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Sources: Taylor optioned to clear spot for Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals’ active roster will come at the expense of Michael A. Taylor’s longstanding place on it. The Nationals optioned Taylor to Double-A Harrisburg following last night’s win in Miami to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Zimmerman, who will be activated off the injured list before tonight’s series opener in Detroit, according to multiple sources familiar with the

Strasburg finishes strong, Adams stays hot

MIAMI - Stephen Strasburg has looked better. But the right-hander’s performance Thursday night was just as integral to the Nationals’ 8-5 victory over the Marlins as the fireworks display put on by the Nats lineup. Strasburg has long dominated the Marlins; he entered this game 9-0 with a 1.23 ERA against Miami since September 2015. But this Marlins lineup proved tougher than previous ones, in

With sweep in Miami, Nats complete climb back to .500 (updated)

MIAMI - When they left New York on the evening of May 23, the Nationals were a defeated ballclub. They were blowing games in every manner possible. Their manager’s job security appeared to be shaky. They were 12 games under .500 and facing a long, slow, unlikely climb back into contention. When they leave Miami late tonight, the Nationals will be flying sky high. They’re

Soto now putting up better numbers than as rookie (Nats up 6-4)

MIAMI - Juan Soto had one of the great seasons by a teenager in major league history, and it was only natural to question whether it was possible for the young slugger to be any better this season. Halfway through the 2019 campaign, the answer is: Yes, it is possible. There’s a long way yet to go, but heading into tonight’s series finale against the

Game 80 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - The last time the Nationals owned a .500 record, they were wrapping up a late April series in Colorado. Trea Turner was on the injured list with a fractured index finger. Anthony Rendon was out of the lineup but not yet on the IL with a bruised elbow. Ryan Zimmerman had just landed awkwardly on his right foot. Trevor Rosenthal had been on

Rizzo on bullpen changes, trade deadline mindset

MIAMI - As July creeps ever closer and thoughts of the trade deadline begin creeping into his mind, Mike Rizzo made a series of bullpen changes this week that could go a long way toward determining just how the Nationals general manager chooses to approach July 31. In releasing Trevor Rosenthal and then summoning veterans Fernando Rodney and Jonny Venters from the minors, Rizzo ostensibly

With comeback win, Nats within one game of .500 (updated)

MIAMI - The Nationals lineup needed some time to figure out Marlins rookie starter Zac Gallen tonight, a chance to watch the young right-hander up close more than once and figure him out. That also meant the Nationals needed Patrick Corbin to keep them in this game and give that lineup a chance to do something later on. Which is precisely what Corbin did. The

With Zimmerman set to return, decisions looming (Nats up 4-1)

MIAMI - Ryan Zimmerman appears to have completed his rehab assignment in Harrisburg and is on track to come off the injured list Friday when the Nationals open a weekend series in Detroit. Which means the organization and manager Davey Martinez are about to face some delicate decisions. Zimmerman’s pending return will require the Nationals to remove someone prominent from the current 25-man roster. And

Game 79 lineups: Nats at Marlins

MIAMI - The last time Patrick Corbin faced the Marlins ... well, he put forth his best performance of the season. Corbin shut out Miami on 116 pitches May 25 in D.C., a four-hitter that served as the high point for his debut season with the Nationals. It was followed, of course, by three straight subpar outings, which prompted some concern about the left-hander. Until

Scherzer’s current run ranks among best of his career

MIAMI - What’s the best seven-start stretch of Max Scherzer’s career with the Nationals? The mind immediately turns to the summer of 2015, his first in Washington, when he - in succession - tossed a one-hitter in Milwaukee, then no-hit the Pirates in D.C., then carried a perfect game into the sixth inning in Philadelphia. But that was only three starts, great as they were.

Scherzer dominates, Nationals cruise in Miami (updated)

MIAMI - If the Nationals’ primary objective over these final two weeks before the All-Star break is to take care of business against the sub-.400 competition they’re facing, they put on a clinic tonight that should be bottled up and saved for future teams to watch and admire. It helps, of course, to have peak Max Scherzer on the mound. Scherzer continued his month of

Voth to start in Detroit, Zimmerman likely to be there (Nats up 6-1)

MIAMI - Austin Voth will get a chance to make another start this weekend in Detroit. And Ryan Zimmerman is on track to be there, on the Nationals’ active roster for the first time in two months. Manager Davey Martinez confirmed what became clear Monday after the Nationals optioned Erick Fedde to Triple-A Fresno: Voth will remain in the big league rotation after his impressive

Nats asking Venters, Rodney to help stabilize improving ‘pen

MIAMI - Jonny Venters has been called up to join major league rosters under more noteworthy circumstances than this, from his major league debut with the Braves in 2010 to his return in 2018 following a six-year layoff. That doesn’t mean the 34-year-old reliever didn’t still get that familiar feeling of accomplishment when he got the call Monday to join the Nationals in Miami. “I

Game 78 lineups: Nats at Marlins (roster moves announced)

MIAMI - There isn’t nearly the kind of buzz surrounding the Nationals’ upcoming week as there was for the last one, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an important road trip for the team. It also doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy one. Though the Marlins own the National League’s worst record, they’re playing a whole lot better right now than they were

Source: Veteran Venters also joining Nats bullpen tonight

MIAMI - The Nationals are going to give another veteran reliever with shaky numbers so far this season a chance to help their bullpen during this final stretch before the All-Star break. Jonny Venters, the longtime Braves left-hander who has overcome what he describes as “3 1/2” Tommy John surgeries, will be promoted from Double-A Harrisburg before tonight’s series opener against the Marlins, a source

Slow-climbing Nats now have chance to pick up the pace

The Nationals just completed their most important homestand of the season to date. We noted it. They acknowledged it. And while the 6-4 record they posted against the Diamondbacks, Phillies and Braves may feel a bit disappointing given the opportunities they had to win a couple more games, that’s actually a good representation of what they need to do the rest of the season to

Source: Nationals calling up 42-year-old reliever Rodney

The Nationals are going to take a flyer on another late-inning reliever with a track record of success but ugly numbers this season. Fernando Rodney, the 42-year-old with 325 career saves but a 9.42 ERA in 17 big league games this season, will be promoted from Triple-A Fresno and added to the active roster before Tuesday’s series opener against the Marlins in Miami, a source

Fedde optioned to Fresno, opening door for Voth to start again

It appears Austin Voth’s fill-in start Sunday opened enough eyes to warrant another look. The Nationals have optioned Erick Fedde to Triple-A Fresno, paving the way for Voth to remain as part of the big league rotation on the heels of his impressive outing Sunday afternoon against the Braves. Fedde had assumed the No. 5 starter’s job over the last month, and had pitched well

On Voth’s velocity, a bullpen opening and Zimmerman’s rehab

Some thoughts and observations to help get you through the Nationals’ first day off in nearly two weeks before they return to action Tuesday night in Miami ... * The most significant development of Sunday’s 10-inning loss to the Braves didn’t occur in the late innings. It might well have happened in the first six, when Austin Voth authored by far the best outing of

Nationals fall in 10 to close out big week on down note (updated)

The outcome today - a 4-3, 10-inning loss - may not have been what they wanted, certainly not on the heels of Saturday night’s bullpen meltdown. But in the larger picture, the Nationals can’t be too down about what just took place on South Capitol Street. In their most important week of the season, the Nats went 4-2 against the two teams they’re chasing in

Robles sits day after dehydration scare (game tied 2-2)

Though he said this morning he felt “great” after departing Saturday night’s game with dehydration, center field Victor Robles was held out of the Nationals lineup for their series finale against the Braves. “Not starting, but he’s available,” manager Davey Martinez said. “When you have a scary moment like that ... I told him be ready to come into the game. If it was a

Conceding $8 million mistake, Nationals release Rosenthal

For one fleeting moment Friday night, the Nationals thought Trevor Rosenthal had turned the corner and could finally become a trusted member of their bullpen. But then came yet another high-profile meltdown on the mound Saturday night, and so by Sunday morning, the team made the move that had loomed for months but was put off until now. The Nationals released Rosenthal today, finally conceding

Game 77 lineups: Nats vs. Braves (Rosenthal released)

This critical week had been going about as well as possible for the Nationals. They swept the Phillies. They won Friday night’s opener against the Braves in exciting fashion. And then ... well, Saturday night’s 13-9 loss - which saw the bullpen blow a pair of late leads - obviously put a big damper on the week and suddenly put more weight on today’s finale

Finally entrusted in big spot, Rosenthal comes through

As he handed Trevor Rosenthal the baseball with the game on the line Friday night - a scenario that had not been seen around these parts since the season’s very first week - Davey Martinez had a simple message for his beleaguered right-hander. “This is your moment,” manager said to pitcher. “Enjoy it.” Given what Rosenthal has been through in 2019, why not try to

Nationals come up big to beat Braves in series opener (updated)

It’s only June 21, so there’s still the promise of far more important baseball games yet to be played. But in order for those future games to carry real importance, the Nationals know they needed to treat this June 21 game as though it was taking place on Aug. 21. And so here was Davey Martinez pulling out all the stops in tonight’s series opener

Zimmerman begins rehab assignment at Harrisburg

Ryan Zimmerman is in a starting lineup and playing in a baseball game tonight - in Harrisburg, Pa. Which suggests the veteran first baseman could be back playing in a baseball game in Washington soon. Zimmerman is beginning a long-awaited rehab assignment tonight, starting at first base and batting third for Double-A Harrisburg in his first game action in nearly two months. On the injured

Game 75 lineups: Nats vs. Braves

This week’s series against the Phillies was big. This weekend’s series against the Braves might be even bigger. The Nationals are feeling good about themselves after sweeping Philadelphia and winning 17 of 24. But now they face the hottest team in the majors, the one now comfortably in first place in the National League East. The good news: The Nats are 2-0 against the Braves

Nationals finally winning games via standout defense

It would not be accurate to refer to the Nationals as a “good defensive team.” They still rank close to the bottom of the majors in every defensive metric, both traditional and new-age. But it would be accurate to say the Nationals are playing much better defense right now than they did through the season’s first two months. Back then, it felt like they failed

Nationals blast Phillies en route to series sweep (updated)

They knew at the outset this was a big week, and they didn’t shy away from admitting that. And though they had to wait through two rainouts and watch as one of the games was rescheduled for late September, once the Nationals finally took the field against the Phillies, they got down to business and played like their season depended on it. Which, it’s not

Nationals clubhouse supports plan to extend netting

The Nationals were at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago last week when a foul ball went screaming into the stands down the third base line and struck a woman, who then needed to be hospitalized. Players had long expressed concerns about dangerous moments like that and supported the idea of extending protective nets at ballparks farther down the lines, and that incident only bolstered their

Game 74 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

The Nationals have swept a couple of two-game series this season, but they’ve yet to sweep a three-game series. This wouldn’t be a bad time to break through that barrier, would it? After taking both ends of Wednesday’s doubleheader, the Nats now have a chance with a win tonight over the Phillies to sweep the three-game set (condensed from the original four-game plan). They’re sending

Rainey steps up in highest-leverage spot to date

Slowly but surely, Davey Martinez has begun to entrust high-leverage situations to Tanner Rainey. But this was the highest-leverage situation to date, considering the score, the opponent and the overall stakes. With the Nationals up 3-1 in the top of the eighth Wednesday afternoon, and the top of the Phillies lineup set to bat, Martinez handed the ball to Rainey and watched to see how

Scherzer delivers twinbill shiner to Phillies

When his pitching days are over and the countdown to Cooperstown begins, Max Scherzer will look back at a handful of starts that defined his career. He’ll remember the two no-hitters. He’ll remember the 20-strikeout game. He’ll remember the time he became the first major leaguer in three decades to begin a season 13-0. And he’ll remember “The Black Eye Game,” the game in which

Game 73 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

They got through the opener of today’s doubleheader without incident, the skies remaining clear and the field dry throughout the Nationals’ 6-2 win over the Phillies. Now they’re hoping for similar good fortune in the nightcap of this day-night doubleheader. The forecast has steadily improved throughout the day, though there does remain a chance of rain later tonight. The Nats are confident enough in the

After long wait, Corbin and Nats get back on track (updated)

The Nationals waited 48 hours to take the field again, but Patrick Corbin had to wait a full eight days to take the mound again after a rocky start in Chicago that left the left-hander searching for an answer to his wayward command. With an extra day of rest between starts, then back-to-back rainouts to sit through, Corbin had far too much time to contemplate

Scherzer plans to pitch tonight with broken nose

If the Nationals play tonight, they expect Max Scherzer to take the mound, broken nose, black eye and all. “I am convinced right now that Scherzer is going to pitch the second game,” manager Davey Martinez said this morning before the opener of the Nationals’ scheduled day-night doubleheader with the Phillies. “And then we’ll go from there.” Scherzer broke his nose when he fouled off

Game 72 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies (take three)

Hey, let’s give this another try, shall we? After waiting out Monday night’s rain only to postpone the game, then after waiting out Tuesday night’s rain only to postpone the game, the Nationals and Phillies are theoretically going to play a day-night doubleheader today. I say theoretically, because today’s forecast is even worse, and it’s going to be this way all day and all night.

Scherzer breaks nose, status for next start TBD (game postponed)

Max Scherzer suffered a broken nose earlier today on an errant bunt attempt during batting practice, and his status for Wednesday’s scheduled start against the Phillies is to be determined, the Nationals announced this evening. Scherzer was taking BP on the field this afternoon when he bunted a ball that caromed up and struck him in the face. The right-hander returned to the clubhouse alongside

Scherzer incident, return of rain leave pitching plan up in air

The Nationals aren’t announcing their pitching plan for Wednesday’s doubleheader just yet, for multiple reasons. Including the suddenly unknown status of their ace after he bunted a ball off his face today. Max Scherzer, presumed to be starting one of the games of the day-night doubleheader against the Phillies, was taking batting practice on the field this afternoon when he bunted a ball that then

Game 72 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies (take two)

There is at least a 40 percent chance of rain in Washington every hour between 7 p.m. tonight and 11 p.m. Wednesday. The Nationals and Phillies, of course, are attempting to play three ballgames during that window. We’ll see how that all works out. For now, we’ll just focus on trying to get one game played tonight. The long-awaited series opener between these teams features

After rainout, Nationals have pitching decisions to make

The Nationals didn’t want to postpone Monday night’s series opener against the Phillies. They’d have much rather played as scheduled and not waited out a nearly 3-hour rain delay before calling it and rescheduling a day-night doubleheader for Wednesday. But after waiting through that interminable delay, one that included several rounds of rain but also several rounds of clear skies, the Nats were left with

Nats’ series opener vs. Phillies postponed after long wait

They waited through a couple early, quick downpours. Then they waited through an hour of dry skies with patches of blue above South Capitol Street. But once another downpour struck the area nearly two hours after scheduled first pitch and rain continued to fall for another hour, the Nationals postponed tonight’s series opener against the Phillies. The two teams will play a split doubleheader Wednesday,

Suzuki fine, Robles batting ninth, Rendon still fifth in voting

Though he didn’t feel great, Kurt Suzuki wasn’t particularly worried Sunday afternoon after a bounced pitch struck him in the neck. You don’t spend two decades as a catcher without getting banged up in every conceivable manner, and sure enough Suzuki had experienced this particular situation before and knew it wasn’t as serious as everyone else inside Nationals Park assumed it was. “I just knew

Game 72 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

The last time the Phillies were in D.C., the story was all Bryce Harper all the time. Harper’s first series at Nationals Park as a visiting player was a major event, and the negative reception he got from Nats fans made for quite a scene. Now as Harper returns for the second of three trips to Washington this season, the focus seemingly has shifted away

Nats need a good week, but then many more after that

This is the most important week of the Nationals’ season to date. It’s impossible not to acknowledge that, even within a clubhouse on South Capitol Street that typically tries to avoid looking at the big picture. “We’ve got to win those games,” right fielder Adam Eaton said of the seven upcoming games against the Phillies and Braves. “It’s important. We’re trying to chase at this

Nats score early and often in rout of D-backs (updated)

It’s been an uphill grind since opening day for the Nationals, who perpetually seem to dig themselves into a hole, then attempt to climb their way out of it simply to salvage the situation and keep themselves within striking distance in the standings. It’s happened countless times already this season, and it happened again this weekend. The Nats took the field this afternoon needing to

Barraclough lands on IL with nerve irritation (Nats up 10-3)

The Nationals, recognizing they couldn’t afford to keep Kyle Barraclough on their active roster much longer, decided to place the struggling reliever on the injured list today with what the team is calling radial nerve irritation. Barraclough had not previously reported any issues with his arm, according to manager Davey Martinez, and he offered up no injury-related explanation for his performance Saturday when he gave

Game 71 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks

Too often this season, the Nationals have found themselves needing to win a series finale simply to avoid getting swept or to salvage a split. If it feels like this team has been playing catch-up for 2 1/2 months now, it’s because that’s exactly what it has been doing. So today’s scenario is a familiar one: The Nats need to beat the Diamondbacks just to

How long can Nats stick with struggling Barraclough?

As damaging as Trevor Rosenthal’s early season performance was to the Nationals bullpen, Kyle Barraclough’s struggles have had nearly as much of a negative impact on that group as a whole. Barraclough, who like Rosenthal was acquired early in the offseason by general manager Mike Rizzo, was supposed to join his fellow right-hander as setup men for Sean Doolittle, offering manager Davey Martinez experience and

Strasburg pounded early, Nats can’t rally vs. D-backs (updated)

Stephen Strasburg, more often than not, has pitched deep into games this season and at worst given the Nationals a good chance to win. The Nats lineup, more often than not, has battled late even when trailing and at worst brought the tying run to the plate and given the team a good chance to win. When neither of those regular developments occurred this afternoon

After waiting it out, Nats avoid having to put Adams on IL

When Matt Adams had to depart Monday night’s game in Chicago with what he believed was an oblique injury, the Nationals understandably had reason to worry this was serious. “I’m a little concerned,” manager Davey Martinez said that night. “Whenever it’s an oblique, that’s going to be days missed.” Adams did miss three days, but that’s all he missed. He’s back in the lineup for

Game 70 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks

The Nationals don’t often oversell injuries, but it looks like perhaps they did with Matt Adams this week. When Adams departed Monday night’s game in Chicago with an oblique strain, manager Davey Martinez admitted he was concerned. And the club considered placing the big slugger on the injured list. But they decided to hold off for a couple of days and see if Adams responded

Improving Nats now face critical 11-game homestand

Unless you’ve been traveling around the country with them, you probably haven’t seen very much of the Nationals in person the last three weeks. They may be finally playing their best baseball, going 12-5 since a late-May sweep in New York, but only six of those 17 games have taken place in D.C.: four against the Marlins, two against the White Sox. So the Nats

With improvement in all phases, Nats inching back into race

They had just been swept in ugly fashion in New York. Their bullpen was a disaster. Their defensive play was sloppy. Their manager’s job security was being questioned. The Nationals were 12 games under .500 on May 24, 10 games back in the National League East, and few gave them any chance of resurrecting themselves at that point. Only a handful of teams this century

Another Corbin dud ends Nats’ road trip with a thud (updated)

CHICAGO - Just as the Nationals as a whole are rounding into shape and finally resembling a team capable of going on a sustained run, one of the most important members of their rotation - a bright spot even as the team was struggling early on - has turned into one of their biggest concerns. Patrick Corbin, pitching like an All-Star only three weeks ago,

Adams avoids injured list for now (Nats down 7-2)

CHICAGO - Davey Martinez was admittedly concerned about Matt Adams’ strained left oblique after Monday night’s game. “Whenever it’s an oblique, that’s going to be days missed,” the manager said following his team’s otherwise uplifting 12-1 thumping of the White Sox. But today brought encouraging news about the slugger, enough to keep him from going on the injured list for now. “Actually, he’s a lot

Game 67 lineups: Nats at White Sox

CHICAGO - Matt Adams has been a big part of the Nationals resurgent lineup, which has scored an MLB-high 6.44 runs per game since May 24, so his potential loss from an oblique strain wouldn’t be ideal. That said, with Howie Kendrick and Brian Dozier both red-hot at the moment, there’s room for both to start on the right side of the infield most days.

Rendon only fifth in early NL All-Star voting

CHICAGO - Anthony Rendon has an awful lot of ground to make up if he’s going to even have a chance of being elected the National League’s starting third baseman for the All-Star Game. Despite leading all NL third basemen in several statistical categories, Rendon currently ranks fifth at his position in the first round of balloting released today by Major League Baseball. That’s the

Rosenthal returns with scoreless ninth, Adams strains oblique

CHICAGO - Davey Martinez wanted to find a low-pressure situation to ease Trevor Rosenthal back into a big league game, and with his team up five runs entering the ninth inning Monday night, this looked like a good situation to do it. By the time Rosenthal actually entered from the right field bullpen, it had become a great situation to do it. The Nationals had

Sánchez cruises again, Nats bats explode in 12-1 win (updated)

CHICAGO - The Nationals signed Aníbal Sánchez over the winter because they believed the veteran right-hander could duplicate his bounceback 2018 season with the Braves by virtue of his ability to induce weak contact. For six weeks, it looked like a colossal mistake. Sánchez couldn’t get ahead of hitters, he couldn’t keep himself from issuing free passes and he couldn’t keep his ERA under 5.00.

Martinez on picking DH, using Rosenthal again (Nats lead 4-1)

CHICAGO - The Nationals’ lineup wasn’t exactly built with American League baseball in mind, but the lineup Davey Martinez will be fielding the next two nights in a quick interleague series with the White Sox certainly fits the profile. Martinez recently has had room to start only two of the three players who make up the right side of his infield: Howie Kendrick, Brian Dozier

Game 66 lineups: Nats at White Sox

CHICAGO - Good afternoon from whatever this stadium is called these days. To me, it’ll always be Comiskey Park. Or, actually, New Comiskey Park, since the original one was across the street. The Nationals make their third-ever trip here to the South Side, having won two of three both in 2011 (“The John McLaren Series”) and in 2016 (“The Beat Up on Mat Latos and

Kendrick’s gaudy numbers earning veteran All-Star praise

SAN DIEGO - Howie Kendrick stepped to the plate in the top of the eighth Sunday afternoon, the Nationals and Padres tied. It was his first at-bat of the game, manager Davey Martinez having hoped to give him a well-earned day off, but now needing his veteran utilityman to pinch-hit in a key spot. Inside the visitors’ dugout, the Nationals - to a man -

With historic homer barrage, Nats win series finale (updated)

SAN DIEGO - The first one, a pinch-hit rocket to left by Howie Kendrick, was impressive both because of the situation and the fact it gave the Nationals a lead in the top of the eighth. The second one, a 402-foot shot to center by Trea Turner, drew some oohs and aahs because it had now extended the Nationals’ lead to two runs in very

Padres’ bullpen day forces lineup decisions (Nats up 5-1)

SAN DIEGO - There are any number of factors a manager must consider when filling out a lineup card, but the identity of the opponent’s starting pitcher typically is high on the list. What, though, does a manager do when the opponent’s starting pitcher is a reliever who threw an inning the previous night and is scheduled to be the first of a parade of

Game 65 lineups: Nats at Padres

SAN DIEGO - It’s another picture-perfect day here. Too bad we have to leave after today’s series finale at Petco Park. The Nationals will hope to leave on a high note with back-to-back victories and a four-game split with the Padres. To do that, they’ll need a big start out of Stephen Strasburg in his hometown and some sustained offense against a conga line of

With 1,000th career hit, Dozier extends hot streak to 20 games

SAN DIEGO - Did Brian Dozier know, when he stepped to the plate in the top of the fourth Saturday night, that he was sitting on 999 career hits? “No,” he insisted. “I knew it was creeping up, just because of people like you guys tweeting about that kind of stuff.” Wait, does Dozier follow Nationals reporters on Twitter? “No,” he replied. “I actually deleted

Scherzer carries Nats to no-nonsense win (updated)

SAN DIEGO - After a chaotic and gut-wrenching loss Friday night, what the Nationals needed tonight more than anything else was a nice, clean game with no reason for panic. What they needed was a no-nonsense Max Scherzer start. And that’s what they got, riding their ace’s seven scoreless innings and some timely early hits to a 4-1 victory over the Padres that very briefly

Rosenthal gets another shot in bullpen (Nats lead 4-0)

SAN DIEGO - The Nationals could’ve waited until Monday to make a final decision on Trevor Rosenthal, whether to activate the reliever off the injured list at the end of a 30-day rehab assignment or whether to cut ties with him and eat the $8 million they guaranteed him over the winter. They decided to go ahead and make the move now, though, activating Rosenthal

Game 64 lineups: Nats at Padres (Rosenthal activated)

SAN DIEGO - After a couple of gloomy evenings to begin the weekend, the sun has finally come out and it’s a beautiful day here. Maybe that’s a good omen for the Nationals, who had to be feeling a bit gloomy themselves after Friday night’s walk-off loss to the Padres. Things can only get sunnier from here, right? Here’s reason for the Nationals to feel

Fedde seizing opportunity to stay in Nats rotation

SAN DIEGO - It’s not easy to look for silver linings after gut-punch losses such as the one the Nationals suffered Friday night. But in the bigger picture, it’s hard not to be encouraged by Erick Fedde right now. Long touted as a long-term part of the Nationals’ rotation, the 26-year-old finally is living up to the billing. He has now made four big league

Nats rally late, then fall apart in ninth in dagger of loss

SAN DIEGO - They got the string of clutch hits they needed to tie the game in the seventh. They got a pair of scoreless innings of relief from the two righties who have shown signs of potential as reliable setup men. And then they got the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth with good execution and then a fortuitous wild pitch from

Zimmerman ramps up again after “frustrating” rehab (Nats lose 5-4)

SAN DIEGO - Ryan Zimmerman has missed considerable time with injuries before, too many times during the course of his career. He’s dealt with setbacks. He’s had timetables for recovery extended. The bout of plantar fasciitis the Nationals first baseman has now been trying to recover from for six weeks, though, may top the list for the sheer aggravation it has caused. “It’s been really

Game 63 lineups: Nats at Padres

SAN DIEGO - The Nationals have been a much more productive team against left-handers this season than right-handers. Against lefties, they’re batting a collective .287 with an .851 OPS, both second-best in the National League (behind the Diamondbacks). Against righties, they’re batting a collective .237 with a .710 OPS, both 12th in the NL (behind a whole bunch of teams). So this weekend’s series against

Corbin seeks mechanical tweak after back-to-back duds

SAN DIEGO - It was only 13 days ago when Patrick Corbin stood at the center of the diamond at Nationals Park and got to start the end-of-game handshake line, the kind of honor that’s only possible for a starting pitcher when he records all 27 outs. That 116-pitch shutout against the Marlins represented the high point of a fantastic opening two months in Washington

Up four runs quick, Nats then go silent in San Diego (updated)

SAN DIEGO - The first 22 minutes of tonight’s ballgame at Petco Park were just lovely for the Nationals. Sure, the sky was overcast and the gametime temperature of 63 degrees wasn’t exactly what an outsider was looking for on an early summer evening in San Diego. But the four-spot posted by the visitors in the top of the first more than made up for

One more outing for Rosenthal before decision (Nats down 5-4)

SAN DIEGO - It looks like the Nationals will send Trevor Rosenthal to the mound one more time for Harrisburg before making a final decision whether to bring the erratic reliever back to the majors or cut ties with him. Rosenthal pitched back-to-back games at Double-A on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first time he’s done that since beginning a rehab assignment four weeks ago. Manager

Nats face daily bullpen dilemma: Who’s available?

SAN DIEGO - Just as he does after batting practice each evening, Davey Martinez planned to meet with each of his relievers and find how everyone’s arm was feeling. Find out who’s available to pitch in tonight’s series opener against the Padres. And find out if anyone might be unavailable to pitch because of excessive usage the last few days. It’s a daily routine, and

Game 62 lineups: Nats at Padres

SAN DIEGO - It’s an overcast, cool afternoon here at Petco Park, kind of a disappointment for anyone expecting fun in the sun on this road trip. Then again, give me a cool marine layer over East Coast humidity any day of the week. The Nationals, on the heels of an oh-so-brief, two-game homestand (and sweep) against the White Sox, are back on the road.

Hard-throwing Rainey earning Martinez’s trust out of ‘pen

If Nationals manager Davey Martinez needs him out of the bullpen in tonight’s opener of a four-game series at Petco Park against the Padres, right-hander Tanner Rainey will be ready. Being willing to pitch is a reliever’s calling card, a sure way to curry favor with a manager - no small thing when you’re a newcomer to an organization and still trying to carve out

Turner’s walk-off blast caps imperfect 6-4 win, Nats’ first home sweep

In a perfect world, Aníbal Sánchez’s second strong start off the injured list wouldn’t have been rendered an afterthought. In a perfect world, Juan Soto’s homer-robbing grab at the left field wall would get significantly more attention. In a perfect world, the Nationals would prefer not to contemplate another bullpen meltdown - or the ramifications for asking too much of too many pitchers on yet

Notes on Dozier, Robles, Rosenthal, bullpen (Nats win 6-4)

The Nationals appear to have dodged the injury bug with both second baseman Brian Dozier and center fielder Victor Robles. However, only Robles is listed in the starting lineup for today’s matinee against the White Sox. Dozier was hit in the left arm by a Reynaldo López pitch in the second inning of last night’s 9-5 Nats victory. He stayed in the game for two

Game 61 lineups: Nats vs. White Sox

A win today would not only give the Nationals their first four-game winning streak of the season, it would give them a series sweep at home for the first time this year. The Nats have won three straight series. Right-hander Aníbal Sánchez takes the mound for the home team, coming off his best outing of the season. Sánchez came off the injured list after a

Lineup delivers another big rally as Nationals stay hot (updated)

If the Nationals are going to claw their way back into a pennant race that seemingly left them in the dust 10 days ago, this is how they’re going to have to do it: With offense. Lots and lots of offense. As much as they talk about building a championship contender behind a dominant rotation, the Nationals’ biggest strength at this moment - believe it

Nats face rehab decision on Rosenthal at week’s end

Trevor Rosenthal is slated to make another rehab appearance tonight for Double-A Harrisburg, once again trying to put together the kind of clean inning of relief that convinces the Nationals he can be trusted to return to the big league bullpen again. This has been going on for nearly four weeks now, but it cannot go on long enough to reach a fifth week. The

Game 60 lineups: Nats vs. White Sox

Don’t blink or you might miss the Nationals’ homestand. Seriously, it’s only two games and tomorrow’s finale against the White Sox is a matinee. Not sure I can ever remember a homestand that brief. The Nats and White Sox actually will face each other four times over the next week-plus, with a two-game series on the South Side coming up next Monday and Tuesday. So

How the Nats are inching their way back into the race

What seemed impossible only 10 days ago suddenly looks significantly more plausible today. Yes, the Nationals still face an incredibly daunting challenge as they try to turn their season all the way around, but they’re actually taking steps in the right direction (with some help from the rest of the division). Winners of seven of their last nine, the Nats are finally starting to play

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