Rendon and Roark could be the difference-makers in 2014 postseason

One of the differences between the Nationals' 2014 postseason appearance versus their 2012 run is the emergence of a pair of sophomores. Ray Knight and I discussed this on "Nats Xtra" pregame Thursday night and I asked him about the importance of Tanner Roark and Anthony Rendon to this team. Roark has been on a tear, continues to be consistent and has the ability to ... read more

Marlins get to Gonzalez, take early advantage (Nats win 6-2)

The Marlins greeted Miami native Gio Gonzalez rudely in the second inning. Jeff Baker singled to lead off the frame. Reed Johnson, who is replacing the injured Giancarlo Stanton, then smacked a double that bounced off the center field wall and the Marlins led 1-0. Gonzalez managed to get the next three outs to end the rally. Brad Hand has not allowed a hit in ... read more

For one night, Souza and company showed why they belong

It did not result in a victory, but it was certainly intriguing to watch what amounted to the Nationals' 1A team stay with the Braves, and even lead 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Braves ended up winning 3-1, but the Nationals' starters Wednesday displayed why they belong. Tyler Moore and Steven Souza Jr., both former minor league Players of the Year ... read more

Quick notes on the playoff rotation, today's lineup, who makes October roster

The Nationals are the 2014 National League East division champions. Tonight, it's likely that manager Matt Williams will give several regulars the day off. The Braves had scheduled right-hander Alex Wood. Here's a possible starting scenario for the Nationals tonight: Starting pitcher - right-hander Blake Treinen Catcher - Sandy Leon First base - Tyler Moore Second base - Asdrubal Cabrera Shortstop - Danny Espinosa Third ... read more

Desmond and Roark lift Nationals past Braves for NL East crown

The Nationals have done it again. For the second time in three seasons, after a 3-0 shutout of the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals have won the National League East. They become the first team to clinch a division title and a playoff berth in the 2014 major league postseason, and they were able to win the pennant on Atlanta's home turf of Turner Field. Ian ... read more

Strasburg exorcises demons in dominant win over Braves; now Roark's turn

This season has been about dominant pitching. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg continued that trend with seven innings on Monday in a 4-2 win over the Braves that brought the Nationals' magic number down to two to win the National League East. The San Diego State product allowed five hits, no runs, no walks and struck out seven for his 12th win. He has never pitched this ... read more

Mets series demonstrates Rendon's long-term value

Third baseman Anthony Rendon had a memorable series against the Mets. With a base hit Sunday, Rendon finished with 11 hits in the four-game set. He scored five runs and had two doubles, two homers and three RBIs. Overall, Rendon hit an amazing .579 (11-for-19) against the Mets over the four-game series. His season average is now .289 with 20 homers and 80 RBIs. Last ... read more

Harper, Span homer as Nats beat Mets 10-3, reduce magic number to six

The Nationals were able to fight through the rain and get to Zack Wheeler in the second inning. After a walk to Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper blasted a two-run homer to the second deck in right field at Citi Field for a 2-0 Nationals lead. It was Harper's 13th homer of the season. Before the blast, Harper was 1-for-11 with six strikeouts against Wheeler, who ... read more