Nats Chat

40 Episodes

By: Mark Zuckerman & Al Galdi

A Washington Nationals podcast offering recap and analysis after every game, plus all the breaking news throughout the year. Hosted by Mark Zuckerman of & Al Galdi, host of "The Al Galdi Podcast". For sponsorship opportunities, contact Tim Shovers at

Game 146: Finnegan & the 'Pen Blow it Despite 15 Nats Hits
Yesterday at 12:00 AM

The Nats lost 8-6 to Miami as Kyle Finnegan allowed four runs in the 9th. Al starts off the show by relaying just how poorly the bullpen collectively pitched on Wednesday.  They gave up eight runs in just four frames between five different relievers. What's your trust level in Finnegan as he has three blown saves this season?

(13:03) Josh Rogers was the polar opposite of the bullpen as he had his third consecutive solid start.  The southpaw threw five scoreless frames, allowed only one hit, and struck out six.  What does Rogers future look like giv...

Game 145: Zim Long HR Sets Victorious Tone
Last Wednesday at 7:00 AM

The Nats beat the Marlins 8-2 on an evening where the offense had fourteen hits. Al & Mark praise Ryan Zimmerman's tape measure opposite field HR (442 feet) that went into the 2nd deck.  This picks up on our previous conversation about the potential for him to return for next season.  Hear what Zimmerman said when asked about his future after the game.

(13:46) Juan Soto reached base four more times on Tuesday and has lifted his average to .313. Mark explains how all the walks he's drawn is helping him in pursuit of Trea Turner fo...

Game 144: Alcantara Dominates + Scherzer HOF Cap Q
Last Tuesday at 6:00 AM

The Nats were shutout 3-0 by Miami and their right hander Sandy Alcantara.  Mark & Al discuss Alcantara's no hit bid which lasted until the 7th and his perfect game attempt which lasted until a 6th inning error.   Surprisingly enough, the Nationals have never been no hit in their history.  

One positive from Monday was that Keibert Ruiz was back in the linuep, just two days after being hit in the helmet.

(14:45) Ryan Zimmerman had a 9th inning pinch hit which spurs a conversation about Zim's future.  Do we know if he w...

Game 143: Corbin Solid in Win + Soto Future Contract Q
Last Monday at 1:00 AM

The Nats beat the Pirates 6-2 to avoid being swept. Al & Mark react to Patrick Corbin's second straight positive outing.   How encouraged should fans be?   How important has the veteran Alex Avila been for Corbin as Avila has caught both of the solid starts by the lefty?

(17:20) Kyle Finnegan recorded a five out save and now is 9 of 11 in save opportunities on the season. The bullpen only had to pitch two innings due to Corbin lasting seven frames for the second time this week.  How confident are we in Finnegan for the future?


Game 142: Grays Walks Six & Ruiz Exits Loss Early
Last Sunday at 6:00 AM

The Nationals lost 10-7 in Pittsburgh as Josiah Gray had his third straight poor outing. Al digs into Gray's issues of both walking too many Pirates hitters and also continuing his trend of allowing homers.

(9:58) Keibert Ruiz had an active Saturday night.  Most importantly, X rays were negative after he was hit by a pitch in the helmet in the 6th; which resulted in him leaving the game early.  Ruiz had a difficult bottom of the third; between a throwing error and blocking a runner from touching the plate.  His highlight of the evening came in...

Game 141: Lead Slips Away in the 9th + Davey Martinez Suspended
Last Saturday at 6:00 AM

The Nats coughed up their lead in Pittsburgh to fall 4-3 in a walk-off loss. Mark & Al dive into the bottom of the 9th where Patrick Murphy was unable to hold onto the edge. Should they have walked Colin Moran to load the bases with 1 out?

(11:08) Josh Rogers threw a second consecutive solid outing for Washington as he lasted until the 7th inning.

(15:24) Josh Bell was given a warm reception from Pirates fans in his first return to Pittsburgh since being dealt. Bell slugged his 26th HR of the season to lead the team.<...

Game 140: Garcia Shines in Topsy Turvy Extra Inning Loss

The Nats lost to the Braves 7-6 in a seesaw affair that last ten innings. Mark & Al note how in their final game against one of the NL East contenders for the season; the Nationals continued to be a tough team to put away. 

(4:10) Luis Garcia has had a hot September and Thursday night was probably his best game yet.  Garcia crushed a go ahead HR to dead-center and made multiple highlight reel plays in the field. Is he turning a corner?

(11:50) Juan Soto had two hits and was intentionally walked twice. His stats co...

Game 139: Bullpen & Soto Get the Last Laugh After Nolin's Ejection

The Nationals doubled up the Braves 4-2 in a game that saw a contentious opening inning.  Mark & Al recap Sean Nolin being ejected after just eight pitches for throwing at Freddie Freeman.  They explain what led to the retaliation and how it was explained afterwards by the Nats.  Was it right to throw at Freeman after what happened to Soto on Tuesday night?

(17:14) The bullpen stepped up big time by recording 26 outs from six different pitchers. How creative will Washington need to be the next few days after so many guys had to throw on Wednesday eve...

Game 138: Soto Reaches Base Five Times In Losing Effort

The Nats lost 8-5 in Atlanta to open a three game series. Al & Tim look at yet another subpar starting pitching effort, this one by Paolo Espino.  Paolo allowed five runs in five innings; lowlighted by a 3 run HR he gave up in the 1st inning to Adam Duvall.

(11:45) The Nationals tied in it the top of the 7th, but the bullpen quickly allowed the Braves to get back ahead.  Ryne Harper was the culprit as he issued a leadoff walk prior to serving up the decisive 2 run HR to Ozzie Albies.  Albert Baldanado though did imp...

Game 137: Kieboom Walk-off Hit After More Stevenson Heroics

The Nats walked off the Mets 4-3 with a Carter Kieboom single on Labor Day afternoon. Al & Mark analyze the exciting series finale that capped a five game stretch in the past four days.  For the third time over the holiday weekend, Andrew Stevenson came off the bench for a major hit in the final inning; this one a game tying RBI scoring.

(12:12) Alcides Escobar had a game big on Monday as he notched a 1st inning triple and also narrowly scored the game tying run n the 9th.   Josh Bell also made strong contributions too; he...

Game 136: Gray & Voth Each Allow Six Runs in Defeat

The Nationals lost to the Mets 13-6 in a game that was competitive until the top of the 9th.  Mark & Al recap Josiah Gray's second straight clunker of a start, which immediately began with him surrendering four runs. What is the appropriate level of concern to have on Gray right now?

(15:20) Riley Adams got the start behind the plate as opposed to Keibert Ruiz.  Mark explains why that was the case and what to maybe expect for Monday.

(18:48) The bullpen on Sunday was all over the map as a few were outstanding an...

Games 134/135: Josh Rogers' Solid Start Caps an Eventful Split Doubleheader

The Nats and Mets split their doubleheader Saturday in D.C.  Game 1 saw New York blow a 9-0 lead, but they ultimately prevailed 11-9 in extras (9 innings).  The Nationals took Game 2 by a score of 4-3 to end a seven game losing streak.

Al & Mark recap the action packed day in Navy Yard by tipping their caps to Andrew Stevenson, who homered in Game 1 to force extra innings.  Alcides Escobar and Luis Garcia also had noteworthy days at the ballpark.

(17:22) Carter Kieboom had a big day at the plate, but did get ejected from Gam...

Game 133: Rally in the 9th Not Enough + Bryce Harper Contract Q

The Nats lost 6-2 in ten innings to the Mets after Washington scored two runs in the ninth to force extras. Mark & Al dissect the final frames, highlighted by Andrew Stevenson's collision at home to score the tying run.

(8:23) Riley Adams had a huge night at the plate while getting his first start at catcher since Keibert Ruiz was called up.  Adams got on base four times Friday evening, including three hits.  How will starts at catcher be parceled out for this series?

(18:58) Juan Soto homered to give the Nationals their first ru...

Game 132: Yet Another Bullpen Collapse Against the Phillies

The Nats lost 7-6 to Philadelphia despite leading 6-0 entering the sixth inning. Mark & Al recap yet another rough day for the Nationals bullpen, which made a habit this summer of blowing leads against the Phils.  Luis Garcia played a large role in losing the lead as he made two poor plays in a row in the top of the 8th, which led to three runs.

(17:58) Paolo Espino pitched very well,  but ends up with a no-decision.  He threw five scoreless frames before allowing two runners on base in the pivotal sixth.  What has led to his...

Game 131: Robles Demoted to AAA Before Corbin Flops Again + Paolo Espino Interview!

The Nats lost 12-6 to the Phillies as Patrick Corbin's nightmare season continued.  Al & Mark begin with the surprising pregame news that Victor Robles is being sent down to AAA Rochester.  Should we have seen this demotion coming?  Will he wear a Nationals uniform again?

(15:23) Corbin had another rough outing and allowed a pair of HRs in the process.  His evening started off smooth, but everything changed starting in the fourth. At what point can we have a serious conversation on whether or not he should be moved to the bullpen?

(24:01) Brad Hand...

Game 130: Ruiz Debut Fizzles as Gray Has His First Bad Start

The Nats lost 7-4 to the Phillies to open up the eight game homestand.  Mark & Al discuss Keibert Ruiz's Washington debut, which did not meet the pregame buzz. The Nationals quickly fell behind 3-0 and Ruiz came up empty with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first.  Ruiz did hit a bloop single in the eighth to end his evening 1 for 4 at the plate. Where does Riley Adams fit in now that Ruiz will start most everyday behind the dish?

(14:20) Josiah Gray allowed six runs in four innings and immediately gave up a...

Game 129: Keibert Ruiz Getting Called Up + Fedde Loses in NY

The Nats lost 9-4 to the Mets, but the big news of the day came during pregame as Keibert Ruiz will make his Washington debut behind the plate on Monday night. Al & Tim react to the mildly surprising news that Ruiz will get called up before the calendar flips to September. Was this decision made for baseball reasons, box office reasons, or both?

(16:20)  Victor Robles yet again was not in the starting lineup,, are they giving up on him?  Luis Garcia has struggled at the plate, can you count on him to be in the 2022 Opening Da...

Game 128: Conforto Late HR the Difference + Cavalli Brief AAA Debut

The Nats lost 5-3 to the Mets as the bullpen relinquished the lead in the 7th. Al & Mark recap the solid start by Sean Nolin, who lasted until the sixth inning before the hosts dive into the pen. What to make of Nolin after he pitched well and lasted more than five frames?

(14:32) Lane Thomas got the nod in CF over Victor Robles and had a pair of doubles while hitting leadoff. Do we have ourselves a "developing situation" long term in CF?

(19:55) Alcides Escobar reminded New Yorkers of another recent SS...

Game 127: Paolo & 'Pen Extend the Mets Misery

The Nats won 2-1 in New York to open a three game series.  Mark & Al have plenty of praise to heap on the five pitchers who took the mound for Washington and they begin with closer Kyle Finnegan. 

(10:27) Paolo Espino struck out seven, singled, scored a run, and earned the win while pitching five innings.  Why does he seem to have so much success against the Mets?  Should he have come back out to pitch the sixth?

(19:43) The Nationals struggled at the plate as they struck out seventeen times.  Why was 41 year old Rich Hill...

Game 126: Corbin Takes a Big Step Backwards & Late Rally Falls Short

The Nats lost 7-5 in Miami as Patrick Corbin only lasted three innings.  Mark & Al dissect the latest with the southpaw, who took a major step back after pitching so well in Milwaukee last weekend.  What are the Nats options on what to do with Corbin?  Could they send him down to AAA for a few outings?

(16:12) Patrick Murphy struck out a pair in his Nationals debut.  Hear what Mark thought of his "stuff".

(20:01) Juan Soto drew his 100th walk of the season and crushed a 2 run HR.  Listen to how impressive his s...

Game 125: Gray vs. Cabrera Meets the Hype, but Miami Prevails in Extras

The Nats lost 4-3 in Miami in ten innings despite briefly holding the lead in the 7th. Mark & Al recap the stud pitching match-up between Josiah Gray & Edward Cabrera,  both of which are top 100 prospects per MLB Pipeline.  Gray was solid yet again for Washington, as he has been so far in all five starts since the trade.

(10:33) Keibert Ruiz has hit four homers in his past two games for AAA Rochester. Will the promotion of Cade Cavalli to Rochester delay Ruiz getting called up to Washington?

(20:11) Carter Kieboom had a rough end of...

Game 124: Fedde's Career Night + Cavalli Promoted to AAA

The Nats beat the Marlins 5-1 as Erick Fedde struck out a career high ten batters.  Al & Mark evaluate Fedde's big evening and find out how Sam Clay of all people played a big role in the successful start. Should we be excited about the outing or affix an asterisk to it because it was against last place Miami?

(10:31) The bullpen saw a flurry of roster moves including Patrick Murphy & Clay being called up and Gabe Klobosits being sent down to AAA Rochester.  Hear what there is too look for from Murphy, who wa...

Game 123: Too Many Walks + Storytime on D.C. Earthquake Anniversary

The Nats lost 7-3 in Milwaukee in another game that had a glacial pace of play.  Mark & Al continue to praise Lane Thomas as he had another impressive game while patrolling CF and hitting leadoff. Carter Kieboom also had a solid Sunday, including on the defensive end.

(19:30) Sean Nolin and the bullpen tied a franchise record by issuing 11 walks as the pitching was very difficult to watch this weekend.  Austin Voth returned to pitch a scoreless frame, where does he fit into the new bullpen hierarchy?

(29:50) Monday is the ten year anniversary of when D...

Game 122: Yelich Slams the Win Streak Shut in Four Hour Affair

The Nationals lost 9-6 in Milwaukee to halt the three game win streak.  Al laments how the game took four hours and eighteen minutes. What can be done to avoid interminable games like this one?

(5:20) Lane Thomas was given a prominent role in the lineup card as the leadoff hitter in CF. He backed up the assignment by impressing with his bat, speed, and arm.  A few other young guys made contributions as well on Saturday.

(14:57) The bullpen had two disastrous innings in the 5th & the 8th.  Al explains what went wrong on a ver...

Game 121: Corbin's Gem Leads to 3rd Straight Win

The Nats won 4-1 in Milwaukee for their third consecutive victory.  Al & Mark finally have an opportunity to praise Patrick Corbin, who was fantastic against the first place Brewers. How did the Nationals possibly "fix his glitch"?

(10:24) The bullpen had a good evening from three different relievers.  Is it OK to start feeling good about this young 'pen?

(16:28) Many young guys stepped up Friday night including Riley Adams and Lane Thomas, who combined for 3 RBIs.  It was Adams' fourth straight start behind the plate and Mark explains how the current cat...

Game 120: Gray Looks Good & the Nats Hand Revenge to Their Ex Closer

The Nats topped the Blue Jays 8-5 to complete the two game sweep.  Al & Mark assess Josiah Gray's solid outing that lasted six innings.  The only blemish on Gray's resume so far has been giving up solo HRs, of which he allowed two more on Wednesday. Gray did more than just pitch well as he had his first career hit and also made a nice play on a bunt attempt that led to a double play.

(9:29) The bullpen for the most part had a good game except for Ryne Harper who very qu...

Game 119: Adams & Co. Double Up the Jays

The Nationals snapped their seven game losing streak with a 12-6 victory over Toronto. Mark & Al look Riley Adams who dominated his former organization with three hits, including a HR. As Adams has shown promise at the plate, it provides an opportunity to handicap what the catcher situation is between Adams, Barrera, and Keibert Ruiz.

(8:57) Yadiel Hernandez homered to open the scoring.  Where might he fit in for the Nats in 2022?

(17:17) Luis Garcia made an excellent play in the field, but also committed an 8th inning error at a crucial time.  Do we know if...

Game 118: Ross' Elbow to the IL & Skid Hits 7

The Nats lost 6-5 to Atlanta for a seventh straight defeat, but the main story Sunday stemmed from pregame. Mark & Al react to the news that Joe Ross is back on the IL due to a partial UCL tear in his elbow, which could possibly lead to another Tommy John Surgery.  What might this mean for the team's rotation and also the future of Ross' career?

(16:54) The Nationals were more competitive than Saturday's rout, but still came up just short.  There were some bright spots, including Carter Kieboom at the plate, La...

Game 117: Corbin's ERA Now Above 6 After Rout

The Nationals were pulverized 12-2 by Atlanta as Patrick Corbin's ERA is now a Major League worst 6.04 among qualifying starters. Al & Mark look at the flurry of losing in the past month and a half and wonder if 100 losses this season is now in play as they are now tied for last place in the division.

(7:48) Patrick Corbin had another poor outing and is on his way to having the worst season any Nationals starter has ever had.  What is the solution since his contract has three years remaining?  What can be done to tu...

Game 116: Gray Dazzles Early But Gives up a Trio of Solo HRs

The Nats lost 4-2 to the Braves in a game that started three hours later than originally scheduled. Mark & Tim breakdown Josiah Gray's outing that was fantastic early on, but was sullied by a flurry of solo HRs that put Atlanta on top.  Should he have been sent back out for the 7th inning?

(11:10) The offense squandered many opportunities Friday night as they came up empty three times when they had two men on/ no outs. Josh Bell also was easily thrown out at home on a questionable send by Bob Henley in the 4t...

Games 114/115: Swept in New York

The Nats lost both games of their doubleheader to the Mets. Al opens with putting into perspective just how much the Nationals have struggled in the past month and a half.  They entered July 2 games over .500 and now are 15 games below that threshold.

(6:00) He then dives into the state of the bullpen, which has no anchor to it.  Kyle Finnegan gave up the game sealing HR to Pete Alonso and Tanner Rainey also struggled in his brief return to the majors.  Plus, no decision for Erick Fedde, that was a familiar mixed bag.

(15:29) The offense tot...

Game 113: Soto 3 Hits In Loss & Cavalli Throws a Shutout

The Nationals lost 8-7 to the Mets in a game that began on Tuesday night and ended Wednesday afternoon. Mark & Al respond to the only game played as the evening portion of the quasi doubleheader was rained out and instead we will have a true doubleheader on Thursday.

(5:48) Juan Soto returned to the starting lineup from his knee issue and had three hits, including a first inning HR. The hosts point out just how solid of a season he is actually having at the plate, which might catch many Nats fans by surprise.

(13:04) Joe...

Rain Delay Edition: Jim Callis Interview on Nationals Prospects

The Nats game was suspended by rain in the 2nd inning in New York as they lead 3-1 over the Mets.  Given the rainout, we decided to bring you a special edition featuring an interview with the incomparable Jim Callis of and MLB Pipeline.

Jim knows more than anyone when it comes to prospects, so no better person to hear from about Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Cade Cavalli, Brady House, and more.  We even have a Kumar Rocker mention by Jim.

The Nationals game will resume at 4:10PM on Wednesday, with a separate 7 in...

Game 112: Zimmerman Gives His Take on Corbin's Continuing Struggles

The Nats lost 5-4 in Atlanta as Patrick Corbin gave up two more homers in defeat. Mark & Al react to another disappointing outing for Corbin as he flirts with an ERA of six this season. The hosts then respond to Ryan Zimmerman's postgame comments as to why he thinks the lefty hasn't been the same pitcher since October of 2019.   

(15:38) Juan Soto was again limited to pinch hitting, which led to Josh Bell patrolling RF on Sunday.  Will Bell continue to periodically play in the outfield since Zimmerman can only play at 1B?

Game 111: Josiah Gray Throws 10 Strikeouts & Riley Adams HR Stuns Atlnta

The Nats rallied in Atlanta for a 3-2 victory to end their five game losing streak. Al & Mark react to the ninth inning where new acquisition Riley Adams hit a go ahead 2 run homer off of Braves closer Will Smith.

(7:27) Josiah Gray was terrific on the mound as he had 10 Ks in 5 IP. How excited should Nationals fans be after an outing like this?  Should Gray have stayed in the game to pitch the 6th?

(19:12) Juan Soto did not start for a second straight game, but did pinch hit in the 6th.  When should we...

Game 110: Soto Sits Due to Knee & Update from AAA

The Nats lost their fifth straight as the Braves beat them 8-4 in Atlanta. Mark & Al discuss the decision to rest Juan Soto as he tweaked his knee on Thursday.  How cautious will Washington be before he returns?

(8:35) Carter Kieboom had another RBI and has nine hits already in August. How encouraged should Nationals fan be?  

(19:29) Erick Fedde could not maintain a 5th inning lead and his evening was cut short after allowing five runs. Which is the real Fedde?  The pitcher from earlier this season or the one that we've seen thi...

Game 109: Kieboom Hot with the Bat & Cold with the Glove

The Nationals blew yet another late lead to fall 7-6 to the Phillies, resulting in a four game sweep. Al opens the with Kyle Finnegan's blown save, which puts the team at a season low eleven games under .500. He then quickly transitions into Carter Kieboom who had a very up and down game.  Kieboom had multiple hits to keep his average above .300, but had a crucial error in the 9th which led to all four Philadelphia runs counting as unearned.

(10:04) It was a wacky game and the Nats made multiple outs on the bases.  This le...

Game 108: Robles, Garcia, & Kieboom All Go Deep in Loss

The Nationals lost 9-5 to the Phillies despite hitting four homers. Al & Mark focus on the young starters who cleared the fences, especially Luis Garcia who had a pair of dingers. What is his offensive ceiling?

(11:11) Juan Soto has cooled off recently and has reverted to hitting a lot of ground balls.  Did the fire sale affected his day to day approach at the?

(18:55) Paolo Espino had his worst outing of the season as he allowed six runs in five innings and could not hang onto an early 3-0 lead.  Walter Johnson & Cy Yo...

Game 107: Corbin Folds Late + Turner Failed Extension Talks

The Nats lost 5-4 to the Phillies and Zack Wheeler.  Mark & Al analyze Patrick Corbin's start which was very good until he allowed a pair of 7th inning HRs.  He has now given up 25 home runs this season in just 21 starts.

(9:34) Wander Suero was sent down to AAA as Javy Guerra took his roster spot.  Does Mike Rizzo listen to Nats Chat? Ryne Harper pitched a solid 9th inning as many fans have been howling for him to be given high leverage opportunities.

(21:20) Riley Adams was called up less than a week aft...

Game 106: Gray Solid in Debut But Bullpen Implodes in the 9th

The Nats lost 7-5 (or was it 6-5?) to the Phillies after allowing five runs in the top of the 9th. Al & Mark evaluate Josiah "JoJo" Gray's first start as a National as he only allowed one run in five innings. 

(9:56) Mason Thompson also made his franchise debut, a relief pitcher acquired from San Diego as part of the Daniel Hudson deal, had a crucial strikeout to strand the bases loaded in the 6th.

(12:33) The bullpen conversation turns negative as Washington coughed up the lead. Why was Wander Suero the c...