Author Archives: Mark Zuckerman

A test of character turns into a wild win

US Presswire photoMichael Morse is congratulated after hitting a grand slam in the top of the 11th.
PHOENIX — Five batters hit by pitch. Two pitchers and two managers ejected. A rookie catcher purposely taking his time around the bases on a home run to rub it into the opposing dugout. A titanic collapse in the bottom of the ninth. A grand slam in the top of the 11th. A combined 341 pitches Continue reading

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Game 59: Nats at Diamondbacks

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDERThe roof at Chase Field was open this morning but will be closed for the game.
PHOENIX — Shut out the last two nights, the Nationals return to Chase Field this afternoon trying to salvage a series split with the Diamondbacks. For their sake, at least they get to face a right-hander today in Ian Kennedy.

Not that the Nats have hit any kind of pitcher this Continue reading

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Missing Zimmerman more than ever

US Presswire photoIan Desmond was safe at third in the first inning but couldn’t score.
PHOENIX — There has been no more productive hitter in baseball the last month than Michael Morse, whose .405 average since May 1 leads all major leaguers. But even Morse would be the first to admit he’s no Ryan Zimmerman, and he certainly doesn’t command the kind of respect normally afforded the Nationals’ Continue reading

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Slaten placed on DL, Stammen recalled

Updated at 6:40 p.m.

PHOENIX — The Nationals have placed struggling left-hander Doug Slaten on the 15-day disabled list with irritation of the ulnar nerve in his throwing elbow and recalled right-hander Craig Stammen from Class AAA Syracuse to take his roster spot.

After watching Slaten allow a three-run triple to Stephen Drew in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game, manager Jim Riggleman Continue reading

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Game 58: Nats at Diamondbacks

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDERChase Field hosts the third game of this four-game series.
PHOENIX — We’re about three hours from first pitch here at Chase Field, and we’re still waiting for the Nationals to post their lineup. It would appear there’s still some question whether Jayson Werth is ready to play after missing last night’s game with a swollen left elbow.

We do know Livan Continue reading

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Still searching for a win

Associated Press photoYunesky Maya couldn’t pitch through the fifth inning Friday night.
PHOENIX — The proliferation of advanced statistics has given baseball executives and fans alike new ways to look at players and performances, understanding some numbers don’t always accurately tell the story.

At the end of the day, though, the point of this sport is to help your team win games. And that’s Continue reading

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Zimmerman to play Sunday for Hagerstown

PHOENIX — Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment after playing in his second extended spring training game earlier today in Viera, Fla.

Zimmerman went 0-for-4 and played four innings in the field this morning and reported no problems with his surgically repaired abdominal muscle. He flew back to Washington this afternoon and will report to Continue reading

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Game 57: Nats at Diamondbacks

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDERYunesky Maya faces Josh Collmenter tonight at Chase Field.
PHOENIX — Yunesky Maya’s first start of 2011 wasn’t particularly impressive. If anything, it bore some significant resemblance to his five starts in 2010, when he labored to get through the fourth and fifth innings and pitched at an extremely slow pace. Tonight, the Cuban right-hander gets another Continue reading

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Morse’s staggering turnaround

PHOENIX — Asked yesterday afternoon about Michael Morse’s dramatic turnaround from April to May, Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein gave all the credit to Morse.

"He’s been able to relax a little more," Eckstein said. "He’s been able to let the ball come to him and not try to go get the ball, which is an attribute of a player whose heart is in the right place. He’s trying to get things done Continue reading

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A front-line starter emerges

US Presswire photoJordan Zimmermann turned in his sixth straight quality start Thursday night.
PHOENIX — For nearly four years, since the day the Nationals drafted him out of tiny Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Jordan Zimmermann had been more concept than reality. The right-hander would show glimpses of his immense ability, but the inconsistencies of a young pitcher along with major elbow surgery Continue reading

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