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Nats pound Mets 25-4 to end long day at end of long July

First, the obvious caveat: What the Nationals did tonight on South Capitol Street has no bearing on what they do Wednesday afternoon on South Capitol Street, or in any other future game in 2018. We’ve seen this enough times this season to know there is no such thing as momentum, at least not for this Nationals club. So just take tonight’s events for what they’re

Why the Nationals essentially stood pat: “Track record”

They didn’t buy, at least not in July. They didn’t sell, at least not in the kind of significant way that had been suggested was possible. In the end, the Nationals essentially stood pat at the trade deadline, keeping Bryce Harper and everyone else on the current roster except for Brandon Kintzler, who was dealt to the Cubs for a Single-A reliever. So what message,

Nationals send Kintzler to Cubs in lone deadline deal

If the Nationals were going to sell before today’s trade deadline, they certainly had no shortage of veteran relievers on short-term contracts to offer up to other clubs. In the end, the guy they chose to move was a bit of a surprising one: Brandon Kintzler, who was dealt to the Cubs for Single-A right-handed reliever Jhon Romero. That was the club’s only move before

Decision day for Nats, with Harper at the center of it all

Four months of ups and downs, encouraging moments and discouraging moments, reasons for hope and reasons for despair come to a head today. It’s July 31, and the time has come for the Nationals front office to make some big decisions. And the biggest decision may well involve the biggest name in their organization: Bryce Harper. What would have sounded like a hoax in early

Six potential trade deadline scenarios for the Nationals

The Nationals, in the strictest of baseball senses, are off today. On the heels of a roller coaster 3-4 road trip through Milwaukee and Miami, the players and coaching staff will catch their breath today, spend time with their families and prepare to return to action Tuesday night against the Mets on South Capitol Street. The Nationals, as an organization, are by no means off

Nats go quietly in finale, now face deadline decision (updated)

MIAMI - It’s tough to imagine that the outcome of one game on July 29 in front of a crowd of 12,112 at Marlins Park that was more interested in the Talking Pitbull Bobblehead Giveaway than the actual ballgame being played would be the sole determinant whether the Nationals front office decides to be a buyer or a seller before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Club executives

Reynolds makes fourth straight start at third (Nats down 5-0)

MIAMI - Mark Reynolds has played more games in his career at third base than any other position, but the vast majority of those games came early in his career with the Diamondbacks and Orioles, a full decade ago. Reynolds didn’t spend a moment at third base in either 2016 or 2017 with the Rockies, and whatever playing time he has received with the Nationals

Game 105 lineups: Nats at Marlins (updated)

MIAMI - Is it actually possible that the fate of the Nationals’ season comes down to one game on July 29 at Marlins Park? If they win today’s series finale, they’ll reach the trade deadline with a winning record and be either five or six games back in the division. If they lose, they’ll reach the trade deadline with a losing record and be either

Despite another no-decision, a positive start for Gonzalez

MIAMI - Lost amid the hubbub over the way Saturday night’s game at Marlins Park ended was the way Gio Gonzalez pitched to ensure the outcome was still undecided in the final innings. The Nationals ultimately lost to the Marlins 2-1 in 10 innings, but not because of a poor start by their left-hander. Gonzalez authored one of his best outings of the season, allowing

Nats left frustrated by 10-inning loss, on multiple levels

MIAMI - They could have made it all moot had they simply scored at any point during the first eight innings of tonight’s game, or added the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth after tying things up with an impressive rally, despite that runner standing only 90 feet away with one out. But the Nationals did none of that, and so they left

Nats rally to tie game in ninth, then lose in 10th

MIAMI - The Nationals have proven they can win in blowout fashion, having done it each of the previous three days. It’s the close games they’re still having trouble with, and tonight was merely the latest example ... with a twist. With an opportunity to extend their winning streak to four games and potentially pick up ground again on both the Phillies and Braves, the

Injection has Strasburg optimistic he’ll be back soon (Nats down 1-0)

MIAMI - Stephen Strasburg rejoined the Nationals today and is extremely optimistic he’ll be pitching for them again in the near future after receiving a nerve-block injection in his neck two days ago. “It’s very encouraging,” the right-hander said. “I think they’ve kind of crossed all the boxes now, and it seems like it’s something that should be good to go, and I’m excited to

Game 104 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - Three wins in a row is nice. Four in a row would be nicer for a Nationals club that flat-out owns the Marlins right now. The Nats are 8-1 against them this season, 16-1 over the last calendar year. And they’ve still got 10 more games to play vs. Miami in 2018. Gio Gonzalez has been a part of that ownage. The Miami

Slowly but surely, Murphy starting to look like pre-surgery self

MIAMI - Anyone who watched Daniel Murphy in his first week back from major knee surgery could tell the veteran second baseman wasn’t himself at the plate. One of baseball’s best pure hitters the last two-plus seasons, Murphy opened his 2018 campaign 3-for-29 with five strikeouts for the Nationals. Anyone who watched Murphy in his second and third weeks back from major knee surgery could

Scherzer dominates in another Miami blowout (updated)

MIAMI - If the intention of Nationals players this weekend is to convince the front office to keep believing in their chances and not sell before Tuesday’s trade deadline, they’ve done everything they can the last 48 hours to move the needle in their preferred direction. It helps, of course, to be facing the Marlins. And to have Max Scherzer starting one of these games.

Robles activated onto Triple-A Syracuse’s roster (Nats up 9-1)

MIAMI - They may not have room for him in their crowded outfield right now, but Victor Robles is healthy again and available should the Nationals require his services before season’s end. Robles, who entered the year as the organization’s top prospect only to hyperextend his left elbow making a diving catch at Triple-A Syracuse in early April, has completed his rehab and is back

Strasburg receives shot in neck, could resume throwing Sunday

MIAMI - The Nationals have received what they believe to be good news about Stephen Strasburg, though it’s still an open question when the right-hander will be ready to pitch again. Strasburg, in Los Angeles on Thursday to have his ailing neck examined by a neurologist, was given a shot and is set to rejoin the Nationals in Miami on Saturday. He’ll need to wait

Game 103 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - The last time the Nationals won three in a row, the opponent was the Marlins. This was three weeks ago in D.C., a streak that began with a record-breaking comeback from nine runs down. Miami’s starting pitcher that evening: Pablo López, who is starting tonight’s game as well. The Nats actually didn’t get off to a good start that evening against López, who

On Milone’s start, Zimmerman’s stroke and Difo’s blunder

MIAMI - More from Thursday night’s 10-3 victory over the Marlins ... * This wasn’t the first time the Nationals needed to summon a starter from Triple-A Syracuse to fill in for a regular member of the big league rotation. They previously had called upon Erick Fedde, Jefry Rodriguez and Austin Voth for situations such as the one they faced Thursday, when Stephen Strasburg landed

Depleted Nats rally from early deficit to rout Marlins (updated)

MIAMI - Their No. 2 starter back on the disabled list with a mysterious neck injury, two of their top hitters out of the lineup and their emergency starter in a three-run hole early, the Nationals had given even their most ardent supporters no legitimate reason to be optimistic after one inning of baseball tonight at Marlins Park. If this weekend series really is going

Murphy gets night off, Reynolds subbing for Rendon (Nats lead 6-3)

MIAMI - When Daniel Murphy, originally listed in the Nationals lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Marlins, was scratched about 3 1/2 hours before first pitch, it was only natural for conspiracy theorists out there to wonder if the veteran second baseman had just become the first victim of an unexpected late-July fire sale. Rest assured, the Nationals didn’t trade Murphy, nor have they

Strasburg getting examined by neurologist in L.A.

MIAMI - Stephen Strasburg, despite a poor pitching line, didn’t report any physical issues following his start Friday night against the Braves, his first outing following a six-week stint on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Strasburg also didn’t report any problems after he threw off the bullpen mound in Milwaukee on Monday. But when the right-hander returned to the clubhouse Wednesday morning after

Game 102 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - So the tone of this weekend’s series at Marlins Park has changed just a bit, even in the last 24 hours, huh? The immediate issue: Stephen Strasburg isn’t pitching tonight as planned. He’s back on the disabled list with a neck injury, only one start after he returned from his shoulder injury. So in his place is Tommy Milone, promoted from Triple-A Syracuse

Turner is Nats’ 2018 Heart and Hustle Award nominee

Trea Turner was named the Nationals’ 2018 recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award, a deserving honor for the talented and giving shortstop, though the timing of the announcement was less than ideal on the day his manager suggested he’ll likely be benched for failing to run out a bunt during Monday night’s loss in Milwaukee. The Heart and Hustle Award is handed out annually

More on Sunday’s win and Saturday’s rainout makeup

More from Sunday’s twice-delayed, 6-2 victory over the Braves ... * Davey Martinez managed this game like it was being played in September or October. Which, to be honest, is probably how he needs to manage just about every game the rest of the way, certainly those against the Braves and Phillies. The difference was most noticeable following the second rain delay, at which point

Nats battle through two rain delays to beat Braves 6-2 (updated)

Whether it came via a Max Scherzer gem, an offensive explosion, a grind-it-out nailbiter or even a rain-shortened affair, the Nationals knew only one thing when they took the field today: They needed to win this game against the Braves, one way or another. They got their wish, but it didn’t come easily to a team that sure could’ve used a relaxing day at the

Nats trade Goodwin to Royals, bring Solís back (Nats up 5-2)

The Nationals knew they couldn’t stick with a six-man bullpen for long. They just needed to figure out how to clear a roster spot to address that need. They found a way today, trading outfielder Brian Goodwin to the Royals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan, then recalling left-hander Sammy Solís from Triple-A Syracuse to give themselves a full relief corps again. Goodwin, a member

Stress reaction will sideline Doolittle several more weeks

The Nationals are going to be without their All-Star closer a while longer than they initially expected. Sean Doolittle, who hoped the injury to his left foot that sidelined him for the first week before the All-Star break and then prevented him from pitching in the Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park, learned this weekend he’ll be out several more weeks after a follow-up MRI revealed

Game 98 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

The sun is out on South Capitol Street. At least, it is at the moment I’m typing this. It’s probably not going to stay that way through the afternoon, with more rain forecast to sweep through the region on the heels of Saturday’s deluge. The Nationals aren’t calling the series finale against the Braves off just yet, and my hunch is they’ll be more willing

Nats-Braves rained out, no makeup scheduled yet

The Nationals are going to have to wait a while longer to try to get over Friday night’s loss to the Braves and everything else that accompanied it. Tonight’s game at Nationals Park was postponed a full five hours before scheduled first pitch, with heavy rain dousing the area all morning and expected to continue straight through the evening. No makeup plans were immediately announced,

On the first base platoon and the short bullpen

More on Friday night’s 8-5 loss to the Braves that was not related to the Stephen Strasburg-Max Scherzer dugout dustup ... * Davey Martinez’s most delicate lineup decisions as the second half of the season opens is at first base, with Ryan Zimmerman back off the disabled list but Matt Adams remaining one of the team’s most productive hitters. Martinez didn’t hesitate to start Adams

Emotions in the dugout, peacekeeping in the manager’s office

The Nationals’ 8-5 loss to the Braves had ended only minutes earlier when Davey Martinez summoned Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer to his office and closed the door. It would be roughly 15 minutes before that door reopened, and though no one was revealing the precise details of what was said during that meeting, it was clear the session was necessary after what transpired in

Nats drop opener to Braves, Strasburg has words with Scherzer

They said and did all the right things before the game. They went through a spirited afternoon workout that included a focus on defense and baserunning. They all wore customized shirseys with their regular numbers on the back but the world “NATIONALS” replacing their last names. They spoke of the need to play as one and to treat every remaining series on the schedule as

Doolittle not ready yet, but Nats believe he’s close to returning

The Nationals got two of their key injured players - Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman - back from the disabled list today. They’ll have to wait a bit longer for Sean Doolittle to join them on the active roster. Doolittle, eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list today, has made significant progress in his recovery from a pinched nerve in his left foot, but

Game 97 lineups: Nats vs. Braves (Strasburg, Zimmerman active)

And away we go again. The second half of the season commences tonight, with the Nationals hosting the Braves for a big three-game series. Then again, every series is going to be big the rest of the way, with the Nats needing to make up a 5 1/2-game deficit and catch both the Braves and Phillies in the National League East. As expected, the Nationals

Five keys to the Nats turning their season around

The challenge facing the Nationals over the final 66 games of the season is significant. They not only have to make up a 5 1/2-game deficit to win their third consecutive National League East title, they have to leapfrog over two division rivals to do it. Which means there’s little margin for error, beginning with this weekend’s three-game series against the second-place Braves. Thing is,

Nationals’ first-half report card

Whew, have you recovered from All-Star Week in D.C. yet? Honestly, I haven’t. That was both an exhilarating and an exhausting few days. Fortunately, we all still get a condensed All-Star break before the Nationals return to action Friday night for their second-half opener and the opener of a big series with the Braves. We’ll look ahead to all that Friday morning, but today let’s

AL beats NL 8-6 in extra-inning home run fest (updated)

They came to watch Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper compete on the big stage against baseball’s best, to watch American League stars rarely seen in these parts like Aaron Judge and Mike Trout do their thing, to withstand brutal D.C. July humidity and dodge a few raindrops and to perhaps watch the National League actually win a 21st century All-Star Game for a change. What

Strasburg, Zimmerman on track to come off DL on Friday

Tonight’s All-Star Game - in which he’s serving as a member of Dave Roberts’ National League coaching staff - is first and foremost on his mind, but Nationals manager Davey Martinez can’t help but start thinking ahead to the resumption of the season Friday night. Especially the key players he expects to have back on his active roster for that series opener against the Braves.

Manfred, Clark offer widely different views of state of baseball

Monday night’s Home Run Derby, with Nationals slugger Bryce Harper front and center in his home ballpark, was a rousing success. On that point, Rob Manfred and Tony Clark are in complete agreement. “Bryce Harper put on one unbelievable show,” Manfred said today in the Major League Baseball commissioner’s annual Q&A session with members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “Amazing how he engaged

All-Star redemption for ex-Nats Treinen, Ramos and Vázquez

Blake Treinen sat at a table in the club level at Nationals Park, his name emblazoned beneath the All-Star Game logo behind him, his smile wide as he spoke to familiar faces about his first career selection for the Midsummer Classic. Only 20 feet to Treinen’s left sat Wilson Ramos, also smiling widely as he discussed his second All-Star appearance, though disappointed a recent hamstring

With epic show in Derby, Harper finally makes baseball fun again

The first half of the 2018 season for Bryce Harper was, to put it mildly, a grind. A batting average stuck in the .210s. Strikeouts on pitches he used to crush. A Nationals club that can’t seem to get on a consistent roll. And the underlying question of where he’s going to be playing in 2019 and beyond. Harper’s mood has reflected all of that.

Scherzer gets third career All-Star Game start (updated)

For the first All-Star Game in Washington in nearly a half-century, who better to start the game for the National League than a guy who is establishing himself as one of the best pitchers of the last half-century - oh, and who, by the way, also happens to be doing all this for the hometown club? Max Scherzer indeed will start Tuesday night’s All-Star Game

Martinez pushes right buttons as Nats win first-half finale

NEW YORK - If you’re not going to take a few chances and push some buttons you don’t normally push on the final day before the All-Star break, when are you going to do it? Davey Martinez, who on Thursday afternoon spoke of the urgency he and his Nationals needed to show in this weekend’s series against the Mets, did just that in today’s first-half

Kieboom and Garcia on repping Nats in All-Star Futures Game (updated)

If Carter Kieboom looks at home at his stall in the U.S. Team clubhouse at Nationals Park, it’s with good reason: He’s been there before. Back at the end of spring training, when the Nats hosted the Twins in the final exhibition game before the regular season, Kieboom was in a Nationals uniform, set up in a swath of temporary lockers on one side of

Harper, Murphy get day off; Gott replaces Voth on roster (Nats win 6-1)

NEW YORK - The Nationals will close out the first half of their season with a lineup that doesn’t include Bryce Harper or Daniel Murphy, and with a couple extra arms in their bullpen in case they’re needed. Both Harper and Murphy were given today’s game against the Mets off by manager Davey Martinez, who wanted to give each guy a chance to rest, for

Game 96 lineups: Nats at Mets

NEW YORK - The first half of the season wraps up today, though as has been pointed out already, the season is well beyond the actual halfway point. Today is Game 96 for the Nationals, and if they want to reach a Game 163 they’re going to have to play a whole lot better the rest of the way, beginning this afternoon. Jeremy Hellickson will

Nats have squandered chance to make up ground this week

NEW YORK - When Nationals players held their closed-door meeting following a July 4 loss to the Red Sox, they found themselves one game under .500. They were in third place in the National League East, seven games behind the first-place Braves, 5 1/2 games behind the second-place Phillies. All agreed it was time to get serious, time to start making up some ground. As

Big inning dooms Voth in debut, Nats fall below .500 again (updated)

NEW YORK - As the bottom of the fifth arrived at Citi Field, Davey Martinez knew what he needed from Austin Voth: one more scoreless inning. One more clean inning, and the rookie manager could pull his rookie starter and be content with the three early runs he allowed, at the very least giving his team a chance to come back from that three-run deficit

Mets single their way to early lead vs. Voth (Nats lose 7-4)

NEW YORK - These days, it feels like it takes four singles in a row for the Nationals to score one run. Imagine how aggravating it was for them when they watched the Mets turn that into a three-run outburst in today’s game. Despite relatively weak contact and nothing more than a single, the Mets managed to manufacture three runs in the bottom of the

Martinez meets with Harper, Gonzalez available in pen

NEW YORK - Davey Martinez said Friday night he’d speak to Bryce Harper today about the manner in which he ran out (or didn’t run out) a double-play grounder during the Nationals’ 4-2 loss to the Mets, and the rookie manager indeed met with his star outfielder this morning. The message that was delivered? “I’ve spoken to Bryce,” Martinez said, “and that’s a conversation that

Game 95 lineups: Nats at Mets

NEW YORK - Hello from Citi Field. Yes, I’ve swooped into town to cover the rest of the Nationals’ weekend series with the Mets while Byron heads back home to handle pregame and postgame hosting duties on Nats Xtra. It’s been an interesting series already, with the Nats winning Thursday night behind two homers from Anthony Rendon and one from Bryce Harper, then losing Friday

What’s really to blame for Nats’ offensive struggles?

PITTSBURGH - What’s the biggest reason the Nationals are having so much trouble consistently scoring runs this season? The easy answer, as Davey Martinez has said on more than one occasion, to blame the club’s struggles with runners in scoring position. “It’s more collectively,” the manager said after Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to the Pirates. “Individually, the guys hit the ball here and there. But it’s

Nats shut out for eighth time in 29 games, fall back to .500 (updated)

PITTSBURGH - Today’s game - aired exclusively on Facebook as part of Major League Baseball’s new arrangement with the social media giant - was viewed by only a fraction of the fans who usually watch Nationals games on traditional television. Those who didn’t tune in via their laptops or smartphones, though, didn’t really need to see firsthand what happened. They’d already seen this game countless

Strasburg lined up to return for second half opener (Nats lose 2-0)

PITTSBURGH - Stephen Strasburg is on track to take the mound for the Nationals in their first game coming out of the All-Star break. Strasburg, out since June 8 with right shoulder inflammation, made his first rehab start Tuesday night for Single-A Potomac, allowing one run on two hits in 3 1/3 innings during a 7-4 win at Lynchburg. He struck out five, walked only

Game 92 lineups: Nats at Pirates

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals and Pirates wrap up their series this afternoon at PNC Park. The Nats are looking to win two in a row and capture their second straight series. Gio Gonzalez is looking to get himself back on track. Bryce Harper is looking to make solid contact after going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts and a groundout Tuesday night. And Daniel Murphy is looking

Murphy finally finding swing, hitting .349 over last 13 games

PITTSBURGH - As much as he wanted to project an air of confidence throughout his first month back in action following major knee surgery, Daniel Murphy knew he couldn’t convince people not to believe what they were seeing with their own eyes. Murphy simply didn’t look like himself after finally making his 2018 debut for the Nationals, eight months after having microfracture surgery on his

Hellickson back to form, Nats back over .500 after 5-1 win (updated)

PITTSBURGH - It was the formula that worked so well in April and May - five dominant innings from Jeremy Hellickson, then four innings from the bullpen - but had been long forgotten as Hellickson spent June recovering from a hamstring injury and then made his first start of July while under the weather. Hellickson, though, is healthy again. And tonight he pitched like the

Voth will finally get to make MLB debut this time (Nats win 5-1)

PITTSBURGH - Austin Voth was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse today for the fourth time this season. The right-hander has yet to actually make his major league debut, but it appears safe to say it’ll finally happen this time around. Called up to swap roster spots with Jefry Rodriguez, who labored during Monday night’s 6-3 loss to the Pirates, Voth is tentatively slated to start Saturday

Doolittle to miss at least 10 days, All-Star Game with foot injury

PITTSBURGH - Sean Doolittle knew something wasn’t right in his left foot as far back as Friday, but he didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about, that all would be fine if he took a couple days off. But by the time Monday arrived and Doolittle decided to see how the foot felt when he threw off a bullpen mound and simulated fielding

Game 91 lineups: Nats at Pirates (Doolittle to DL)

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals need innings tonight from their starter. Which means Jeremy Hellickson may have to be pushed beyond the point they’ve preferred to push him so far this season. The right-hander has pitched six innings only once in 11 starts this season. He has topped the 90-pitch mark only three times. None of that may matter given the state of the Nats bullpen,

Wieters goes 1-for-4, catches full game in return from DL

PITTSBURGH - Matt Wieters’ return from the disabled list was rather uneventful. The veteran catcher went 1-for-4 at the plate, caught all eight defensive innings and allowed two Pittsburgh runners to steal second base. Of greater importance to Wieters was that his surgically repaired hamstring held up and allowed him to play a full big league game for the first time in nearly two months.

Nats can’t make up for another bad start, lose to Pirates (updated)

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals have any number of issues right now, from a super-erratic lineup equally capable of being shut out or scoring 17 runs on any given night, to a steady stream of mistakes made on the bases and in the field. None of those issues, however, can or should take priority at the moment over the most glaring problem facing this club: a

As rotation struggles, Strasburg to begin rehab (Nats lose 6-3)

PITTSBURGH - Stephen Strasburg will make a rehab start Tuesday for Single-A Potomac and remains on track to rejoin the Nationals’ rotation coming out of the All-Star break. And that’ll be not a moment too soon for a Nats ballcub that desperately needs one of its elite starters back after a brutally difficult stretch over the last month. Strasburg, who went on the 10-day disabled

With Wieters back from DL, Severino optioned to Syracuse

PITTSBURGH - Not quite eight weeks removed from right hamstring surgery, Matt Wieters is back on the Nationals’ active roster and back in the starting lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Pirates. Now the Nats can only hope the return of their No. 1 catcher makes a significant difference for a pitching staff that floundered with Pedro Severino and Spencer Kieboom behind the plate.

Game 90 lineups: Nats at Pirates (Wieters activated)

PITTSBURGH - The Nationals have scored 14 or more runs in three of their last 10 games. The Pirates have given up 17 runs twice in their last six games. So, what to expect in tonight’s series opener at PNC Park? Maybe a 1-0 nail-biter? Seriously, though, who knows what to expect from the Nats these days? They seem just as likely to hit five

The flip side of last night’s comeback

The Nationals’ record-breaking, 14-12 victory Thursday night had some eye-popping moments. Most of them were positive. But not all of them were. There were still some issues on display during 3 hours and 15 minutes of chaos on South Capitol Street. Start with the starter. Jeremy Hellickson was pounded by the Marlins, giving up nine runs in four innings, and doing all this when he

For one night, Nats do something they’d never done before

It’s easy, in hindsight, to claim you believed you could come back from nine runs down to win a major league baseball game. Deep down, there had to be plenty inside the Nationals dugout who figured they were headed for one of their most demoralizing losses of the year when the Marlins put up nine runs to their zero in the first 3 1/2 innings

Nats post largest comeback in club history, beat Marlins

There isn’t a players-only meeting in the world that can accomplish what a good old-fashioned, club-record, come-from-behind victory can. Forget about the fact the Nationals gathered after Wednesday’s loss to the Red Sox to air their grievances and vow to start playing better. That mattered not a whit if they didn’t follow it up by beating the Marlins tonight. And boy did they beat the

Pitching ill, Hellickson rocked by Marlins (Nats win 14-12)

For all the attention lavished upon Wednesday’s postgame players meeting, the only thing that really matters for the Nationals is that they start hitting, pitching and catching the ball significantly better than they have been in weeks. They haven’t been doing any of those things well so far tonight in what felt like a must-win game at the outset. One day after players held a

Rodriguez could pitch tonight; Wieters, Zimmerman near rehab

The Nationals wasted no time placing Erick Fedde on the disabled list, even though they don’t expect the right-hander to miss significant time with his shoulder injury. And they wasted no time calling up Jefry Rodriguez to replace Fedde in the rotation ... unless the rookie is needed in emergency relief of Jeremy Hellickson tonight. Fedde, who departed Wednesday morning’s game after only 25 pitches

Game 86 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins (Fedde to DL)

The Nationals are in a tough spot, we all know that. Here’s what else we know: Their final 11 games before the All-Star break come against the Marlins, Pirates and Mets. If they’ve got a major turnaround in them, now would be an opportune time to get started. The Nats have faced the Marlins only three times this season, and they won all three of

On Fedde’s shoulder, Eaton’s throw and Adams’ non-usage

The headlines Wednesday at Nationals Park focused on what happened after the home team’s 3-0 loss to the Red Sox, when players spent 15 minutes airing their grievances to each other and deciding it’s time to quit assuming they’re going to coast to another division title and start actually scratching and clawing to try to get back to the postseason. Lost in the shuffle were

Players gather, demand more from each other after latest loss

It took their 17th loss in 22 games (the club’s worst stretch since 2009), their eighth shutout in 30 games (more times than they were shut out in all of 2017) and a sub-.500 record in July (the first time that’s been the case since 2015) for someone inside the Nationals clubhouse to decide it was time to gather everyone together and let the emotions

Nats lose Fedde early, lose another game late

No matter what happened the previous night, or any other night during this agonizing stretch of baseball, the Nationals reported for work early this morning trying to feel optimistic for a change. They had Matt Adams back on the active roster only 19 days after he fractured his index finger trying to bunt. They had a full house for an 11:05 a.m. game on Independence

Fedde departs with injury in second inning (Nats down 2-0)

Whatever good vibes the Nationals hoped to get from their annual Independence Day morning game quickly dissipated in the top of the second inning when Erick Fedde walked off the mound with an apparent injury and left this reeling pitching staff in a major bind as it tries to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. Fedde threw only 25 total pitches,

Adams activated, Collins designated for assignment

When he learned he had fractured his left index finger June 15 in Toronto, Matt Adams assumed he’d be forced to miss a considerable amount of time, certainly more than a month. Only 19 days later, though, Adams is back on the Nationals’ active roster, available off the bench for today’s series finale against the Red Sox and set to rejoin the lineup this weekend

Game 85 lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox

The Nationals have lost 14 of their last 18 games. They’re seven games out of first place, 4 1/2 games out of second place. They’re a .500 club right now that can’t seem to do anything right. But you know what? It’s Independence Day in the District of Columbia, and there’s a ballgame being played today in town. It could be worse, a lot worse.

To make playoffs, Nats have to do something they’ve never done

Davey Martinez praised the Nationals for the effort they displayed during Monday night’s 4-3 loss to the Red Sox, right down to Anthony Rendon’s scorched line out to left field for the final out in the bottom of the ninth. “If they keep playing with that kind of intensity, we’ll start winning games,” the rookie manager said. “Things will turn around for us. Think about

Nats drop another one-run game, lose 4-3 to Red Sox (updated)

The Nationals keep doing just enough to lose ballgames. When they need to drive in the tying runner in scoring position, they strand him. When they need to keep a deficit at one run, they give a run back. When they need to make sure all 27 outs they make are at the plate, they make one on the bases. Is it any wonder they

Martinez preaching “less-is-more” approach (Nats lose 4-3)

When things aren’t going well, Davey Martinez is a big believer in the “less-is-more” approach. He’s a big believer in it, in part, because he saw it work firsthand last year in Chicago. The Cubs, you may have forgotten, entered the 2017 All-Star break two games under .500 and 5 1/2 games back in the National League Central. At some point that summer, manager Joe

Adams could return Wednesday, Harper working at first base

The Nationals believe they could have Matt Adams back on their active roster Wednesday, with Ryan Zimmerman on track to return next week and Matt Wieters still shooting for a return right around the All-Star break. All three injured position players took at-bats in a simulated game this afternoon, facing a couple of minor leaguers the club brought in to pitch on a day with

Game 83 lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox

It is scorching hot here in Washington, but the local ballclub is anything but hot. The Nationals just went 1-5 on a road trip through Tampa Bay and Philadelphia and have lost 12 of their last 16. They currently sit two games over .500, six games behind the Braves, three games behind the Phillies. And now they get three games against the Red Sox, owners

After string of one-run losses, Nats face tough test in Red Sox

It’s not that the Nationals are losing a lot of ballgames. It’s how they’re losing them. Though there have been a few blowouts along the way - most notably last Monday’s 11-0 drubbing at Tampa Bay - most of the Nats’ losses of late have been by the slimmest of margins. In fact, each of their last four losses has come by one run, each

Nats lose marathon in 13, drop another series to Phillies (updated)

PHILADELPHIA - The temperature was approaching triple digits, the heat index had long since surpassed it, and what remained of a crowd of 22,051 at Citizens Bank Park was saving its last ounce of energy for the moment when either the Nationals or Phillies would break their longstanding deadlock and score the run that would win this game. That moment finally came in the bottom

Three injured regulars to face live pitching Monday (3-3 after 12)

PHILADELPHIA - Matt Adams, Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters will all move a step closer to returning to the Nationals’ active roster Monday when they face live pitching in a simulated game before their teammates face the Red Sox in Washington. Adams, Zimmerman and Wieters will face a couple of minor league pitchers the Nationals are flying into town for the occasion. It’s the first

Murphy’s availability becoming daily dilemma for Martinez

PHILADELPHIA - Some 12 hours after explaining Daniel Murphy was available only in an emergency, Davey Martinez wrote out a lineup card that included Murphy as his starting second baseman for the first time this season. What changed from Saturday night to Sunday morning? The two principals offered up their explanations today as the Nationals prepared to face the Phillies for the seventh time in

Game 82 lineups: Nats at Phillies

PHILADELPHIA - As is the case across much of the country today, it is blazing hot here in Philly. Temperatures are expected to approach triple digits this afternoon, making for quite an uncomfortable setting at Citizens Bank Park as the Nationals wrap up their four-game series with the Phillies and try to get July off to a positive start after a bad June. There are

A statistical look at the season’s first half

PHILADELPHIA - June has come to an end, and not soon enough for a Nationals club that just went 9-16 in the last month. The calendar change also coincides with the halfway point of the regular season. Yes, the Nats have played 81 games now. And I’m not sure anyone expected their record at this juncture to be 42-39. That’s simply not going to cut

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