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Nationals routed by Cardinals, 8-1, in weekend opener

ST. LOUIS - Bryce Harper gave the Nationals a scare, but turned out to be fine. Tanner Roark, however, has not been fine for a while, and that has become a major concern for the Nats. Roark struggled once again tonight, lasting only three innings and digging the Nationals into an early hole that only got deeper as an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals played

After decade in minors, Sanchez gets the call (Nats lose 8-1)

ST. LOUIS - Adrian Sanchez was three innings into Thursday’s game with Triple-A Syracuse when he was informed he was being pulled from the game. The 26-year-old infielder had no idea what was up, had no idea what had been learned in Washington only minutes earlier: Trea Turner had a fractured right wrist. The Nationals needed another infielder to get to St. Louis ASAP, and

With Turner sidelined, Nationals turn to several replacements

ST. LOUIS - The Nationals don’t know yet exactly how long they’re going to be without Trea Turner, but they know they’re going to have to make do without their dynamic leadoff man and shortstop for a significant amount of time. And in their quest to make do, they’re going to have to ask for multiple things from multiple players. “We’ve got to carry on,”

Game 80 lineups: Nats at Cardinals

ST. LOUIS - Hello from Busch Stadium, where it was pouring only about an hour ago but has since cleared up. And, if we are to trust the forecasters, it should remain clear the rest of the evening as the Nationals and Cardinals open their three-game weekend series. The Nats arrive in town banged-up physically and mentally. They of course lost Trea Turner to a

Sanchez gets first big league promotion with Turner placed on DL

ST. LOUIS - The Nationals have promoted Adrian Sanchez from Triple-A Syracuse to take Trea Turner’s roster spot, rewarding the 26-year-old infielder with his first call-up to the big leagues after a decade in their farm system. Sanchez, who was hitting .259 with four homers and a .694 OPS in 72 games with the Chiefs, had his contract purchased, a transaction that required a corresponding

Patient and smooth again, Harper “getting his act back together”

It was one of the calmest, smoothest-looking swings Bryce Harper has taken this season, the kind that you might normally expect to result in a simple, looping single over an infielder’s head. Except this one left Harper’s bat at 110 mph and was crushed to right-center field for a first-inning double in Wednesday night’s game at Nationals Park. If you’re looking for evidence of the

Despite brief bout of back spasms, Strasburg in peak form

He may not have the ability to do it consistently every fifth day like Max Scherzer. But there are times, when he has everything working in sync, in which Stephen Strasburg can dominate an opposing lineup like nobody else. And there were times this evening in which that was the case. As Nationals manager Dusty Baker put it: “He had it going on tonight.” Save

Nationals pound Lackey, Strasburg blows away Cubs in 8-4 win

On Tuesday the Nationals used the unlikely combination of contact and speed at the plate and a low strikeout total from Max Scherzer to beat the Cubs. Tonight, they reverted back to their more typical formula for success: Their lineup clobbered the ball, and Stephen Strasburg made Chicago’s batters whiff over and over again. Behind Strasburg’s 13-strikeout performance and home runs from Anthony Rendon, Matt

Glover reveals shoulder injury, leaving his return uncertain

It doesn’t appear Koda Glover will be pitching for the Nationals anytime soon. And that could dramatically impact the way general manager Mike Rizzo approaches next month’s trade deadline. Glover revealed today he has “severe inflammation of the rotator cuff and two strains” in his right shoulder, an injury he admits he had been dealing with prior to landing on the disabled list 2 1/2

Game 78 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

It’s been a busy day already here at Nationals Park, but not because of anything the home team has done. Rather, it’s the Cubs who are making news after designating catcher Miguel Montero for assignment. You may remember Montero from last night’s postgame rant “Don’t Blame Me for Stolen Bases! Blame the Pitchers!” Well, the Cubs decided to blame Montero after all, or at least

More on Taylor’s production and Romero’s zeros

More from Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Cubs ... * There may be no more pleasant development for the Nationals this season than the development of Michael A. Taylor into a more disciplined, more productive hitter, and it was on display again in this game. Taylor was a major contributor to the win, using his legs to swipe two bases and induce a bad

Nats turn to speed-contact combo to score runs in latest victory

Any breakdown of the Nationals lineup - the majors’ most productive through the season’s first half - usually focuses on the power potential up and down the order, the depth of quality that allows this team to score runs in bunches via a string of extra-base hits. The Nationals are, believe it or not, more multi-dimensional than that, though. They do have one of the

Scherzer tops Arrieta as Nats run their way to 6-1 win over Cubs

The latest marquee pitching showdown of the season saw the Nationals’ Cy Young Award winner show up with an awfully effective performance. The Cubs’ Cy Young? He looked awfully pedestrian. Max Scherzer tossed six innings of one-run ball, retired the last 10 batters he faced and also contributed to the Nationals’ offensive onslaught against Jake Arrieta, who was knocked out before recording an out in

Updates on Werth, Glover, Kelley, Solís and Heisey

Your daily injury updates from the Nationals clubhouse, with several recovering players making progress and others still in a holding pattern as the season’s first half nears its conclusion ... * Jayson Werth participated in some portions of pregame workouts today with his teammates, the first time the veteran outfielder has done that since going on the disabled list more than three weeks ago. Werth,

Game 77 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

Rarely do you get truly elite pitching matchups like this, with the last two National League Cy Young Award winners squaring off in a game between two very good teams. So let’s appreciate Max Scherzer vs. Jake Arrieta for what it is. And then, if you’re the Nationals, hope Scherzer has yet another gem in him while Arrieta shows up hittable (as he has been

Cubs’ strategy vs. Harper changes, results with Zimmerman remain

On Monday night, the Cubs pitched to Bryce Harper in the opener of their four-game series with the Nationals. Which may not sound like a big deal, until you recall how little they pitched to the young slugger one year ago when the two clubs met. Over the course of four agonizing days at Wrigley Field in May 2016, the Cubs walked Harper an astounding

Nats experience range of emotions after comeback falls short

After seven innings tonight, the Nationals were headed toward a frustrating-but-acceptable loss to a very good opponent, unable to do anything at the plate and perhaps destined for a 1-0 defeat. After 8 1/2 innings, the Nationals were headed toward an aggravating, now-less-acceptable loss, letting the Cubs open up a 5-0 lead via a flurry of defensive miscues and fundamental execution by the visitors. But

Late rally not enough for Nats, who fall 5-4 to Cubs

No matter the Cubs’ current record, no matter what issues the defending champs are dealing with right now, the Nationals know they’re facing a real challenge this week. And if anyone didn’t realize it before tonight’s series opener on South Capitol Street, they certainly know it now. Behind stellar pitching and the kind of fundamental execution the home team lacked, the Cubs won tonight’s game

Nats working to finalize minor league deal with Francisco Rodríguez

The Nationals are finalizing a minor league deal with Francisco Rodríguez, hoping the veteran closer might resurrect himself after a horrible start to his season in Detroit that got him released last week. The deal isn’t done yet, but a club source said it is expected to be completed soon. At that point, Rodríguez would report to Triple-A Syracuse and attempt to right his wayward

Game 76 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

There is a distinct big-game vibe here at Nationals Park, with the Cubs in town for the first of a four-game series that promises to bring big crowds, plenty of media and (hopefully) some compelling baseball to South Capitol Street. The opener sees Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the Nationals, looking to continue his resurgent first half and improve to 8-1. The left-hander has

Trio of Nats continue to lead in final days of All-Star voting

They’ll have to wait along with everyone else until All-Star roster are fully announced Sunday night, but based on voting results throughout the last two months, the Nationals sure look like they’re going to be well-represented in Miami. The final ballot update was released this afternoon by Major League Baseball, and Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman continue to lead their respective positions in

Underachieving Cubs come to town for rare big series with Nats

The nature of the Nationals’ schedule so far in 2017 - and the overall state of both the National League East Division and the National League as a whole - has left this team in an unusual position: They haven’t played very many games the average observer would consider to have been “big.” The 10 head-to-head contests with the Mets to date may have drawn

As ERA balloons to 5.15, Roark tries to find the positives

This is what it has come to for Tanner Roark, who at this stage of a frustrating season has to try to find the positives, even in a start in which he gave up five runs in the top of the first and dug his team into an insurmountable hole. “I’ll build off this one and keep chugging along,” the right-hander said. For Roark, this

Reds jump on Roark early, Nationals never rally in 6-2 loss

They already had won the first two games of this weekend’s series - one via dramatic comeback, one via complete blowout - so the Nationals essentially were playing the bonus round against the Reds this afternoon. Then Tanner Roark got shelled in the top of the first, and today’s game became less about trying to get extra credit and more about just trying to survive

News and notes before today’s series finale

Some pregame news and notes before the Nationals and Reds wrap up their series ... * It got lost in the shuffle of Friday night’s extra-inning comeback win, but Daniel Murphy reached a nice career milestone: his 100th home run. That number may not carry a whole lot of weight in today’s game, but what’s most impressive in Murphy’s case is that nearly half of

Game 75 lineups: Nats vs. Reds

The Nationals go for a series sweep today, having already beaten the Reds twice (a 10-inning thriller on Friday, then an 18-3 rout on Saturday) this weekend. They’ll attempt to do so with several regulars getting a rest, including Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters. That’s nothing new, of course, and with this series in the bag and the Cubs coming to town tomorrow for a

More on the bullpen, Difo’s debut in center and Storen’s return

There were no shortage of noteworthy developments in last night’s 6-5 10-inning win. We’ve already addressed a few of them - the game-winning rally, Brian Goodwin’s two-homer night, Stephen Strasburg’s struggles in the humidity - but let’s run through some more items of interest before turning the page to today’s game ... * The Nationals bullpen was good. Really good. Like, five scoreless innings good.

With two-out rally, Nationals find a way to walk off Reds

It takes a certain kind of mentality to bat second in the big leagues, where the job often is less about producing yourself and more about making sure the big boppers behind you get the best opportunities to produce with runners on base. That feeling is only magnified when the guy batting second is a rookie with 130 career plate appearances and the guys batting

Harper’s clutch hit propels Nats to 6-5 win in 10 innings

The Nationals waited 10 innings to produce their first hit with a man in scoring position all night. The wait was worth it. Bryce Harper’s laser of a single to the warning track in right field brought home Trea Turner from third base and gave the Nationals a 6-5, 10-inning victory over the Reds to cap a night that included plenty of frustrating moments but

Solís close to returning from DL, Werth and Glover need more time

The Nationals hoped they’d have Jayson Werth and Koda Glover back by now. Turns out the player closest to returning from the disabled list is Sammy Solís. Solís has made four rehab appearances for Triple-A Syracuse, including back-to-back games earlier this week, and appears to be on the verge of rejoining the Nationals bullpen. “Sammy Solis is getting close,” manager Dusty Baker said this afternoon.

Game 73 lineups: Nats vs. Reds

And we’re back on South Capitol Street, where the Nationals return home for the better part of the last stretch of the season’s first half. They are scheduled to play each of the next 17 days before the All-Star break, but 14 of those games will take place right here at Nationals Park, a welcome relief. It begins tonight with the opener of a weekend

Friday morning Nats Q&A

The Nationals just enjoyed their first day off in three weeks and now prepare to play 17 more games in 17 days before the All-Star break. And if the season’s first 2 3/4 months are any indication, this last stretch of the first half should end up being quite interesting. Before they get back to work tonight against the Reds, though, let’s take some time

After 20 games in 20 days, finally a break for weary Nationals

MIAMI - It began nearly three weeks ago in Oakland, with Bryce Harper serving his suspension, Jayson Werth and Koda Glover healthy, the Nationals coming off a sweep in San Francisco and the NBA Finals just getting underway next door. It finally ended yesterday afternoon in Miami, with Max Scherzer losing a no-hitter (and the game) in the bottom of the eighth, Anthony Rendon returning

From no-hitter to no-win, Nats try to process gut-wrenching loss

MIAMI - When it was over, once they had a few minutes to let it sink in and let their understandably simmering emotions cool down a bit, the Nationals were left to ponder a simple question: How did that just happen? How did the story of today’s series finale at Marlins Park transform from Max Scherzer authoring what sure looked to everyone like the third

Scherzer loses no-hitter, then game, in agonizing fashion

MIAMI - The list is one of the most exclusive in baseball history, with a bunch of names instantly recognizable even to casual fans. Only four men have ever thrown three career no-hitters in the modern era: Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Cy Young and Bob Feller. And Max Scherzer came oh so close to becoming the fifth. Before, in staggering and sudden fashion, taking the

Scherzer trying to do something special again (Nats lose 2-1)

MIAMI - Max Scherzer is doing it again. “It” can mean several things for the Nationals ace, so we’ll have to specify in this particular instance. Through three innings, Scherzer has not yet surrendered a hit. He also has seven strikeouts, allowing only one ball to be put into play that traveled past the pitcher’s mound. Suffice it to say, he has laid the foundation

Taylor scratched from lineup, but Rendon returns

MIAMI - The Nationals wrap up their 20-games-in-20-days stretch this afternoon, and not a moment too soon for a club that sorely needs a day off because of all the players they have dealing with soreness. Michael A. Taylor was added to that list today, scratched from manager Dusty Baker’s original lineup due to an unspecified injury. “He’s a little injured,” Baker said. “Quite a

Game 72 lineups: Nats at Marlins (update: Taylor out)

MIAMI - Good morning from Marlins Park, where everyone is making a quick turnaround from last night’s game, with a 12:10 p.m. matinee on hand this afternoon. It’s only two hours to gametime, and the Nationals are only now just arriving at the park, with no batting practice planned. It’s “show-and-go,” as the kids say. The Nationals will have Anthony Rendon back in the lineup

With Rendon down, Drew steps right in and keeps hitting

MIAMI - The loss of Anthony Rendon this week to a neck stinger could have been a significant blow to the Nationals. Then again, any team that can simply plug Stephen Drew into a starting role when someone else goes down is in an awfully good position. “I like having him around a lot,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He can play second, third and short,

With each quality start, Gonzalez strengthening All-Star case

MIAMI - Gio Gonzalez wasn’t shy about admitting his goal for 2017 from the moment he arrived in West Palm Beach four months ago, walked into Dusty Baker’s office and explicitly told it to his manager. “I told Dusty that was a big goal in what I want to do this year: to focus and compete at a high level and try to make the

Nats ride Gonzalez’s quality start, flurry of hits to 12-3 romp

MIAMI - Gio Gonzalez loves pitching in Miami. A couple more starts like the one he authored tonight, and the Nationals left-hander might just find himself making an extra trip back home next month. For the All-Star Game. Gonzalez went seven strong innings in his latest quality start, the Nationals got clutch hits from Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin, Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Drew and then

Harper extends hit streak, takes over team RBI lead (Nats win 12-3)

MIAMI - Bryce Harper tried to bunt with two on and two out in the top of the third inning tonight at Marlins Park. As it turned out, the Nationals felt awfully fortunate their slugger failed to get the ball down in fair territory. After fouling off that odd bunt attempt, Harper proceeded to line the next pitch he saw from Edinson Volquez to center

Rendon out of lineup but works out on field; 25 draft picks sign

MIAMI - Anthony Rendon is out of the Nationals lineup tonight, his neck still sore after an awkward diving play that forced him out of Monday night’s series opener at Marlins Park. Rendon suffered a neck “stinger,” according to manager Dusty Baker. It’s not a typical baseball injury, and because the Nationals third baseman has never experienced it before, there seems to be less certainty

Game 71 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - It’s a new day at Marlins Park, where the Nationals will try to rebound from last night’s aggravating 8-7 loss, one that featured a host of poor performances and costly mistakes. Given how much they needed their bullpen (six total innings), the Nats will be asking for length tonight from Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez, the Miami native, is trying to continue his strong first-half

After another poor start, Roark searches for answers

MIAMI - Tanner Roark thought he had solved his problems a few weeks ago, when he emerged from a rough stretch to begin the season with three consecutive dominant starts. Now the Nationals right-hander finds himself right back where he started, still searching for answers after a third consecutive subpar outing. At this point, Roark is getting pretty mad. At himself. “My body felt good.

After losing Rendon to neck injury, Nats beat themselves up over loss

MIAMI - Tonight’s 8-7 loss to Miami was disheartening enough for the Nationals, who have suffered their share of comparable losses this season. But this one stung a little more, with players inside the visitors clubhouse at Marlins Park particularly upset because of the manner in which this game was lost. And that doesn’t even take into account the loss of Anthony Rendon to a

Nats blow early six-run lead, lose 8-7 on Ozuna’s walk-off hit

MIAMI - Up six runs against yet another division rival hopelessly trying to get within striking distance of the comfortable division leaders? What could possibly go wrong for the Nationals? Well, a lot, as it turned out. Not only did the Nats blow a six-run lead to the Marlins, their subsequent 8-7 loss in tonight’s series opener also saw Anthony Rendon depart with an apparent

Rendon departs in fifth with apparent injury (Nats lose 8-7)

MIAMI - The Nationals thought they had tonight’s series opener in hand, up six runs in the third inning. But that lead dissipated in a hurry against Tanner Roark. And if that wasn’t agonizing enough to watch, Anthony Rendon then had to be removed from the game with an apparent injury. Rendon had made a quick-reflex, diving snag of Giancarlo Stanton’s rocket grounder in the

Harper extends hit streak to 12 games with homer

MIAMI - That slump Bryce Harper appeared to be digging himself into on the West Coast a couple weeks ago? Yeah, he’s out of it. With his latest home run, Harper not only extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. He also set the tone for the Nationals on a night in which everybody is teeing off against Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino. Unfortunately,

Werth, back in D.C., still not cleared for baseball activities

MIAMI - It has been 16 days since Jayson Werth fouled a ball off his left foot, six days since the Nationals outfielder was eligible to return from the disabled list. And it’s going to continue to be a while until Werth is back in the Nats lineup. Despite initial hope he wouldn’t need more than the minimum 10 days on the DL, Werth remains

Game 70 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - Hello from beautiful - oh, who are we kidding? - Marlins Park. I will say this about the Least Popular Ballpark in the National League: At least it has a roof, because it has been pouring here all day. So weather will not be a factor for tonight’s opener between the Nationals and Marlins, nor for the rest of this three-game series. Fresh

Weekend series in New York suddenly looms large for Nationals

The Nationals have led the National League East division for all but three days this season, every day since April 16. And they’ve led the division by at least seven games every day since May 13. That’s about as comfortable as it gets this early in the baseball calendar. And yet this weekend the Nationals find themselves facing a sudden and surprising big series in

After dominant road trip, Nationals slog through 2-5 homestand

They came home one week ago, flying high after a 7-2 trip through California, and then, despite the lack of an off-day to recuperate, blew out the Orioles in a makeup game. What wasn’t there to like about the Nationals at that moment? All along, though, Dusty Baker knew this was going to be an especially difficult stretch of the season for his team. Because

Nationals ransacked by Braves 13-2 in series finale

On the heels of one of their best West Coast trips ever, the Nationals laid an egg over the last week at home. With an uninspired 13-2 loss to the Braves this afternoon, the Nats ended their homestand on a sour note. They finished 2-5 against Baltimore, Texas and Atlanta, leaving their 7-2 trip through California a distant memory. Today’s series finale might have been

Today’s draftees include Baker’s son, Cousins’ cousin (Nats lose 13-2)

On the final day of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft, the Nationals took a couple of kids with awfully recognizable last names. The Nationals drafted both Darren Baker (Dusty’s son) and Jake Cousins (Kirk’s cousin) amid their flurry of third-day picks that spanned 30 rounds. Darren Baker, 18, is an infielder who hit .396 with a .476 on-base percentage at Jesuit High School in suburban

Baker makes plea for bullpen help, discusses Alexandria shooting

Dusty Baker is tired of talking about his bullpen. But every time the subject comes up, the Nationals manager finds new ways to express his opinion and perhaps drop even more hints at the front office to address the club’s biggest - only? - glaring hole. “They’ve all struggled,” Baker said of a bullpen that enters play today with a 5.02 ERA (second-worst in

Game 65 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

The Nationals and Braves wrap up their series later this afternoon (weather permitting) and that means we get the latest round of Bryce Harper versus Julio Teheran. Harper owns no pitcher in baseball like he owns Teheran. In his career, he’s 15-for-33 with seven homers, 17 RBIs and a 1.720 OPS against the Braves right-hander. This season? He’s 2-for-2 with two homers, five RBIs and

On Murphy’s big night in the field and dispute with Porter

Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and two RBIs during the Nationals’ 10-5 victory over the Braves on Tuesday night, but he might’ve had an even greater impact on the proceedings in the field than at the plate. And in spite of a bizarre confrontation with an umpire in the top of the second inning. Murphy fielded six grounders hit his way

With pair of homers, Zimmerman etches name into franchise lore

It’s an odd existence this franchise has lived, what with 36 years spent north of the border in Montreal followed by the last 13 years in Washington, but by Major League Baseball’s definition the Expos and Nationals count as one franchise. Whether fans in either city want to embrace that definition or not, there’s no denying the talent that has worn this franchise’s various uniforms,

Zimmerman’s homers, bullpen’s zeroes give Nats 10-5 victory

Ryan Zimmerman returned to the lineup with a pair of big blasts. And the Nationals bullpen preserved a late lead for the first time on this homestand, helping snap a four-game losing streak. Zimmerman’s two home runs off R.A. Dickey paced the Nationals’ offensive barrage during tonight’s 10-5 victory over the Braves, one that avoided the kind of relief meltdown that became commonplace in previous

Zimmerman returns to lineup after three-day break

There have been times in recent years when the loss of Ryan Zimmerman for three games wouldn’t have had a dramatic effect on the Nationals, given the veteran’s well-documented struggles at the plate. Right now, though, every game Zimmerman misses is a big deal for the Nats, who understandably are thrilled to have their cleanup hitter and MVP candidate back in the lineup for tonight’s

Game 64 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

It’s an absolute scorcher here at Nationals Park today. And if last night was any indication, the ball should be flying out of the park again. The Nationals will have to hope that unlike last night, they can hit more balls out than they give up. So the challenge is on Joe Ross to duplicate his performance from over the weekend against the Orioles, when

Nationals “comfortable” Romero’s maturity won’t be an issue

In making Seth Romero their first-round draft pick this year, the Nationals know they’re getting one of the most talented amateur left-handers out there, with an arm they believe is big league-ready right now. They also know they’re getting perhaps the first-rounder with the biggest question mark attached to his name. In the end, general manager Mike Rizzo, vice president of scouting operations Kris Kline

Nats take chance with first-round pick of expelled lefty Romero

The Nationals have been willing to take risks with first-round draft picks in the past. They’ve never taken a risk quite like this, though. With their first pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft, the 25th overall selection, the Nationals selected University of Houston left-hander Seth Romero, a big left-hander with a big arm who could reach the big leagues quickly but has a major

One outing at a time, Treinen trending in the right direction

In the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of relievers, where short memories are as essential as putaway pitches, a couple of good outings are something positive to build on. For right-hander Blake Treinen, who began the season as the Nationals closer and then found himself pitching in low-leverage situations when he couldn’t handle the pressures of the ninth inning, back-to-back scoreless outings this week brought added cause for

Pair of back injuries complicate things for Baker, Nats

The sight of Joe Ross standing in the batter’s box as the Nationals’ last hope in the 11th inning signified that something was wrong with Ryan Zimmerman. But it turns out that the balky back that prevented Zimmerman from playing in Saturday’s 6-3 11-inning loss to the Rangers wasn’t the only back problems the Nats are dealing with. Closer Koda Glover, who was unable to

Scoreless after three innings (Rangers win 6-3)

We’re through three scoreless innings at Nationals Park, and if the early going is any indication, the hitters aren’t adjusting too well to the 12:05 p.m. start time after a Friday night game. Both the Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez and the Rangers’ Martín Pérez have faced the minimum nine batters, with each team getting a hit and having that player erased on a caught stealing. Gonzalez

Baker on Nationals’ challenges and son Darren’s draft future

Because of last night’s late game and tonight’s Washington Nationals Dream Foundation Gala, the Nationals weren’t required to report to the home clubhouse until 10 a.m. for this afternoon’s 12:05 p.m. game against the Rangers. But by 9:30 a.m., a steady stream of Nationals were saddling up to their lockers, readying for the middle game of the three-game interleague series. Talk about your businesslike approach.

Game 61 lineups: Nats vs. Rangers

If the Nationals want to square their weekend interleague series with the Rangers - and give themselves a chance to win the three-game set after dropping Friday night’s opener - they’ll need left-hander Gio Gonzalez to do the heavy lifting. Gonzalez (5-1, 3.03 ERA) is enjoying a renaissance season, but he’s fallen off a bit after a stellar April that saw him work at least

Roark struggles, defense falters and Nats pay price in 5-2 loss

As losses go - especially for a team that’s been streaking and putting together so many impressive wins - Friday’s 5-2 defeat to the Rangers was out of character for the Nationals. Tanner Roark flirted with danger through six innings and a batter, allowing 11 hits and stranding 10 baserunners. His defense betrayed him, with two errors contributing to three unearned runs - or the

Rangers get to Roark early (Nats fall 5-2)

If the Nationals are going to prevail in the first game of their weekend interleague series against the Rangers, they’re going to have to come from behind. Texas leads 1-0 after three innings, parlaying three consecutive singles in the third inning off Tanner Roark into the early edge. Elvis Andrus led off the inning with an infield hit to short, moved to third on Nomar

Nationals hitters appreciate stretch of deep starts by pitchers

Deep starts are especially welcome over the course of a long season because they keep relievers fresh and allow manager Dusty Baker to set up his bullpen for maximum effect. When starting pitchers work into the sixth and seventh innings - or beyond - Baker is able to play the match-up game with his bullpen arms and take some of the pressure off rookie closer

Game 60 lineups: Rangers at Nats

At first blush, tonight’s opener of an interleague series between the Rangers and Nationals looks like a classic mismatch. Washington has won eight of 10 games, while Texas, which has dropped 11 of 14, is straggling along at five games under .500 and trying to avoid falling into the American League West basement. Well, we all know games aren’t played on paper, and the Rangers

Baker on recoveries of Werth, Blanton and Solís

Left fielder Jayson Werth remains on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised left foot, and Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Thursday that he didn’t expect the veteran’s recovery to move at a rapid pace given the nature and placement of his injury. “It’s not going to be quick,” Baker said before the Nats hosted the Orioles in a makeup of the rained-out May 11

Game 59 lineups: Nats vs. Orioles (updated)

The Nationals return home from a successful nine-game West Coast road swing through San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles with a 7-2 record. But instead of the scheduled off-day, they’ve got a makeup game against the Orioles, the result of a postponement from May 11. Technically, this will be their third series against the Orioles this season - the second season in a row that

After 7-2 West Coast trip, no break for jet-lagged Nationals

LOS ANGELES - They left Washington 11 days ago, embarking on one of the longest West Coast trips they’ve ever experienced, taking a full tour of California and playing nine games against three opponents before heading home. Along the way, they saw their biggest star get into a brawl, get a four-game suspension, have that suspension reduced to three games on appeal and endure his

Nationals lament mistakes that prevented a sweep in L.A.

LOS ANGELES - If you’re going to beat Clayton Kershaw, you’re going to need somebody to come up with a big hit off the planet’s best pitcher. The Nationals got that today in the form of Ryan Zimmerman’s leadoff homer in the top of the second. And you’re going to need your own pitcher step up with an elite performance to match, or even best,

Nationals drop finale of anticipated series vs. Dodgers 2-1

LOS ANGELES - Stephen Strasburg vs. Clayton Kershaw lived up to the hype. But as Nationals fans surely know by now, these games against the Dodgers almost always come down to some key moments late against the respective teams’ bullpens. And in the finale of a fantastic, tightly contested series at Chavez Ravine, it was the Dodgers bullpen that stepped up to get the outs

Strasburg ties record, Zimmerman homers again (Nats lose 2-1)

LOS ANGELES - Stephen Strasburg has reached an impressive career milestone. Ryan Zimmerman is well on his way to surpassing one of his own. Strasburg completed his 1,000th career inning pitched early in today’s game against the Dodgers, and his strikeout of Corey Seager in the bottom of the first helped him match a major league record. With 1,666 strikeouts, Strasburg tied Kerry Wood for

Baker wants Glover to learn from emotional showdown with Puig

LOS ANGELES - Dusty Baker admittedly didn’t see what happened at the end of Tuesday night’s game because he had turned to shake hands with his coaches after the Nationals finished off a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers. Once he had a chance to watch the video and hear from others about the post-strike three encounter between Koda Glover and Yasiel Puig, the Nats manager

Game 58 lineups: Nats at Dodgers

LOS ANGELES - When this long road trip through the state of California began 10 days ago, would you have taken a 7-1 record with a chance to sweep the Dodgers in today’s finale? I think so. Today’s game, quite frankly, is gravy for the Nationals, who already took the first two in this series and now face Clayton Kershaw in a Wednesday matinee at

With eventful save in L.A., Glover keeps growing into closer role

LOS ANGELES - Dusty Baker keeps saying the only way for a closer to get experience is to, well, get experience. You don’t know how any young reliever is going to handle the pressure of the ninth inning until he starts pitching it. And you don’t know how he’s going to handle the extra pressure of a ninth inning on the road against an elite

Nats ride Scherzer’s 14 strikeouts to 2-1 victory over Dodgers (updated)

LOS ANGELES - The running joke around the Nationals is that anytime Max Scherzer takes the mound, you better watch because something special is probably going to happen. Thing is, it’s not a joke. It’s real. And these days, Scherzer is spectacular. Or as teammate Koda Glover described it: “He’s a stud.” The Nationals ace added another memorable performance to his ever-growing resume tonight, striking

Scherzer racking up strikeouts again (Nationals win 2-1)

LOS ANGELES - Max Scherzer has something special going on tonight at Dodger Stadium. No, the Nationals ace isn’t working on another no-hitter; he has allowed two clean hits in three innings, not to mention an unearned run. But through three innings, Scherzer has nine strikeouts. Even though one Los Angeles batter made an out on a ball put into play. Scherzer struck out three

Glover ready to pitch tonight, Ross to start Thursday

LOS ANGELES - When Koda Glover was unavailable to pitch Monday night against the Dodgers due to the fact he was - in manager Dusty Baker’s words - “a little sore,” it might have raised a few eyebrows among Nationals fans. It doesn’t appear you have anything to be worried about, though. Glover’s arm was indeed sore, and he informed the coaching staff shortly before

Game 57 lineups: Nats at Dodgers

LOS ANGELES - The Nationals already won 5-of-6 in the Bay Area to begin this road trip. They already won the opener of this three-game series against the Dodgers. And now they send Max Scherzer to the mound tonight. Not a bad position to be in, eh? Scherzer will be looking to pick up where he left off Wednesday night in San Francisco, when he

Nationals maximize full arsenal of lefties to topple Dodgers

LOS ANGELES - The Dodgers, as the Nationals saw firsthand last October, are awfully vulnerable against left-handed pitching. Even though they’ve improved somewhat in that regard this season, so many of their prominent batters swing from the left side of the plate that an opposing manager would be foolish not to play the matchups as much as possible when given the opportunity. Dusty Baker knew

Bullpen comes through for Nationals in 4-2 win over Dodgers (updated)

LOS ANGELES - The outcome of this week’s series at Dodger Stadium isn’t going to have a dramatic effect on the Nationals’ season. No matter the result, they’re going to head home with a winning record on this long California trip and will be comfortably in first place in the National League East. There was an understanding, though, heading into tonight’s opener that these next

Werth begins DL stint, Raburn gets start (Nationals win 4-2)

LOS ANGELES - If you’re looking for a bright spot about Jayson Werth landing on the disabled list, the fact he was able to ditch the crutches and walk around with his left foot in a protective boot today is at least somewhat encouraging. Werth was placed on the 10-day DL this afternoon, a move that was backdated to Sunday since he didn’t play in

Game 56 lineups: Nats at Dodgers

LOS ANGELES - Hello from Dodger Stadium, which looks resplendent as ever in this, its 56th year of existence. The Nationals have made their way down from the Bay Area after going 5-1 in San Francisco and Oakland. Now they face not only the toughest leg of this road trip but possibly their toughest test of the season to date in the red-hot Dodgers. The

Werth going on DL with bruised foot, Raburn getting promoted

LOS ANGELES - Jayson Werth’s left foot isn’t seriously injured, but it is injured enough to require a stint on the disabled list. The Nationals have placed Werth on the 10-day DL with a bruised foot and promoted veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn from Triple-A Syracuse to fill his roster spot for tonight’s series opener against the Dodgers. Werth fouled a ball off his foot in

Monday morning notes on Roark, Werth and the Dodgers

OAKLAND, Calif. - It got lost in the shuffle amid all those ninth-inning runs Sunday afternoon, but Tanner Roark pitched yet another impressive game and continues to resurrect what was beginning to look like a wayward season. With 7 2/3 strong innings against the Athletics, Roark extended his recent hot stretch and further distanced himself from the struggles that had consumed him only a few

After a crazy ninth in Oakland, Nats are “just glad that we won”

OAKLAND, Calif. - This was going to be Tanner Roark’s day, the latest in a string of dominant starts by the right-hander, who has turned his season around in the process. Then this was going to be Ryan Zimmerman’s day, the latest in a string of clutch hits by the slugger, whose three-run homer off Ryan Madson in the top of the eighth inning got

Nationals hang on for wild 11-10 win over A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. - Six years later, Ryan Zimmerman made Ryan Madson pay once again with a big blast late to win a ballgame for the Nationals. Facing the veteran reliever for the first time since 2011, Zimmerman launched a three-run homer down the left field line, breaking an eighth-inning tie and propelling the Nationals to what became a 11-10 victory over the Athletics after a

Harper returns after serving suspension in Vegas (Nats win 11-10)

OAKLAND, Calif. - Bryce Harper is back with the Nationals, back in the lineup after a four-day trip home to Las Vegas he never wanted to take but nonetheless tried to enjoy. “I’m just happy to be back,” he said. “I’m definitely happy to be back here with the guys and to be able to play today. I’m glad that’s out of the way and

Game 55 lineups: Nats at Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. - It’s a beautiful Sunday here in Oakland as the Nationals wrap up their weeklong trip to the Bay Area with one final game against the A’s, looking to bounce back from yesterday’s loss and win the three-game series before heading down to Los Angeles for the final leg of the road trip. And it’s a beautiful day for the Nationals because Bryce

With one-third of season complete, Nats like where they stand

OAKLAND, Calif. - The baseball season is long, and there are plenty of ups and downs, hot streaks and slumps for every player and every team through the course of a 162-game schedule. So it would be irresponsible to suggest that what we’ve seen so far from the Nationals, both on a team and individual level, is going to continue exactly the same way over

Nationals face decision with ineffective Ross after 10-4 loss

OAKLAND, Calif. - There really is only one question the Nationals need to answer right now, in the wake of today’s 10-4 loss to the Athletics. There may be other matters of minor significance to emerge from the game - most notably ninth-inning injuries to Jayson Werth (who fouled a ball off his left foot) and Daniel Murphy (who took a pitch off his right

Another ragged, and brief, outing for Ross (Nats lose, 10-4)

OAKLAND, Calif. - Joe Ross’ homecoming turned into a nightmare. Making his first major league start at the Oakland Coliseum, just 10 minutes from his childhood home, Ross was rocked by the Athletics and was pulled after only three laborious innings. Ross allowed seven runs (six earned), served up a pair of home runs and needed a whopping 82 pitches just to record nine outs

On Baker’s 1,800th win, the sun in Oakland and Harper’s return

OAKLAND, Calif. - Dusty Baker didn’t realize it until he was informed after the fact. But once the Nationals manager learned he had won his 1,800th career game Friday night, he - and others around him - couldn’t help but appreciate the significance. “Now you think about it.” Baker said. “My son was like: ‘Dad, that’s a lot of wins.’ Chris Speier and the coaches

Game 54 lineups: Nats at Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Nationals proved they could hit the ball out of the Oakland Coliseum at night, when the air is thick and the temperatures drop. Now they’ll see if they can do it under theoretically better conditions this afternoon when they face the A’s in the second game of their weekend series and attempt to improve to 5-0 on this road trip. Actually,

For Oakland native Ross, Coliseum debut is special event

OAKLAND, Calif. - With all due respect to the multipurpose facility here that has gone by five different names during its five decades of existence, rarely is a ballplayer excited to make his first ever appearance at the Oakland Coliseum. Consider Joe Ross the exception to the rule. And for good reason. When Ross takes the mound at the Coliseum this afternoon for the Nationals,

Nats’ latest offensive explosion includes five homers (updated)

OAKLAND, Calif. - Another late night on the West Coast, another impressive offensive performance, another dominant start. And, by extension, another convincing win for the Nationals. Tonight’s 13-3 victory over the Athletics was the Nats’ fourth straight to begin this nine-game swing through California. And like the previous three in San Francisco, it was never seriously in doubt. Michael A. Taylor, Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth,

Depleted or not, lineup continues to rake (Nats win 13-3)

OAKLAND, Calif. - No Bryce Harper, no problem for the Nationals, who continue to rake at the plate no matter who’s absent from the lineup. With Harper serving the second game of his three-game suspension, the Nats are still piling up hits in their series opener against the Athletics. They’ve already plated six runs on 10 hits through the game’s first four innings, with production

Heisey pulled off rehab assignment, not ready to return from DL

OAKLAND, Calif. - Chris Heisey has rejoined the Nationals, but that doesn’t mean he’s about to rejoin the active roster. Heisey was pulled of his rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg after only two games and four total at-bats, and flew to California to meet up with the Nats training and coaching staffs prior to tonight’s series opener against the Athletics. Out since May 24 with

Game 53 lineups: Nats at Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. - And a pleasant Friday evening to you all from the - wait, what’s this placed called these days? - oh, it’s just the Oakland Coliseum. This is only the Nationals’ second-ever trip here; they were swept back in May 2014. I wasn’t covering that series, so this actually is my first time here since the 2002 playoffs. Let’s just say it hasn’t

After day off, Nationals now face longest stretch with no break

OAKLAND - Dusty Baker knows the potential perils of pitfalls of a long West Coast trip. Between the time change, the nice weather and other distractions, it’s easy for a previously rolling East Coast club to head out this way and get thrown off track. “This is a business trip, and a lot of times this can turn into a pleasure trip,” Baker said Monday

Two months in, Zimmerman continues to produce at the plate

SAN FRANCISCO - There is still far more baseball to be played than has been played in 2017. But a not-insignificant amount of baseball has been played to date, with the calendar now turning another page. And just as was the case when April turned to May, Ryan Zimmerman still ranks among the league leaders in almost every offensive category as May turns to June.

Scherzer goes the distance on 100 pitches to beat Giants

SAN FRANCISCO - As Max Scherzer stalked his way out to the mound for the bottom of the ninth inning tonight, Dusty Baker would have been justified in sending one of his relievers down to the bullpen to begin warming up. Not because Baker didn’t believe Scherzer would be able to complete this game on his own. But with the Nationals leading the Giants by

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