ejected)

FLUSHING, N.Y. - The Nationals are still looking for their first base runner against Matt Harvey, who’s perfect through five innings. The hard-throwing right-hander has struck out six of the 15 batters he has faced. Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez is fighting control issues. The left-hander recorded the first two outs in the fourth before issuing back-to-back walks to Juan Uribe and Travis d’Arnaud. Wilmer Flores then

Nationals game blog: Bryce Harper looks to break through against Matt Harvey

FLUSHING, N.Y. - Gio Gonzalez has dominated the Mets this season. In two wins, Gonzalez allowed only two runs while fanning 13 over 13 innings. The left-hander has been one of baseball’s best pitchers in July, going 3-0 in four starts with a 1.88 ERA. Gonzalez squares off with Mets right-hander Matt Harvey in a rematch from July 20 when the Nats downed the Mets

Nationals lineup vs. Mets

On the eve of August, it becomes easy to claim each series is “critical” or “monumental” in terms of the playoff picture. But seriously, guys, this one is pretty big. At least in terms of shaping the divisional race. The Nationals enter tonight’s game with a three-game lead in the National League East. The team right behind them? No big deal, just tonight’s opponent. The

Ryan Zimmerman swinging a hot bat off DL

MIAMI - It wasn’t the ideal way to win, but Ryan Zimmerman’s second-inning solo home run was just enough to beat the Marlins yesterday after Max Scherzer, Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon stacked up for a shutout. Marlins starter and former National Dan Haren left a cutter out over the plate and Zimmerman rocketed it over the wall in left-center field, slamming off the sign

Max Scherzer returns to dominant form in Nats’ 1-0 victory

MIAMI - Max Scherzer came out of his last start frustrated after surrendering a season-high three homers and losing a two-run lead in a loss to the Pirates. He vowed to get back to what was working for him when he was arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball earlier this season. Scherzer’s adjustments worked, as the ace held the Marlins scoreless over seven innings,

Jonathan Papelbon debuts with meaningful save in Nationals’ 1-0 win

MIAMI - Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound to save the deciding game for Boston in the 2007 World Series. In fact, the 34-year-old has seven postseason saves and a staggering 342 in the regular season coming into today’s game - 12th best in Major League Baseball history - over his 11-year career. Yet, when Nationals manager Matt Williams called on Papelbon to finish off

Papelbon saves Scherzer’s gem as Nats take series with 1-0 win

MIAMI - The Nationals are quickly experiencing the benefits of their injured stars returning to the lineup the past week. In the second, it was Ryan Zimmerman leading off with a deep blast to the power alley in left-center field. The solo shot was Zimmerman’s sixth of the season and first since coming off the disabled list on Tuesday after missing 40 games. Bryce Harper

Nationals game blog: Bryce Harper feasting on Marlins pitching this year

MIAMI - The Marlins send veteran right-hander Dan Haren to the mound this afternoon. The former National beat his old team back on April 26 at Marlins Park, allowing two runs on three hits over five innings. Bryce Harper tagged Haren for one of those runs on a solo homer. Harper has feasted on Marlins pitching this season, batting .385 (10-for-26) with six home runs

Max Scherzer aims for series win in finale (with lineups)

MIAMI - The Nationals send ace Max Scherzer to the mound looking for a series win in the finale against the Marlins. Scherzer is coming off one of his rougher starts of the year, giving up five runs on seven hits over five innings in a 7-5 loss to the Pirates last Friday. This will be Scherzer’s first career start at Marlins Park. He fanned

Bryce Harper on Doug Fister: “That looked like old Dougie”

MIAMI - Doug Fister was arguably the Nationals’ best starting pitcher last season, leading the rotation with 16 wins and a 2.41 ERA. However, the tall right-hander has not been the same force this year. He entered Wednesday’s start against the Marlins winless in over a month and with a 4.50 ERA, the highest in his seven-year career in the majors. The Marlins weren’t able

Bryce Harper’s impressive power display lifts Nats to 7-2 win

MIAMI - With July winding down, Bryce Harper was experiencing a bit of a power outage. The 22-year-old had just three homers in the month and none in the past 10 days. But tonight, the slugger broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a colossal three-run homer and then followed with a breathtaking solo shot in the eighth to propel the Nationals to a

Bryce Harper launches two homers, Nats win 7-2

MIAMI - The Nationals had a decent scoring chance in the first after Anthony Rendon led off with a walk and then Jayson Werth reached on an error. But Marlins starter Tom Koehler whiffed Bryce Harper and Dee Gordon robbed Ryan Zimmerman with a driving grab to end the inning. Nationals right-hander Doug Fister retired the first five hitters of the game before hitting Derek

Nationals game blog: Bryce Harper looks for power surge against Fish

MIAMI - The Nationals look for their first win in Miami this season after dropping all four games to the Marlins thus far. Right-hander Tom Koehler brings an 8-6 record with a 3.16 ERA into tonight’s start for the Fish. Bryce Harper’s first career three-homer game came against Koehler back on May 6 at Nationals Park in a 7-5 win. Harper hasn’t left the yard

Jonathan Papelbon to Drew Storen: “I just want to come here and win”

MIAMI - Before putting on his new Nationals uniform, Jonathan Papelbon’s first order of business was to clear the air with Drew Storen. “I’ve spoken to Drew,” said Papelbon, speaking at Marlins Park. “I told Drew ‘I don’t want to come here unless you talk to (Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo) and everyone’s OK with it. I don’t want to come here and upset anyone.

Doug Fister dons new number, takes mound vs. Marlins

MIAMI - Doug Fister looks to reverse the theme of his season against the Marlins tonight. Since returning from the DL on June 18, Fister is 1-4 in six starts with a 4.72 ERA. The tall right-hander has surrendered four or more runs in four of those six outings, while opponents own a .324 batting average against him during the slide. Fister will look to

Now healthy, it’s time for Nationals lineup to produce

MIAMI - The Nationals reached the 98th game before Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon found themselves together in the lineup for the first time this season. The trio combined to go 4-for-10 in last night’s 4-1 loss to the Marlins with Zimmerman’s second-inning double setting up the Nats only run. “Couldn’t get it done (last night),” Nationals manager Matt Williams said after last

Best of the Decade: Baseball finally returns to D.C.

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 through mid-August, check out Nationals Pastime for a remembrance of one of the watershed moments in Nationals history. After a long 33-year wait, baseball finally returned to Washington on April 14, 2005. Since the Senators rolled out of

Drew Storen reacts after losing closer role to Jonathan Papelbon

MIAMI - Following tonight’s 4-1 loss to the Marlins, Drew Storen reacted for the first time to the news that he lost his closer role when the Nationals acquired veteran right-hander Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies earlier in the day. “Really, all I’m gonna say is that obviously I’m aware of the move,” Storen said. “I’ve talked to (Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo) about it.

Mike Rizzo: “Papelbon is our ninth-inning pitcher”

MIAMI - Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo formally announced the acquisition of veteran closer Jonathan Papelbon during tonight’s game with the Marlins. The Nationals sent right-handed prospect Nick Pivetta to the Phillies in exchange for Papelbon and cash considerations. Rizzo spoke to the media at Marlins Park during the game: What do you like about Papelbon? “Well, he’s a proven elite closer in the game

Offense stymied, Nats lose 4-1

MIAMI - Ryan Zimmerman wasted no time delivering for the Nationals in his first game back from the DL. After Bryce Harper walked to start the second, Zimmerman ripped a double down the left field line, giving the Nats runners at second and third. With one out, Wilson Ramos lifted a fly ball just deep enough to right, allowing Harper to tag and sprint home

Nats shake up bullpen by acquiring Jonathan Papelbon (updated)

MIAMI - The Nationals have reportedly made a trade with the Phillies for closer Jonathan Papelbon. The acquisition of the veteran right-hander seemingly demotes current Nationals closer Drew Storen to a setup role for the third time in his six-year career. The Nationals have not officially announced any deal, though multiple media outlets have reported its completion. The Washington Post and FOX Sports were the

Nationals game blog: Jordan Zimmermann starts series opener against Marlins

MIAMI - On a day with trade rumors flying around and a deal actually made, there’s still a baseball game to play tonight. The Nationals open a three-game series tonight against the Marlins in Miami to start a stretch of six straight games against National League East division foes. The Nats have the third-best record in the NL since June 19 at 18-12 (.600) behind

Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman return to Nationals lineup

MIAMI - The Nationals welcome veterans Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman back from the disabled list tonight as they begin a three-game series with the Marlins. Werth hasn’t seen action since May 15 when a fastball fractured his left wrist in San Diego. The 36-year-old had a slow start to the season before the setback, batting just .208 with two homers and 12 RBIs after

Incredible catches, clutch hits featured in Michael A. Taylor’s rookie season

Michael A. Taylor received his first look at PNC Park over the weekend and the rookie outfielder continued delivering stunning defensive plays for the Nationals. Gregory Polanco led off the sixth inning Sunday with a bullet to the gap in left-center. It appeared to be certain extra bases for Polanco as the ball screamed through the air, until Taylor, on a full sprint, leaped and

Mets bolster bullpen by adding Tyler Clippard

Former Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard will not be coming back to D.C. for a run to the playoffs. Making matters worse, Clippard will join the Mets, who are chasing the Nats in the National League East. Oakland traded Clippard earlier this evening to New York along with cash considerations for minor league right-hander Casey Meisner. Clippard was the A’s closer this season, saving 17 of

Matt Williams on Joe Ross: “For such a young pitcher, he’s not rattled”

PITTSBURGH - Rookie right-hander Joe Ross delivered another impressive effort in yesterday’s 3-1 loss to Pirates. Pittsburgh scored twice in the third on three hits plus a costly error and added a solo homer in the fourth, but that was all the offense Ross allowed in his fifth big league start. “I thought he threw really well,” fellow rookie Michael A. Taylor said. “His stuff

Division lead shrinks after Nats drop series to Pirates

PITTSBURGH - A solo home run from rookie Michael A. Taylor was all the offensive the Nationals managed as they dropped the series with today’s 3-1 loss to the Pirates. After Taylor’s homer, right-hander Gerrit Cole retired 11 straight Nationals until a double from Clint Robinson in the seventh. Ian Desmond followed with a single to give the Nats runners at the corners with one

Nats bats quiet in 3-1 loss

PITTSBURGH - Michael A. Taylor crushed a 1-0 fastball from Pirates starter Gerrit Cole over the wall in right-center field for a solo home run with two outs in the third. Taylor has now homered in consecutive games. The rookie has six hits and four RBIs in the series. The Pirates answered in the bottom of the frame with RBI singles from Gregory Polanco and

Anthony Rendon sits in series finale (with lineups)

PITTSBURGH - A day after returning from the 15-day disabled list, Anthony Rendon is not in the lineup as the Nationals aim for a split with the Pirates in the series finale. Rendon went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, but he did collect an RBI on a sacrifice fly in Washington’s 9-3 win last night. Nationals manager Matt Williams has indicated Rendon will be rested until

Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman nearing returns

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals added infielder Anthony Rendon back to their lineup on Saturday night and they appear to be closing on two more key players rejoining the ballclub. Outfielder Jayson Werth was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs while playing left field in Triple-A Syracuse’s loss Saturday night. It was the 35-year-old’s eighth minor league rehab game in the last 10 days. Werth

Michael A. Taylor, Ian Desmond lead Nationals’ offensive attack in 9-3 win

PITTSBURGH - Whether it was adding Anthony Rendon and Yunel Escobar back to the lineup or the sight of Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett on the mound, the Nationals’ offense erupted in a 9-3 win over Pittsburgh. Burnett gave up a career-high 14 hits against the Nationals on June 19. Tonight, the Nats drilled the 17-year veteran for 11 hits and five runs before knocking him

Ian Desmond’s hot streak continues in Nats’ 9-3 win

PITTSBURGH - Ian Desmond continued his hot streak with a one-out single to right in the second. Jose Lobaton followed with a base knock to center, advancing Desmond all the way to third. Pirates starter A.J. Burnett then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Desmond to race home safely for the game’s first run. Desmond is 9-for-17 with three homers and five RBIs since Monday. The

Second base or third, it doesn’t matter to Anthony Rendon in return

PITTSBURGH - This hasn’t been the season Anthony Rendon expected after his breakout year in 2014. Rendon’s sophomore campaign in the big leagues saw the Nationals’ 2011 first round pick lead the National League in runs scored and finish tied for fifth in hits while smacking 21 homers and driving in 83 runs. The now 25-year-old’s 6.5 WAR was tied for second-highest in the league,

Anthony Rendon and Yunel Escobar return to Nationals lineup

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals lineup is beginning to round into form. Anthony Rendon returns from the disabled list after missing the last 25 games with a strained left quad. Manager Matt Williams has penciled Rendon in at second base where he has started 12 of his 18 games this season. The Nationals also welcome back Yunel Escobar after the 32-year-old rested his sore left wrist

Nationals reinstate Anthony Rendon from DL

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals took a major leap forward on the road to health by reinstating Anthony Rendon from the 15-day disabled list this afternoon. Rendon’s season has been plagued by three different injuries, limiting him to just 18 games for the Nationals. A sprained left MCL suffered in spring training followed by a left oblique strain robbed Rendon of the first 53 games of

Ian Desmond is battling back

PITTSBURGH - All season long, Ian Desmond’s teammates have picked him up, and last night he returned the favor. After Max Scherzer surrendered the lead on back-to-back homers in the fifth, Desmond evened the score to start the sixth with a solo bomb of his own. “I was pretty excited to get Max off the hook,” Desmond said. Certainly, the numerous injuries have led to

Max Scherzer frustrated after surrendering three homers in Nats’ 7-5 loss

PITTSBURGH - A month ago, Max Scherzer dominated the Pirates en route to throwing his first career no-hitter. Pittsburgh exacted full revenge tonight, bombing three homers off the ace to beat the Nationals 7-5. Jung Ho Kang picked up the Pirates’ first hit off Scherzer this year with a one-out single in the second. Scherzer then missed on a 93 mph fastball to Pedro Alvarez

Max Scherzer tagged for three homers, Nats lose 7-5

PITTSBURGH - After being on the wrong side of Max Scherzer’s first career no-hitter on June 20, the Pirates appear to be taking a far more aggressive approach against the Nationals ace tonight. Jung Ho Kang took care of the Pittsburgh’s first hit with a one-out single in the second. Pedro Alvarez followed with a moonshot, pulverizing a Scherzer fastball over the stands in right.

Updates on Strasburg, Escobar, Rendon, Werth and Zimmerman

PITTSBURGH - Right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw three simulated innings at PNC Park this afternoon. It was the first time Strasburg has thrown with live hitters standing in since he landed on the 15-day disabled list on July 4, a day after a strained left oblique knocked him out of his start in the fourth inning. “I thought he was good,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

Max Scherzer faces Pirates for first time since no-hitter (Robinson scratched)

PITTSBURGH - Max Scherzer makes his first start against the Pirates since he tossed his first career no-hitter against them on June 20 at Nationals Park. Scherzer was one strike away from throwing the 24th perfect game in major league baseball history when his slider clipped Pittsburgh’s Jose Tabata on the left elbow. Eight days later, the Pirates designated Tabata for assignment. The Nationals have

Trade rumors and Anthony Rendon nearing return

PITTSBURGH - With the non-waiver trade deadline exactly one week away, rumors are floating and action and is heating up. In the middle of the Nationals’ 7-3 loss to the Pirates last night, MLB Network insider and FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported that two Reds scouts were in Vermont to put eyes on right-hander Erik Fedde, Washington’s first-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Two

Doug Fister’s slide continues as Pirates sink Nats 7-3

PITTSBURGH - Nationals starter Doug Fister has struggled to find consistency this season. The tall righty was battered often and hard from the beginning of tonight’s 7-3 loss the Pirates. “It’s inexcusable,” Fister said. “Starting to get back to feeling better and strong and being able to locate. But missing on too many pitches over the plate. I’m not going for the right pitches at

Pirates smack three homers, beat Nats 7-3

PITTSBURGH - It’s been a rough start for Doug Fister so far. The right-hander gave up a two-out single to Andrew McCutchen and then was tagged for an RBI triple by Starling Marte in the first. Pedro Alvarez drilled an 87 mph fastball over the left field wall to lead off the second. Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco followed with consecutive singles but Fister battled

Rendon, Werth and Zimmerman ramping up rehab action

PITTSBURGH - Anthony Rendon went 3-for-3 with an RBI while playing six innings at third base In Single-A Potomac’s 5-1 loss to Frederick last night. The 25-year-old is expected to push it to seven innings tonight again at third base. Rendon’s left quad strain sent him to the 15-day disabled list on June 25. He’s 7-for-10 (.700) with a double, two walks, one RBI and

Yunel Escobar undergoes further tests on injured left wrist and hand

PITTSBURGH - After X-rays were negative yesterday on Yunel Escobar’s left wrist and hand, the Nationals sent him for a CT scan of the area, which was also negative. “All results are good so far,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said before tonight’s game. “It feels better today. (Escobar’s) not in the lineup today but he’s available, which is a good sign. We’ll see what the

Yunel Escobar out; Bryce Harper looks for first homer in Pittsburgh (with lineups)

PITTSBURGH - The Pirates will look to seek revenge on the Nationals, who swept the Bucs on June 19-21 in Washington. The Nats outscored the Pirates 19-3 in the series, which included Max Scherzer’s first career no-hitter. Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano, who was on the wrong side of Scherzer’s gem at Nationals Park, takes the mound tonight. Liriano hasn’t pitched since before the All-Star break

Matt Williams on Danny Espinosa: “Resilient, in every aspect”

Yesterday’s 4-3 comeback win is a perfect example to encapsulate everything that Danny Espinosa has meant to the Washington Nationals this season. Riddled with injuries all year, the Nats’ list got even longer early Wednesday afternoon when Yunel Escobar left the game suddenly in the second inning. Once again, Espinosa shifted from second to third base to fill in as he had 14 other times

Zimmermann, Storen featured in Nats’ stellar pitching attack against Mets

All the hype coming into this pivotal series seemed to focus on the pitching arsenal the Mets were prepared to throw at the Nationals. Three days later, the Nats starters stood up to the test. Gio Gonzalez outpitched Matt Harvey on Monday to claim the win. Last night, Joe Ross took a 2-1 lead over Jacob deGrom and the Mets into the seventh before the

Resilient Nats deliver another comeback win to take series

The Nationals were four outs from having their National League East lead chopped to one game when an improbable rally ensued, resulting in a stunning 4-3 comeback win over the Mets. There wasn’t a whole lot for the soldout crowd of 41,291 to cheer about at Nationals Park for much of the day, especially after watching Yunel Escobar, the Nats’ second-leading hitter, exit the game

Nats rally late to take series with 4-3 win (Yunel Escobar injured)

Yunel Escobar left the game in the middle of his first at-bat to start the second inning. Escobar dropped to his knees, clutching his left hand or wrist after attempting to check his swing on a 96 mph heater from Mets starter Noah Syndergaard. It was unclear if the ball actually hit Escobar, though the Nationals’ Twitter account reported that Syndergaard’s pitch struck Escobar’s hand.

Jordan Zimmermann aims for distance in series finale with Mets (with lineups)

The Nationals enter this afternoon’s rubber match holding a slim two-game lead over the Mets in the National League East. Jordan Zimmermann should be well-rested for today’s outing since his last start on Friday was interrupted after only four innings due to a power failure at Nationals Park. Zimmermann beat the Mets 2-1 back on April 8, allowing one run on five hits with four

Best of the Decade: Nationals clinch first playoff berth, win NL East in 2012

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 through mid-August, check out Nationals Pastime for a remembrance of one of the watershed moments in Nationals history. A new chapter of for the Washington Nationals began on September 20, 2012 when Drew Storen whiffed Hanley Ramirez

Late-inning bullpen concerns continue for Nats in 7-2 loss

A night after playing one of their tighter games of the year, the Nationals seemed to unravel in a 7-2 loss to the Mets, mostly due to poor relief pitching and shoddy fielding. Rookie Joe Ross was impressive in his return to D.C. after a month at Triple-A Syracuse. The right-hander took a 2-1 lead into the seventh when Wilmer Flores led off with a

Bullpen struggles, Nats lose 7-2

Joe Ross retired the first nine hitters he faced before running into some trouble in the fourth. Curtis Granderson led off the inning with a single to center and then stole second. A groundout from Ruben Tejada moved Granderson to third. Ross followed by striking out Daniel Murphy. But after hitting Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores delivered an RBI base knock up the middle scoring Granderson.

Matt Williams updates Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman

Anthony Rendon’s minor league rehab assignment continued in Single-A Potomac’s 7-0 win at Frederick today. Appearing as the designated hitter, Rendon went 1-for-3 with a single, two walks and a run scored. Rendon played the previous two games at third base for Potomac. Nationals manager Matt Williams indicated he would like to see Rendon play a full nine innings in the field before activating him.

Stephen Strasburg ramping up rehab

Stephen Strasburg threw off a mound earlier this afternoon for the first time since landing on the 15-disabled list with a left oblique strain on July 5. Manager Matt Williams indicated Strasburg fired around 30 pitches during the bullpen session at Nationals Park. “(Strasburg) threw a couple of breaking balls, fastballs and changeups, and had no issues,” Williams said. “So, that’s a good sign. We’ll

Nats take third crack at All-Star Jacob deGrom (with lineups)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom takes the mound tonight in his first appearance since stealing the show in the All-Star Game a week ago. deGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, blazed through the sixth inning last Tuesday, whiffing Oakland’s Stephen Vogt and Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis on 97 mph heaters before fooling Detroit’s Jose Iglesias on a filthy curveball. The long-haired 27-year-old brings a

Nationals officially recall Joe Ross for tonight’s start; Wilmer Difo optioned

The Nationals officially recalled rookie right-hander Joe Ross from Triple-A Syracuse to make tonight’s start against the Mets. This will be Ross’ second stint with the Nationals this season after impressing with a 2-1 record and 2.66 ERA in three starts in June. Ross struck out 23 and walked only two across 20 1/3 innings after debuting in the majors on June 6. The former

Michael A. Taylor leaps through the air for show-stopping catch

For a few tense seconds, it appeared the Nationals’ early lead they built against Matt Harvey was evaporating. Trailing 5-1 in the fifth, the Mets had two runners on with two outs and Eric Campbell at the plate. Gio Gonzalez offered a 92 mph fastball and Campbell drilled it to deep right-center field. “I thought it was at least off the wall, maybe top of

Ian Desmond homers after words of encouragement from Cal Ripken Jr.

The struggles this season for Ian Desmond are well-chronicled. The free-agent-to-be entered tonight’s game with his average plummeting to .204 after going 0-for-13 with five strikeouts in the Nationals’ previous four games. But, the seven-year veteran’s night at the plate ended up factoring in the Nationals’ 7-2 win in the series opener over the Mets. Desmond’s infield single in the third led to a throwing

Gio Gonzalez outduels Matt Harvey in Nats’ 7-2 win

After striking out Curtis Granderson to open the game, Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez issued a walk to Ruben Tejada. Daniel Murphy then ripped a fastball down the right field line to give the Mets runners at second and third with one out. In early trouble, Gonzalez scrambled off the mound to field a slow grounder and then fired to first to beat Wilmer Flores for

Rookie Joe Ross returns to start against Mets on Tuesday

Nationals manager Matt Williams announced rookie Joe Ross as the starter for Tuesday night’s game against the Mets. The 22-year-old was called up from Double-A Harrisburg to make his major league debut on June 6 after Stephen Strasburg landed on the 15-day disabled list the first time this season. Ross dazzled in his three starts until Strasburg returned. The right-hander went 2-1 with a 2.66

Nationals tangle with Mets, Harvey in series opener (with lineups)

The Nationals will try to reverse their luck against Mets starter Matt Harvey. The hard-throwing right-hander has thrown 13 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts in two wins over Washington this season. Michael A. Taylor has experienced the most success against Harvey, going 3-for-6 with a double. Taylor is batting leadoff tonight. For the Mets:RF Curtis Granderson SS Ruben Tejada 3B Daniel Murphy 2B Wilmer Flores

Nationals call up Abel De Los Santos (Blake Treinen optioned)

The Nationals will reportedly call up right-hander Abel De Los Santos from Double-A Harrisburg for bullpen support. The hard-throwing right-hander is 4-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 26 appearances this season. De Los Santos, 22, has struck out 35 while walking seven across 37 1/3 innings in his first year in Double-A. The Nationals acquired De Los Santos along with infielder Chris Bostick last December

Mets feature power pitching in series with Nats

The Nationals offense comes out of the weekend smarting after back-to-back crippling performances from Dodgers aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. No time for sulking, though, as the Mets roll into town set to throw a trio of young, right-handed power arms in a crucial three-game series. The Nats hold a slim two-game lead in the National League East over the Mets, who outlasted the

Max Scherzer takes another hard-luck loss

As dominant as Max Scherzer has been this year, the Nationals hold a less than impressive 11-8 record when he starts. That disappointing tally is due mostly to the lack of offensive support Scherzer has received. Sunday’s shutout loss to Zack Greinke and the Dodgers totals three times this year that the Nationals have failed to score a run when Scherzer takes the mound. Overall,

Bryce Harper not impressed by Zack Greinke, strike zone

Don’t count Bryce Harper as one of the many impressed by Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke, who blanked the Nationals for eight frames this afternoon to extend his scoreless streak to 43 2/3 innings. “For me, I don’t think he was very tough,” Harper said. “He’s a great pitcher, he does what he does, but when you’re getting six inches off the plate, it’s pretty tough

Zack Greinke dominates Nationals in Dodgers’ 5-0 win

Nationals ace Max Scherzer found himself in an early jam in the first inning. After blowing three straight fastballs by Joc Pederson to start the game, Scherzer was tagged for back-to-back singles to right by Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez. Two batters later, Scherzer walked Yasmani Grandal on four pitches to load the bases with two outs. But, the right-hander battled back to strike out

Denard Span receives cortisone injections in back, “revving it up” soon

Denard Span started some light physical exercises after receiving cortisone injections in his back last Monday. “Just running, jogging on a treadmill and playing catch,” Span said. “The back feels pretty good. We’re getting there.” With rehab assignments under way or getting started for Jayson Werth (fractured left wrist), Anthony Rendon (left quad strain) and Ryan Zimmerman (left foot plantar fasciitis), Span’s plans to return

Rendon: “I guess it’s just not my year health-wise”; Espinosa returns

Anthony Rendon saw his first game action in nearly a month last night when he began a minor league rehab assignment at Single-A Potomac. The Nationals decided to start Rendon at third base so it would be easier on his strained left quad, which landed him on the 15-day disabled list on June 25. The 25-year-old went 2-for-2, smacking a double in the first inning

Today’s Dodgers-Nationals lineup, plus Zimmerman rehab news

The focus in today’s series finale against the Dodgers is rightfully on the pitchers. Today’s impressive matchup pits National League ERA leader Zack Greinke of the Dodgers against Nationals ace Max Scherzer in a battle of right-handers. But the batters will have a say in whether either pitcher is successful, so here are today’s lineups: For the Dodgers:CF Joc Pederson2B Howie Kendrick1B Adrian GonzalezLF Andre

Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke featured in rubber match showdown

Yesterday’s improbable late-inning homer by Matt den Dekker, followed by a more expected yet scintillating performance from Clayton Kershaw, sets up a rubber match showdown this afternoon between Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke, the National League’s All-Star starter. “We’ve got one of our best going (today) against one of their best and we got a chance to take the series,” Nationals

Bryce Harper on Clayton Kershaw: “Sometimes you gotta tip your cap and laugh”

After completing the first game of the series with a late-inning win in dramatic fashion, the Nationals ran into a buzzsaw in the second as the Dodgers won 4-2. Reigning National League MVP Clayton Kershaw struck out a season-best 14 batters without a allowing a run or a walk. The Nationals managed only three hits against the dominant left-hander. “Unfortunately, I’ve seen that way too

Nats get late homer from Harper, but too much Kershaw leads to 4-2 loss

Three consecutive singles to start the second inning from Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig resulted in the Dodgers’ first run against Nationals starter Doug Fister. Fister has yielded one run on five hits with one walk and one strikeout through three innings. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has struck out four of the first seven batters he has faced. Clint Robinson collected the Nationals’

Matt den Dekker provides the power in Nats’ 5-3 win (with lineups)

Seldom-used Nationals outfielder Matt den Dekker smacked a two-run pinch-hit homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Dodgers 5-3. “I was just ready to be aggressive early,” den Dekker said. “Coming off the bench, you gotta be in there and ready to go so that’s what I did. I just got a pitch over the plate and got the

Nats win 5-3 behind Matt den Dekker’s two-run homer

After pitching the fifth inning before the game was suspended last night, Tanner Roark retuned to the mound this afternoon to start the sixth. Adrian Gonzalez blasted a one-out solo shot to left off Roark to tie the game. It was Gonzalez’s second homer of the game and 20th on the season. Gonzalez has driven all three runs for the Dodgers in the game. Dodgers

Matt Williams planning to send Tanner Roark back to the mound when game resumes

Nationals manager Matt Williams plans to send right-hander Tanner Roark back to the mound to start the sixth inning when the Nationals and Dodgers resume the first game of the series at 2:05 p.m. Roark breezed through the fifth inning last night, retiring the Dodgers in order before the lights went out at Nationals Park for the third and final time, forcing umpires to suspend

Anthony Rendon begins minor league rehab assignment tonight

The Nationals will take another step on the road to recovery tonight as infielder Anthony Rendon joins right fielder Jayson Werth on a rehabiliation assignment at Single-A Potomac. “As they have it right now, I believe they’re both hitting two-three in (Potomac’s) lineup today,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. Rendon hasn’t played since June 24 after landing on the 15-day disabled list with a left Continue reading ....

Lights out on Zimmermann, pitching decisions for Williams today (with Nats’ statement)

The Nationals and Dodgers will resume last night’s suspended game today at 2:05 p.m. It will pick up at the start of the sixth inning with the Nationals holding a 3-2 lead. It is uncertain whether Tanner Roark will return to the mound to start the sixth. Roark needed just seven pitches to retire the Dodgers in order in the fifth after relieving starter Jordan

Power outage suspends play with Nats leading 3-2, game to resume tomorrow

A power outage at Nationals Park provided an embarrassing and frustrating situation tonight. A bank of lights high above the third base line went dark, causing lengthy delays in the fourth and fifth innings and then eventually forcing a suspension of the game with the Nationals leading 3-2 before the start of the sixth. The two teams will pick up where they left off when

Umpires suspend game after power failure at Nats Park (updated schedule)

Yunel Escobar delivered the Nationals’ first hit of the night when he doubled down the left field line with one out in the third. Danny Espinosa followed with a slow roller. Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger fielded it but then stumbled while making the throw to first. Espinosa was safe and Escobar advanced to third as Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, along with the team trainer, came

Matt Williams explains decision to hold Max Scherzer until Sunday

Most expected Nationals manager Matt Williams to send Max Scherzer to the mound tonight against the Dodgers to set the tone for the second half of the season. But Williams opted to hold Scherzer until Sunday, where the ace will square off with Dodgers right-hander Zack Grienke in a whale of a pitching matchup. Williams explained his reasons for giving Scherzer the extra rest earlier.

Stephen Strasburg begins throwing, Matt Williams hints at rehab plan

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw on flat ground yesterday and today without experiencing pain in his left side, according to Nationals manager Matt Williams. “We’ll look to a bullpen (session) in the next four to five days, probably, and see where he’s at,” Williams said. “But a good sign for him the last couple.” Strasburg was cruising through his July 4 start against the Giants when

Williams provides good news on Werth, Rendon, Zimmerman and Span

The Nationals seem to be moving closer to getting some of their injured stars back. Jayson Werth became the first of five positon starters on the 15-day disabled list to see game action when he began his minor league rehab stint at Single-A Potomac last night. Werth, who fractured his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch on May 16, went 1-for-2 with

Jordan Zimmermann starts off second half for Nationals (with lineups)

Nationals manager Matt Williams sends Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to lead off the second half of the season against the Dodgers tonight. Zimmermann is 3-0 in his last five starts with a 1.63 ERA. The right-hander has walked only one while striking out 21 across 27 2/3 innings during the stretch. With Denard Span (back spasms) still on the 15-day disabled list, Williams has

Sammy Solis recalled; David Carpenter to 15-day disabled list

The Nationals have placed right-hander David Carpenter on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 12, with right shoulder inflammation. Lefty Sammy Solis will take his spot on the Nats’ 25-man roster. Carpenter is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA over six innings (eight games) with the Nats. He’s 0-1 with a 4.01 ERA over 24 2/3 innings this season. This will be Solis’ third stint

Nationals rookies playing key roles so far

A large reason the Nationals enter the second half of the season holding a two game lead in the National League East has to do with the significant contributions of several rookies. Let’s take a look at who has been the best of the youngsters so far. 5. Sammy Solis: After undergoing Tommy John surgery and battling several other nagging injuries, the 26-year-old left-hander finally

Weekend pitching matchups are set, then re-set

Nationals manager Matt Williams has announced how the first three starting pitchers will line up coming out of the All-Star break. The result sets up some of the game’s premier pitching matchups of the season as the National League West-leading Dodgers visit Nationals Park this weekend. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will square off with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Friday night. Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy

Jayson Werth begins minor league rehab assignment tonight

A day before the Nationals are set to embark on the second half of the season, one of their injured stars is ready to see his first game action in two months. Left fielder Jayson Werth hasn’t played since Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne ran a 92 mph fastball in on Werth that violently struck his left wrist in the second inning of a Nats’ 10-0

Nationals agree to terms with 16-year-old Dominican Elvis Alvarado

The Nationals this morning announced that they have agreed to terms with outfielder Elvis Alvarado, a 16-year-old international free agent from the Dominican Republic. Alvarado is 6-foot-4 and 175 lbs. He profiles as a corner outfielder, said Johnny DiPuglia, the team’s director of Latin American operations. Alvarado throws and bats right-handed. “He’s got the potential to hit for power and has an above-average arm,” DiPuglia

OMG! It’s the Nats’ top 10 quotes from the first half of the season

The Nationals clubhouse is loaded with a wide spectrum of personalities - from the quirkiness of guys like Gio Gonzalez and Jose Lobaton to the intensity of Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper. As the Nationals prepare to ramp back up for a run at a second straight National League East crown, we take a look a back at the top 10 quotes from the season’s

Kershaw, Greinke bookend Dodgers’ starters for series at Nats Park

The Nationals will face three-time National League Cy Young Award Clayton Kershaw when the Dodgers come to D.C. on Friday night. Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly plans to send right-hander Mike Bolsinger to the mound for Saturday’s matinee and NL All-Star starter Zack Greinke will take the ball on Sunday for the series finale. After winning the 2014 NL MVP, Kershaw got off to a

Casey Janssen: “I gotta build the trust of my teammates, the staff, everybody”

Right-hander Casey Janssen sat on the couch in the Nationals clubhouse for several minutes late last Friday night with an untouched plate of food in front of him and a blank stare on his face. Fairly or unfairly, Janssen had been charged with the game-tying run as the Nationals blew a late-inning lead with just six outs remaining. Janssen had only faced two batters in

Best of the Decade: Nationals draft Bryce Harper

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 through mid-August, check out Nationals Pastime for a remembrance of one of the watershed moments in Nationals history. Patience is rarely paid much attention in the world of sports. In the case of Bryce Harper, it never really

Bryce Harper comes up empty in All-Star Game (Franchise Four announced)

Major League Baseball announced the Franchise Four for each of the 30 teams prior to this evening’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati. All four players named for the Washington Nationals played during the Montreal Expos era. C Gary Carter.262, 324 HR, 1225 RBIs RF Andre Dawson.279, 438 HR, 1591 RBIs RF Vladimir Guerrero.318, 449 HR, 1496 RBIs LF Tim Raines .294, 170 HR, 980 RBI Ryan

Can Max Scherzer be even better in the second half?

Before heading to a much deserved break, Nationals closer Drew Storen was asked what staff ace Max Scherzer can do for an encore in the team’s second half. “I think he better be better,” Storen said while trying to remain straight-faced. “I’m just kidding.” What’s crazy is Scherzer most likely believes he can be better as well. And why not? The 30-year-old has developed into

Bryce Harper starting in right, batting third for NL All-Stars

Bryce Harper will start in right field and bat third for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. It is the 22-year-old’s third appearance in the Midsummer Classic after playing left field and going 0-for-1 with a walk in 2012 and then starting in center in 2013 while going 0-for-2. Harper will get an early chance to collect his first career All-Star hit when he

Nats’ injury situation emphasized as trade deadline nears

BALTIMORE - When the Nationals return to play after the All-Star break on Friday, only two weeks will remain before the July 31 trade deadline for making non-waiver trades. General manager Mike Rizzo has shown his willingness to participate frequently in the wheeling and dealing in the past. Last year, Rizzo acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians for infielder Zach Walters at the deadline.

Scherzer delivers All-Star performance again in Nats’ 3-2 win

BALTIMORE - Max Scherzer bypassed an opportunity to start for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, opting instead to take the mound for this afternoon’s series finale against the Orioles. The much belabored decision turned out to be bad news for Baltimore as Scherzer yielded only two solo homers to fellow All-Star Adam Jones and the Nationals went on to take the series with

Max Scherzer dominates Orioles in Nats’ 3-2 win

BALTIMORE - The Nationals narrowly missed a prime opportunity to light up the scoreboard in the first. After Yunel Escobar legged out an infield single, Bryce Harper drilled an 0-1 slider from Wei-Yin Chen over Chris Davis’ head and off the wall in right. Davis regrouped and managed to throw the ball in, forcing Escobar to hold at third. Wilson Ramos followed with a drive

Max Scherzer aims for All-Star performance in series finale (with lineups)

BALTIMORE - Nationals manager Matt Williams will send his ace Max Scherzer to the mound this afternoon in hopes of winning the team’s final series before heading into the All-Star break. Scherzer is looking to rebound from his worst start of the year after surrendering five runs over only 4 2/3 innings in the Nationals’ 5-0 loss to the Reds last Tuesday night. Scherzer is

Bryce Harper on hitting at Camden Yards: “I can’t stand it, actually”

BALTIMORE - Most would expect to hear that Bryce Harper enjoys hitting in Camden Yards - especially with its short porch in right field and homer-welcoming dimensions - but the young slugger’s feelings couldn’t be more opposite. “I don’t,” Harper said after last night’s 7-4 Nationals win. “I really don’t. I can’t stand it, actually. I can’t see very well, so hopefully in the daytime

Jordan Zimmermann: “It could’ve been a lot worse”

BALTIMORE - Jordan Zimmermann battled through a tough five innings on Saturday night before Nationals manager Matt Williams decided to make an early call to the bullpen. “He struggled a little bit with command and left some balls middle of the plate,” Williams said. “He got to 95 (pitches) at that point and he’s had a pretty strenuous first half, as well, and we’re behind

Espinosa powers Nats to 7-4 comeback win

BALTIMORE - The comeback campaign for Danny Espinosa continued with a huge three-run homer in the sixth inning to lift the Nationals over the Orioles 7-4. Espinosa scuffled mightily with his bat the last two seasons, leaving the Nationals requesting that the 28-year-old abandon switch-hitting in favor of batting exclusively from the right side. Espinosa spent all of spring training attempting to get comfortable facing

Harper, Espinosa homer in Nats’ 7-4 win

BALTIMORE - The Nationals had an early chance to score tonight. Yunel Escobar slapped a single to right in the first. After Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez got Bryce Harper swinging, Clint Robinson ripped a two-out double into the right field corner. Escobar, who is battling tightness in his left hamstring, motored around from first as third base coach Bob Hendley signaled for the plate. Orioles

Scherzer out of All-Star Game after decision to start Sunday

BALTIMORE - Nationals manager Matt Williams has opted to start his ace Max Scherzer in this season’s first half finale on Sunday in Baltimore. The decision leaves Scherzer unavailable to pitch for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati. “Rules stipulate that if you are a starting pitcher certainly on Sunday that you’re not available for the All-Star Game to pitch,” Williams said.

Zimmermann looks to end Nats’ three-game skid (Chris Davis scratched for O’s)

BALTIMORE - Jordan Zimmermann aims to stop a three-game losing skid for the Nationals tonight. The right-hander has returned to his normal dominant self in recent weeks. Zimmermann is 2-0 with 0.40 ERA in his last three starts while striking out 17 and walking only one. Zimmermann is 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA in five career starts against Baltimore. His last came in 2013 when

Nationals searching for offense

The Nationals’ offensive struggles continued in last night’s 3-2 loss to the Orioles. In six of the last 10 games, the Nationals have scored two runs or fewer, resulting in six losses. Tyler Moore and Michael A. Taylor delivered two-out RBIs in the fifth inning yesterday, but that was all the Nats could manage despite collecting 10 hits on the night. Moore’s run-scoring double was

Nationals’ bullpen falters late in 3-2 walk-off loss

BALTIMORE - The Nationals’ bullpen couldn’t protect a one-run lead as Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop launched a walk-off homer off Tanner Roark in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 win. The only run Gio Gonzalez allowed came on a solo blast from Adam Jones in the fourth. Otherwise, the left-hander pitched brilliantly for the third consecutive start, exiting after walking Jimmy Paredes

Roark tagged for walk-off homer (Nats lose 3-2)

BALTIMORE - Orioles center fielder Adam Jones broke a scoreless tie with a solo homer off Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez to begin the fourth. It was Jones’ 12th home run of the season. Gonzalez has allowed one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. A leadoff single from Yunel Escobar in the first is the only hit the Nats have managed against

Zimmermann will start tomorrow, Williams remains undecided on Sunday

BALTIMORE - Nationals manager Matt Williams said right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will return from paternity leave to start tomorrow night’s game against the Orioles. Zimmermann’s wife, Mandy, gave birth to their daughter, Ava Kristeen, this morning. “Now that we know that everybody’s healthy and everybody’s gonna be home, Jordan is gonna pitch tomorrow and determine Sunday at some point tomorrow,” Williams said. Right-hander Max Scherzer threw

Yunel Escobar returns for the Nationals (with lineups)

BALTIMORE - Yunel Escobar will see his first action since leaving Monday’s loss to the Reds in the fifth inning with tightness in his left hamstring. With Denard Span (back spasms) on the 15-day disabled list, Escobar assumes the leadoff spot in the order. He is 11-for-35 (.314) with one homer and one double batting first. Escobar propelled the Nats to a 5-2 win over

Difo up, Barrett back, Span to DL in flurry of roster moves

BALTIMORE - The Nationals made a flurry of roster moves ahead of the final series of the first half, the first of two interleague series against the Orioles at Camden Yards. Center fielder Denard Span, who has been troubled by back problems and previously said he expected to miss the weekend series, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, while right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was placed

Bryce Harper leads Nationals into Beltways series

Bryce Harper enters this weekend’s series at hitter-friendly Camden Yards batting only .194 (7-for-36) in 10 career games against the Orioles, his third lowest mark against any club in the majors. But this year’s version of Harper is much more polished at the plate, where he has added patience and discipline to his approach. His .471 on-base percentage, .709 slugging percentage and 1.181 OPS leads

Williams on Nats’ injuries: “I don’t know if I can remember a team that’s been hit this hard”

The Nationals will spend this much needed off-day on the mend before making the short drive up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway tomorrow afternoon for an interleague series with the Orioles. Both teams enter the weekend reeling. On July 1, Baltimore jumped into their first lead in the American League East since the season’s opening week. Since then, the Orioles have dropped six of seven, scoring only

Nationals will take the rest after rainout; starters up in the air

If there ever was a good time for weather to postpone a baseball game, it was tonight. Stricken by injuries across his ballclub, Nationals manager Matt Williams was planning to field a lineup with Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and six reserves in the series finale against the Reds. Shortly after heavy showers ended any chance of playing, Williams was asked if the rain dance worked.

Gonzalez aims to prevent season sweep; Hill recalled (with lineups, game postponed)

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez takes the hill as the Nationals attempt to prevent a season sweep by the Reds. Gonzalez has pitched brilliantly his last two starts, allowing just one run over 14 innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks. The Reds tagged Gonzalez for four runs over 5 1/3 innings in the Nationals’ 8-5 loss back on May 30. The big blow came on a

Best of the Decade: Zimmermann’s season-ending no-hitter

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. The postseason was awaiting the Nationals when Jordan Zimmermann took the mound on the final day of

Scherzer and Harper’s All-Star extravaganza heads to Cincinnati

The Washington Nationals may only be sending two players to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati next Tuesday, but they have arguably been baseball’s best two players throughout this season’s first half. Bryce Harper didn’t just win a popularity contest with his National League record 13,864,950 fan votes, he more than earned his way to the Midsummer Classic. His .344 batting average is third best in

Injury bug continues to chase Nationals in 3-2 loss

The Nationals showed up to spring training with injuries and they’ve continued to play short-handed since opening day. They’ve persevered through serious setbacks and nagging twinges to maintain their expected position atop the National League East. At some point, though, the depleted roster has to catch up to them. Tonight, the Nationals couldn’t outlast the Reds after losing center fielder Denard Span and third baseman

Denard Span, Yunel Escobar leave game (Nats lose 3-2)

Nationals center fielder Denard Span left tonight’s game after the second inning. The Nationals don’t provide injury updates during the game, but Span has been bothered by back spasms since June 7. Michael A. Taylor took over for Span in center field while Matt den Dekker entered the game in left. The Reds and Nationals nearly made it through the first inning before heavy showers

Max Scherzer named National League All-Star

In one of the worst-kept secrets ever, Max Scherzer will join Bryce Harper at next Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Despite leading the National League East by 4 1/2 games, only Harper and Scherzer have been chosen to represent the Nationals at the Midsummer Classic. Scherzer has been arguably the game’s most dominating pitcher through the first half of the season. He was named the

Bryce Harper passing on Home Run Derby

There wasn’t any doubt on whether Bryce Harper would make the All-Star Game, not after smashing 25 homers, driving in 60 runs and batting .347/.474/.722 through the Nationals’ first 82 games of the season. The question was if Harper planned to showcase his muscles in the Home Run Derby at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati next Monday. Harper addressed the issue today at Nationals Park

Nationals look for revenge against Reds; Solis recalled (with lineups)

The Reds slammed the brakes on a scorching May for the Nationals with a three-game sweep in Cincinnati over the final three days of the month. It was a rough series for the Nationals bullpen, with relievers Taylor Jordan, Aaron Barrett and Casey Janssen taking a loss each. Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will get his second crack at the Nationals tonight. The rookie allowed two

Diving into the minds of Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and company

Many athletes live on adrenaline, thrive off of the energy of the crowd and appreciate the pressure of the moment. And then there is Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister, whose whole game lives in the 60 feet, six inches from the mound to the plate. After dominating the Braves over seven scoreless innings in a 7-0 shutout win 12 days ago, Fister revealed he was

Jordan Zimmermann takes command as Nats sweep Giants

It might not have been revenge for the Nationals, but this weekend’s sweep of the Giants at least helped to heal up any remaining wounds from last October’s stinging postseason loss. Jordan Zimmermann frustrated San Francisco so much that Giants manager Bruce Bochy and starter Ryan Vogelsong didn’t stick around for the 3-1 outcome. Home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi tossed Bochy and Vogelsong in the

Jordan Zimmermann, Wilson Ramos lead Nats to 3-1 win

Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong started the second inning by issuing back-to-back walks to Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa. Two batters later, Michael A. Taylor made Vogelsong pay with a line drive single to left, scoring Ramos for the game’s first run. Fresh off his All-Star selection, Bryce Harper is 1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann has yielded two hits

Bryce Harper shatters NL All-Star voting record

Bryce Harper leads the National League team into the All-Star game on July 14 in Cincinnati. The 22-year-old received an NL-record 13,864,950 votes, nearly four million votes more than the Giants’ Buster Posey, the next highest vote-getter. This will be Harper’s second start and third overall All-Star appearance in his first four seasons. After a solid first month of the season, Harper exploded in May.

Williams on Strasburg’s injury, how it could affect Scherzer for All-Star Game

Nationals manager Matt Williams addressed the media before tonight’s game for the first time since the team announced that right-hander Stephen Strasburg was headed to the 15-day disabled list. “He had an MRI today that shows he’s got a strain in his (left) oblique,” Williams said. “It’s something we’ve got to do for his health and well-being and make sure that we get him well

Jordan Zimmermann aims for sweep in primetime (with lineups)

A red-hot Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound as the Nationals attempt to sweep the world champion Giants tonight. Zimmermann held the Braves scoreless over 15 2/3 innings in his past two starts, claiming a win and a no-decision. Zimmermann’s command has been superb, walking just one while striking out 17 in his previous three outings. Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong brings a 6-6 record with a 4.19

Oblique strain sends Stephen Strasburg to DL

The Nationals have placed right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, an injury that forced him out of yesterday’s start after 3 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball. To take Strasburg’s place on the 25-man roster, the Nats recalled right-hander Taylor Jordan from Triple-A Syracuse. Jordan is 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in two games (one start) for the

Total team effort leaves Nats in first at halfway mark

The Nationals reached the halfway point of this year at 45-36 with a season-high 4 1/2- game lead in the National League East after yesterday’s 9-3 win over the Giants. How does that compare to the Nats’ previous years with division titles? In 2012, the Nats held an identical 4 1/2-game lead with a 48-33 record at this point, while last season, they found themselves

Stephen Strasburg’s season interrupted by injury again

If ever there was a day for Stephen Strasburg to re-establish himself as one of the game’s premier pitchers, it was today. Strasburg took the mound and faced World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner in front of his critics on the Fourth of July. Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper slugged first-inning homers to the give Strasburg and the Nationals an early 3-0 lead against the

Stephen Strasburg leaves with injury in Nats’ 9-3 win

For the third time this year, Stephen Strasburg has left a start early due to injury. Strasburg appeared to be favoring his left side after throwing a first-pitch fastball to Giants first baseman Brandon Belt with two outs in the fourth inning. Nationals manager Matt Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz quickly came out of the dugout to check on

Taylor, Harper provide early fireworks (Nats lead 4-0)

The recently slumping Nationals offense figured to be in for a long day with Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound. But Michael A. Taylor woke up the bats and the crowd early, smacking Bumgarner’s first offering of the game over the left field wall to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. It was the second time Taylor has led off a game with a

Strasburg, Bumgarner in Fourth of July showdown (game under way)

Stephen Strasburg’s second chapter of this season continues this morning in a showdown with reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. The first 10 starts of 2015 were mostly disastrous for Strasburg, who ended up on 15-day disabled list on May 30 with a 6.55 ERA accompanying his trapezius strain. But a clearly more confident Strasburg has emerged from his DL stint to claim victories for

From journeyman to hero, Robinson receives first career curtain call

In 2007, Jake Peavy was the National League Cy Young Award winner. That same year, the Kansas City Royals drafted Clint Robinson in the 25th round. Since then, Peavy has won two World Series titles, including most recently last season with the San Francisco Giants. Meanwhile, Robinson was becoming a minor league lifer, having played 921 games on the farm in the Royals, Blue Jays

Gonzalez, Robinson lead Nats to 2-1 victory over Giants

Denard Span singled to lead off tonight’s game, but was quickly erased on Danny Espinosa’s grounder. Yunel Escobar then sliced a ball down the right field line that bounced fair and skipped into the seats for a ground-rule double. Giants manager Bruce Bochy opted to have starter Jake Peavy intentionally walk Bryce Harper to get to Clint Robinson, who flew out to right to end

Williams has moved past last year’s loss to Giants

The Nationals season ended in San Francisco last October as the Giants eliminated them in four games in the National League Division Series. The underdog Giants went on to win their third World Series title in five years while the Nationals were left with the disappointment of another premature exit in a postseason filled with championship expectations. “I don’t know if we’ve thought about it,”

Gonzalez, Peavy return to mound in stellar matchup (with lineups)

A well-rested Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for the Nationals against the Giants tonight. Gonzalez pitched only one inning last Saturday before the game was called due to rain. Nationals manager Matt Williams chose to hold Gonzalez out until his normal spot in the starting rotation came back around. Gonzalez’s last full outing came back on June 21 when he threw seven scoreless innings, allowing

Scherzer not issuing free passes, Nats offense scuffling entering Giants series

The Nationals wasted another incredible pitching performance from Max Scherzer in last night’s 2-1 walk-off loss in Atlanta. The Braves combined an infield single and a chopper that bounced over Yunel Escobar’s head to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Scherzer has a decision in all but one of his starts this season, with the Nationals holding a 10-6 record when

Controversial call costs Scherzer, Nationals

Max Scherzer pitched brilliantly once again only to take the loss on a controversial call that resulted in a 2-1 walk-off win for the Braves in the bottom of the ninth. Nationals manager Matt Williams sent Scherzer back out for the ninth after throwing only 97 pitches through the first eight frames. Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez countered with pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, who beat out a

Braves beat Scherzer, Nats 2-1 on walk-off single in ninth

Max Scherzer breezed through the first four innings, allowing just one base hit with four strikeouts. But Braves third baseman Juan Uribe ripped a leadoff double in the fifth. Uribe then scored easily on a one-out single to center from shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Scherzer has thrown 64 pitches through five frames. Meanwhile, the Nationals have struggled to figure out Braves left-hander Manny Banuelos, who’s making

Max Scherzer honored again as NL Pitcher of the Month

After tossing his first career no-hitter, Max Scherzer was recognized as the National League Pitcher of the Month for June. Scherzer, who also received the honor in May, began the month by allowing a combined eight earned runs over two losses. But the 30-year-old right-hander responded in his third start with one of the most dominating performances in Major League Baseball History. Scherzer threw six

Escobar, Span making All-Star cases (with lineups)

The Nationals boast three of the top 10 hitters in the National League. Bryce Harper has been getting most of the attention and deservingly so. Harper isn’t just knocking the ball out of the ballpark. He’s hitting 68 points higher than his career mark and Harper’s .340 batting average is third best in the league. With the Major League Baseball All-Star fan vote closing at Continue reading ....

Max Scherzer aiming for series win in first shot at Braves

The Braves get their first look this season at Nationals ace Max Scherzer in tonight’s series finale in Atlanta. Scherzer finished June with one of the more remarkable three-game pitching performances the game has seen. He took perfect games into the sixth inning in all three starts while achieving a no-hitter, two complete-game shutouts and three wins. Scherzer surrendered just six hits in 26 innings

Nationals offense stalls in 4-1 loss

The Braves did all of their damage in the fourth inning against right-hander Doug Fister to end a nine-game losing streak against the Nationals with a 4-1 win. “I was fighting myself a little bit,” Fister said to reporters. “Period. Didn’t get my job done. I didn’t keep our team in the game and that hurts.” Fister faced only 10 batters in the first three

Homers cost Fister in Nats’ 4-1 loss

Nationals right-hander Doug Fister cruised through the Braves order the first time around, giving up just a walk to Cameron Maybin in the opening inning. Maybin bothered Fister in the fourth again, this time delivering Atlanta’s first hit to trigger a big inning. Two batters later, Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski battled Fister before ripping a 3-2 cutter over the right field wall for a two-run

Nats look to Fister for 10 in a row over Braves (game started)

The Nationals begin July in first place in the National League East, holding a 3 1/2 game lead over the Mets and leading tonight’s opponent, the Braves, by seven. Nationals manager Matt Williams will send veteran righty Doug Fister to the mound to face Braves highly-ranked right-hander Matt Wisler. It will be a rematch from last Thursday night when Fister outpitched the 22-year-old as the

Best of the Decade: Zimmerman’s walk-off welcomes Nats to new home

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. It was a sight seen before by Nationals fans, but not in this environment, not on this

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