NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

  • Chien-Ming Wang throws sim game, Lidge deals with vertigo

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 18, 2012 Comments

    Washington Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday, the first time since March 15 that the sinkerballer has faced live hitters -- and a big step in his recovery from a strained left hamstring.

  • Lidge's second save of the season not without dramatics

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 17, 2012 Comments

    Jayson Werth and Brad Lidge spent three years on the same roster in Philadelphia and whether from the outfield or the dugout, Werth watched Lidge lock down 112 saves for the Phillies. They weren't all pretty. So when Lidge entered the Nationals' 1-0 victory over the Astros in the ninth inning Tuesday night, looking for his second save of the season and trying for the second time to lock down a superb Gio Gonzalez start, Werth knew what to expect. And when Lidge gave up a leadoff double and then walked the next batter?

  • Edwin Jackson's 2011 World Series ring was delivered to him today. Photograph by Amanda Comak

    Edwin Jackson shows off his World Series ring

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 17, 2012 Comments

    Edwin Jackson was walking around the Nationals' clubhouse Tuesday afternoon showing off his latest piece of jewelry -- and this was one that everyone wanted to see. Jackson was called into manager Davey Johnson's office early Tuesday for a "surprise." Waiting for him was his 2011 World Series ring, won as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • The American flag is unfurled in the outfield at Nationals Park before Washington hosted Cincinnati on Thursday in its home opener. The Nationals beat the Reds 3-2 in 10 innings. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

    Let's talk about the Nationals' attendance

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 17, 2012 Comments

    Monday night, Stephen Strasburg took the mound and pitched for six innings. Nationals owner Ted Lerner was in attendance, as were 16,245 fans. It was the smallest Nationals Park crowd the 23-year-old phenom has ever pitched in front of.

  • Taking another look at Rick Ankiel's rocket throw and other notes from the Nationals' 6-3 victory

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 17, 2012 Comments

    Stephen Strasburg found himself in something of a jam Monday night. No outs, the bases loaded and the most accomplished hitter in the Houston Astros lineup, Carlos Lee, at the plate. Lee connected with a 1-0 fastball from Strasburg and skied it into center field. On third, Astros speedy leadoff man Jordan Schafer prepared to tag up. Then Washington Nationals center fielder Rick Ankiel fielded the ball and unleashed his left arm (link to video). The ball rocketed in to catcher Wilson Ramos on a straight line. Ramos, positioned in front of the plate, didn't move an inch. The ball hit his glove chest-high. Schafer didn't even bother trying. Plus notes on Ramos and Stephen Strasburg.

  • Danny Espinosa gets a day off and Ryan Zimmerman might soon, too

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 16, 2012 Comments

    Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa was out of the starting lineup on Monday, a mental break as Nationals manager Davey Johnson put it. The day off came as a surprise to the second baseman, who has maintained an extremely positive outlook and is happy with his approach at the plate despite the hits not falling for him just yet. Plus lineups.

  • Chien-Ming Wang to throw a simulated game Wednesday

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 16, 2012 Comments

    Washington Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will throw a simulated game on Wednesday, the first time he'll face live hitters since straining his left hamstring on March 15.

  • Washington Nationals' Michael Morse had a career year last season, hitting .303 with 31 homeruns, 95 RBI and a .360 on-base percentage. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Michael Morse talks about his injury and the harrowing possibility of surgery that was avoided

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 16, 2012 Comments

    Lounging in a brown recliner inside the Washington Nationals’ clubhouse Monday afternoon, his workout for the day finished, all Michael Morse could do was watch his teammates prepare for their game against the Houston Astros. It was a feeling he’ll have to get used to. “I feel like I’ve been shut down since camp,” Morse said with a resigned shrug, one week into a six-week shutdown period to heal his now torn right lat muscle. It could have been worse. A potential surgery, which was ultimately ruled out, would have come with a 9-12 month recovery period -- a harrowing possibility.

  • Lineups for Reds-Nationals

    By Nathan FennoPublished April 15, 2012 Comments

    Good morning from Nationals Park, where the Nationals go for the four-game series sweep against the Reds on Jackie Robinson Day.

  • Rick Ankiel returns, starts in center field

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 14, 2012 Comments

    Rick Ankiel was back inside the Nationals' clubhouse Saturday morning, his left quad feeling 100 percent healed, and his excitement level perhaps a bit higher than that of the rest of his teammates.

  • Brett Carroll designated for assignment

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 14, 2012 Comments

    In order to clear space for outfielder Rick Ankiel, who will be activated from the disabled list Saturday afternoon, the Nationals' designated outfielder Brett Carroll for assignment.

  • On Adam LaRoche's hot start and his recovery from shoulder and foot injuries

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 13, 2012 Comments

    In the Nationals' first seven games, Adam LaRoche is 10-for-29 with three extra-base hits, including two home runs. Hitting predominantly out of the cleanup spot, LaRoche has already driven in eight runs and almost all of them have been in key situations.

  • Rick Ankiel set to be activated from the DL Saturday

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 13, 2012 Comments

    The Washington Nationals will welcome back center fielder Rick Ankiel on Saturday, ending his season-opening stay on the disabled list with a left quad issue and likely slotting himself back into the Nationals' lineup as their everyday center fielder.

  • Today's lineups: Home opener redux

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 13, 2012 Comments

    The Nationals and Reds will square off for just the Nationals' third night game of the season with lineups that look familiar from Thursday's home opener.

  • Thoughts, observations and leftovers from the Nationals wild home opener

    By Amanda ComakPublished April 13, 2012 Comments

    We had plenty of coverage for you from the Nationals home opener on Thursday, from the wild pitch walk-off that Ryan Zimmerman called one of his "worst games," to Ian Desmond starting the season on a ridiculous tear, the Nationals pitching giving them a chance to win every night, the $59, eight-pound Strasburger and Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner addressing the team's expected spring training move. But, as there almost always is, there were a few things we didn't get to. So without further ado, a few thoughts, observations and leftovers...

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