NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

  • A Washington Nationals player's hat and sunglasses sit in the dugout during spring training baseball in Viera, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    The Nationals are still trying to figure out their left-handed relief

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 12, 2013 Comments

    The Nationals are still looking to fill the void left by the three left-handers who performed so well for them in 2012: Sean Burnett, Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez. The question manager Davey Johnson has been asked recently is simple: with Ian Krol, Fernando Abad and Xavier Cedeno on the roster right now, is the personnel to do that here already?

  • Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson looks on from the dugout during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

    Nationals - Mets lineups: Davey Johnson's New York finale

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 12, 2013 Comments

    Davey Johnson arrived at Citi Field on Thursday morning for what may well be the final game he ever manages in the city that witnessed his rise to managerial stardom and he was greeted with an unwelcome surprise. Again the back pain that has plagued him on-and-off cropped up.

  • Ryan Zimmerman makes an on-point throw in the Nationals' 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night. Zimmerman also homered for the seventh time in nine games. (Associated Press photo)

    Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals continue surge with win over Mets

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 11, 2013 Comments

    Ryan Zimmerman clubbed his seventh home run in the last nine games in the Nationals’ 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night and made two sterling defensive plays to continue his recent stretch of far more characteristic play. Behind a one-hit, six-inning performance from Dan Haren, Zimmerman led the Nationals to their 10th victory in their last 14 games, and their seventh on a 10-game road trip that will end on Thursday.

  • Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos gets high fives in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning Tuesday night. (Associated Press photo)

    Wilson Ramos wants to play more consecutive games than anyone in the league

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 11, 2013 Comments

    At about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Wilson Ramos jogged out to center field at Citi Field and began his usual pre-game warm-up tosses, readying himself to catch right-hander Dan Haren's pre-game bullpen session and for his 19th straight game behind the plate for the Nationals.

  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) goes one, two, three in the first inning. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)

    Ross Detwiler continues making progress in second bullpen session

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 11, 2013 Comments

    Early Wednesday afternoon, Ross Detwiler was out in the bullpen at Citi Field with a crowd watching. As trainers and coaches gathered around, Detwiler threw 30 pitches off the mound -- fastballs and breaking balls -- and came away from his second bullpen session since July continuing to feel encouraged by his progress.

  • **FILE** Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) prepares to bat during a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Nationals - Mets lineups: Bryce Harper returns to lineup, hits cleanup

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 11, 2013 Comments

    As expected, Bryce Harper returned to the Washington Nationals' lineup on Wednesday and he was batting cleanup as the Nationals take on the Mets and young phenom Zack Wheeler.

  • Bryce Harper leaps to make what could've been a home run-robbing catch on a ball hit by Braves pitcher Tim Hudson on Tuesday night. Harper collided with the scoreboard, though, and the ball popped out of his glove and over the wall in the Nationals' loss. (Associated Press photo)

    Bryce Harper ready to return to Nationals' lineup on Wednesday

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 11, 2013 Comments

    If all goes well and the Washington Nationals' medical personnel gives him the go-ahead, outfielder Bryce Harper will return to the Nationals' lineup on Wednesday after a four-game absence. The Nationals have 18 games remaining in their regular season and as they make their frantic final push for a wild card spot, it's hard not to think back and wonder what might've been this season for Harper had injuries not gotten in his way.

  • Wilson Ramos, Jayson Werth, Rafael Soriano and Ian Desmond slap hands after sealing a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night. (Associated Press photo)

    Nationals top Mets, continue to keep playoff hopes alive

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 11, 2013 Comments

    For the most part, the Washington Nationals have remained steadfast these past few weeks in knowing what they’ve got to do. Their objective is simple: they must win. As manager Davey Johnson so bluntly put it on Tuesday night with 18 games to go, “If we win out, I like our chances.”

  • Denard Span, right, celebrates with Bryce Harper after scoring in the Nationals' win over the Brewers on Monday night. (Associated Press photo)

    Denard Span extends hitting streak to 21 games

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 10, 2013 Comments

    Span took a 20-game hitting streak into Tuesday night's game against the Mets, the longest stretch of his career and a key in helping to boost his 2013 stats as the Nationals head into the season's final weeks.

  • Miami Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis tags Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, left, after he struck out swinging during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

    Nationals hopeful Bryce Harper will return to lineup on Wednesday

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 10, 2013 Comments

    Bryce Harper stepped into the batting cage at Citi Field Tuesday evening and began crushing the ball. He sent rockets into right field, shooting them up the seats and making sure any spectators arriving early were alert and on their toes. He sent a few more to center, in his typical line-drive style. From the dugout railing, Nationals head trainer Lee Kuntz watched with a scrutinizing eye.

  • Wearing a Washington Grays Negro Leagues throwback uniform, Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Nationals - Mets lineups: Jordan Zimmermann looks for win No. 17

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 10, 2013 Comments

    Jordan Zimmermann will have a chance to become the first 17-game winner in the National League Tuesday night when he takes the mound to make his 29th start of the season.

  • Members of the military unfold a giant flag in the middle of the field during a pre-game ceremony, as the Washington Nationals play the the Miami Marlins on opening day, at Nationals Park, in Washington, DC., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew S Geraci/The Washington Times)

    Nationals' 2014 schedule opens at Mets; Braves visit for home opener

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 10, 2013 Comments

    The Nationals' first five series of 2014 will be against division foes, and they'll get a crack at every NL East team except the Phillies in that span.

  • Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, left, gets a handshake from catcher Wilson Ramos after his one-hit shutout over the New York Mets in the Nationals' 9-0 victory. Gonzalez was inches from a no-hitter. (Associated Press photo)

    Gio Gonzalez flirts with no-hitter, settles for one-hit shutout of Mets

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 10, 2013 Comments

    As Zach Lutz's seventh-inning base hit smacked the first base line, the ‘0’ that had stood so boldly in the New York Mets’ hit column was replaced with a ‘1’ and just like that Gio Gonzalez’s bid to pitch the first no-hitter in Washington Nationals’ history was finished. In the Nationals’ 9-0 blowout of the Mets, a one-hit shutout would have to do.

  • Nationals' left-hander Ross Detwiler turned in his third strong start of the season to lead the Nationals to a 6-1 victory over the Marlins, and his 0.90 ERA ranks as the sixth-best mark in the major leagues. (Associated Press photo)

    Ross Detwiler to throw second bullpen session on Wednesday

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 9, 2013 Comments

    Ross Detwiler stood on a mound for the first time since July 3 on Sunday, when he threw 20 pitches in the bullpen at Marlins Park. With no issues from the herniated disc in his back, Detwiler will throw another session on Wednesday, good progress in his return from the back injury that has cost him most of his season.

  • Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and center fielder Denard Span celebrate their back-to-back home runs in a win over the New York Mets. (Associated Press photo)

    Nationals - Mets lineups: Ian Desmond hits cleanup

    By Amanda ComakPublished September 9, 2013 Comments

    The Washington Nationals hope to have a better idea of how much longer they'll be without outfielder Bryce Harper, who flew back to D.C. over the weekend to have his left hip further examined. Until then, they'll press on without him, and Monday night that means having Tyler Moore back in left field in his place.

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