Monday, April 1, 2013

Game 1: Marlins at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nationals Park is all decked out and ready to go for Opening Day.
All the talk, all the expectations all the outrageous predictions, they mean nothing anymore. At long last we don't have to speculate on how the Nationals will perform in 2013. We'll have actual, on-field evidence beginning at 1:05 p.m. when Stephen Strasburg fires the first pitch of the season to Juan Pierre.

If you're coming to the game today, be sure to get here early. Pregame ceremonies start at 12:10 p.m., and the unveiling of the NL East championship banner will take place at precisely 12:26:30 p.m. Plan accordingly.

Nothing left to say except the two greatest words in the English language: Play ball! Updates and analysis to come...

MIAMI MARLINS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 9
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 15 mph out to RF
NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Stephen Strasburg

MARLINS
LF Juan Pierre
CF Chris Coghlan
RF Giancarlo Stanton
3B Placido Polanco
C Rob Brantly
2B Donovan Solano
1B Casey Kotchmann
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Ricky Nolasco

UMPIRES
HP Jeff Kellogg (cc)
1B Eric Cooper
2B Paul Schrieber
3B Chad Fairchild

1:00 p.m. -- OK, the pregame festivities are now complete. They unveiled the NL East Champions banner above the scoreboard. They introduced all the starters, reserves, coaches, trainers, clubhouse attendants, etc. They handed out all the postseason awards (Silver Sluggers to Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Stephen Strasburg, Gold Glove to LaRoche, Manager of the Year to Davey Johnson, Rookie of the Year to Bryce Harper and Boston chapter of the BBWAA Executive of the Year to Mike Rizzo). The Army Quartet sang the national anthem. Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Teddy Roosevelt's great-great grandson yelled out "Play Ball!" So that's what we'll do.

1:09 p.m. -- And we are underway. Stephen Strasburg's first pitch of the season is a 94 mph fastball to Juan Pierre for a strike.

1:15 p.m. -- And Ryan Zimmerman's first Web Gem of the year saves Strasburg from allowing a first-inning run. Juan Pierre led things off with a base hit to center, then advanced on Chris Coghlan's grounder and Giancarlo Stanton's flyball. But Zim saved the day by diving way to his left to snag Placido Polanco's hard grounder, then hopped to his feet and fired to first base to end the inning. Good stuff right there.

1:25 p.m. -- Well, Bryce Harper's first swing of the season produced a ball that landed in the right-field bleachers. Oh, my. What a way to start the year. Nationals Park went absolutely bonkers as the kid rounded the bases. Nats lead 1-0.

1:30 p.m. -- The key word for Strasburg this year: Efficiency. He wants to get quick outs, which in turn will allow him to pitch deeper in games. Well, two innings in, he's right on track. Only 25 pitches (16 strikes) so far, and zero strikeouts. That's what the Nats are looking for out of the big right-hander.

1:43 p.m. -- Not that there's anything wrong with a couple of strikeouts, either. Strasburg rung up both Adeiny Hechavarria and Ricky Nolasco to begin the top of the third. Add a lineout to right and Strasburg is through three scoreless innings on 42 pitches (27 strikes). Nats still up 1-0.

1:50 p.m. -- A leadoff walk by Wilson Ramos is wasted in the bottom of the third. Strasburg did his part, dropping down a sacrifice bunt, but Span (weak grounder to first) and Werth (weak flyball to center) couldn't advance the runner.

1:58 p.m. -- Now for the news you really care about: Taft lost his first-ever Presidents Race. Got tangled up with Teddy in the right-field corner. George won. So there you have it.

2:05 p.m. -- So, this Bryce Harper kid just might be decent, huh? Two at-bats, two homers. Sweet. Fancy. Moses. Four innings into the season, and he's already gotten a curtain call. Kind of interesting that he hit both bombs today on breaking balls from Nolasco: a 1-0 curveball in the first and a 3-2 slider in the fourth. 2-0 Nats after four.

2:11 p.m. -- Not to be completely outdone by his fellow No. 1 draft pick, Strasburg is having himself some kind of afternoon. He's through five scoreless innings now on only 60 pitches. He's retired 15 in a row since Pierre's leadoff single to open the game. He's barely breaking a sweat, getting a ton of groundballs and looks determined to keep going deep into this game. Still 2-0 Nats as we go to the bottom of the fifth.

2:22 p.m. -- Hmm, might be nice for someone other than Harper to produce at the plate. So far, Ramos is the only other National to reach base today, with a walk in the third and a leadoff single in the fifth. But once again, Span and Werth couldn't bring him home. Span has grounded out weakly to the right side three times today. Werth, meanwhile, struck out after a long at-bat to end the fifth with the Nats still up 2-0.

2:27 p.m. -- Make it six scoreless for Strasburg, who has needed a scant 67 pitches (43 strikes) to do it. He's taken the mound for the seventh inning only eight times in 45 career starts. He's never taken the mound for the eighth inning. Think that might change today.

2:35 p.m. -- Bryce Harper flies out to left in his third at-bat. What a bum. Actually, he made pretty good contact. He also squared around to bunt earlier in the sequence, pretty funny. Give Nolasco credit. He's pitched a fantastic game himself, only allowing three hits through six. Nats still lead 2-0 as Strasburg takes the mound for the seventh.

2:42 p.m. -- How about that? Just when it looked like Strasburg was in a jam -- first and third, one out -- Harper fired a strike to the plate to prevent Stanton from tagging up. Polanco, though, strayed too far off first base and got caught in a rundown. Stanton then took off for the plate, but the Nats were right on top of it, nailing him on the rare 7-2-3-4-2 putout.

2:46 p.m. -- Whoa, "Take On Me" during the seventh-inning stretch!

2:50 p.m. -- That's in for Strasburg. He's done after seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. Threw only 80 pitches. Tyler Clippard in for the 8th, protecting a 2-0 lead.

3:05 p.m. -- Man, it felt like Clippard might throw as many pitches in the top of the eighth as Strasburg did all day. It took the bespectacled one 23 pitches to get through the frame, but he did it without allowing a run. So it remains 2-0 Nats as we move to the bottom of the eighth and as Rafael Soriano starts to limber up in the pen.

3:12 p.m. -- Harper popped out. He's 2-for-4. What a bum. OK, here comes Soriano, trying to protect a 2-0 lead.

3:19 p.m. -- That's it. Soriano gets the save and the Nats get a 2-0 victory on Opening Day. Not a bad way to get this highly anticipated season going.

112 comments:

Brian said...

Booooooooooo Paul Schrieber

waddu eye no said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

baseballswami said...

GAME 1!!!!!!!!!

baseballjones said...

Is the game sold out, or are tickets still available?

Theophilus T. S. said...

How many Philadelphia fans in the stadium today? I'll give you an over-and-under of 9.

SCNatsFan said...

This starts the season we long suffering Expo fans have been waiting for.

DO IT BOYS!!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Unfortunately I won't be going but Go Nats! Very excited for the season to begin.

UnkyD said...

{=^D

NCNatsie said...

Wait, it's Opening Day?? Are you sure this isn't an April Fools joke?

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Congrats to Bo Porter, Rick Ankiel, Justin Maxwell and the rest of the undefeated Houston Astros. Way to go guys.

C'mon Nats. You can do it, too.

Ron In Reston said...

I'll be with you there in spirit....I really wish I could be there, but I'll have MLB on here at work so I can yell inside my head :)

Candide said...

The air is warm.

The ground has that fresh smell to it.

Tulips and daffodils are popping up all over the place.

Fresh buds are on the new maple tree we planted last summer.

And I'm leaving for the park about 11:00.

"Football means winter is coming. Baseball means spring is here." -- Tom Boswell

sm13 said...

On my way to the park. Can't wait for that first glimpse of the green cathedral!

NatsJack in Florida said...

To all my fellow Natitude buddies going to tge game today......cheer loud, have fun and root the Nats on to victory over the Fish!

See you in 3 weeks for the Cardinal and Reds series...All 7 games.

baseballswami said...

Can't go - but am watching Game 4 as a warm up. JZ warming up in the bullpen. Det looking fantastic. I will re- live this game happily. It's on MASN right now, sixth inning. 1-1. Remember how stressful it was???

MicheleS said...

1A... HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

(Sorry, been working which stinks)

Swami, watching as well. And JZ is coming in next.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, can't go. But am arranging future games with my card, hoping this works... Will be listening to Charlie & Dave in the car and loving it.

JaneB said...

I love this! Game 1! Happy opening day to all Imaginary Friends and Nats lovers. My stomach is all jumbly with excitement! GYFNG!

sjm308 said...

Over dressed with my away jacket but what a great day for baseball. So excited.

sjm308 said...

Theo, my step-daughter will be one of those 9. She just won't convert.

Theophilus T. S. said...

After Maxwell, Ankiel and Porter run over the Rangers, Nationals are already 1-0.

MicheleS said...

And really, the only thing I truly hope for is good health for all of our players.

baseballswami said...

No matter how many times I watch Jordan do that, it takes my breath away.

MicheleS said...

Swami, no matter how many times I watch the Werthquake, it takes my breath away.

baseballswami said...

Coming up soon. And in context, not just the clip. So pumped.

baseballswami said...

Most memorable Nats game ever.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

bottom of 9 on now...

baseballswami said...

Michele- you ready? Here it comes!!!

gabriel bergeron-langlois said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MicheleS said...

I am. Best At Bat EVER!

baseballswami said...

Chills. Every single time. Play ball!!!!

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

NL the URL is right but the link is broken

NatsLady said...

OK, trying again.

Strikeouts

NatsLady said...

Interesting article on strikeouts. Basically, if you are willing to strike out, you can swing sooner and harder (and "guess" more). The question is, what is the price of that advantage.

Not sure I'm buying the strikeout thing for pitchers. If you have a good D, you should use it, and save that "battle" for when you are in a jam. I'm in agreement with McCatty on that. You should be able to strike out a batter even if the batter is himself able to foul off a bunch of pitchers, but that should not be your goal.


http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/4/1/4165664/how-can-strikeouts-be-great-for-pitchers-but-not-that-bad-for-hitters

Uncle Atom said...

We're in Sec 232 - sure beats working. With this lineup I'm hoping for one homer by each Nats starter, and a shutout complete game from Stras. Or just a curly W.

NatsFanGino said...

I am streaming MLB Radio on Sirius XM and they were just talking about the Nats and Espinosa.

In the streaming player it said: "Opening day from Natinals Park"

They corrected it shortly after.

You've come a long way baby...

baseballswami said...

Hats and Uni's are blindingly clean!! Anyone else have butterflies?

Faraz Shaikh said...

15 more minutes.

JaneB said...

For the second year in a row... Insanely happy to welcome Wilson. It will be best for him when we just love him up normally. It will mean he finally had a normal year.

SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

I just hope Harper does not put too much pressure on himself in trying to be the best in his second ML season.

UnkyD said...

Is that JB making the presentations?

baseballswami said...

Watching all the pomp and awards. I just love this stuff.

MicheleS said...

Yes JB did do the presentations

MicheleS said...

ZIMMY!!! Sweet Grab!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Nice save there by RZ.

baseballswami said...

Zim!!!!!'

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Strategy already working with the # of balls DSpan went through (6)! 9 pitches to the 1st 2 batters.

BRYCE!!!!!!!

MicheleS said...

HARPER BOMB!

Faraz Shaikh said...

WOW

Smatt1001 said...

WOOHOOO!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

1:30 p.m. -- The key word for Strasburg this year: Efficiency. He wants to get quick outs, which in turn will allow him to pitch deeper in games. Well, two innings in, he's right on track. Only 25 pitches (16 strikes) so far, and zero strikeouts. That's what the Nats are looking for out of the big right-hander.

Yes, efficiency! Some K's always are nice.

waddu eye no said...

bold (and probably silly) prediction - stras RBI in next at bat.


Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Can't like it when the Nats don't capitalize on a lead-off walk when you get the top of the order up with 2 chances!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Now 53 pitches over 4 innings is very efficient!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The fan who caught Bryce's 1st HR is a Werth look-a-like!

MicheleS said...

Geez is Harper locked in!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

No Andy Pettite post-series slump this time!

BRYCE!!!!!!!!

Smatt1001 said...

BOOM!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Why not hit the 2nd HR further? Harper is now on pace for over 500 HRs this season!

baseballswami said...

The guys in front of Bryce really need to get on base.

alexva said...

so as it turns out, Bryce was slumping in FLA

MicheleS said...

Ian walked. Wow, new beginning.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

alexva, that is a slump even Ted Williams would take!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

2:05 p.m. -- So, this Bryce Harper kid just might be decent, huh? Two at-bats, two homers. Sweet. Fancy. Moses. Four innings into the season, and he's already gotten a curtain call. Kind of interesting that he hit both bombs today on breaking balls from Nolasco: a 1-0 curveball in the first and a 3-2 slider in the fourth. 2-0 Nats after four.

And there's the 1st "Sweet. Fancy. Moses."!!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Even more efficient as Stras is now averaging 12 pitches per inning!

That's the result of 1st pitch swingers when you make an out!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, what is Stras's pitch count today? 80?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Ramos batting 1.000 with a 1.000 OBP

MicheleS said...

Jack.. Werth used Werewolves of London!!!

Mark Zuckerman said...

Steve M.: He already topped 90 in spring training. I think Davey lets him get to 100 today the way he's throwing.

baseballswami said...

Bryce, Stras, Ramos AOK today. Span, Werth, Zim at the plate, not so much. Nolasco throws Livo - like trash up there. Got to have runners on for Bryce.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, thanks so much. Didn't realize that! Let's go for the complete game shutout if he gets some more innings like the 5th! [WINK]

NatsJack in Florida said...

Wow!.....I didn't get hear to hear it because all I get is the Marlins feed and my computer won't sync up for the radio feed so I watch mute.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

baseballswami, have to like Espi so far as that BABIP will also work for him!

No problem with Werth seeing all those pitches.

peric said...

Why do we have to have those Orioles bastards doing the post game coverage? Tom Davis? Puuuuuuhlessse! Mel Antonen?

I'd rather have Pete Kerzel at least he can speak English and spell and makes a pretty fair attempt to be objective instead of an Ori-holio.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Thank you Marlins. They are hacking early! Strasburg with another 7 pitch inning!

peric said...

Some of BHarp must have rubbed off on Rick Ankiel.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

peric said...
Why do we have to have those Orioles bastards doing the post game coverage? Tom Davis? Puuuuuuhlessse! Mel Antonen?

I'd rather have Pete Kerzel at least he can speak English and spell and makes a pretty fair attempt to be objective instead of an Ori-holio.

April 01, 2013 2:26 PM


Are you kidding me? No (*$^#*#@ way! Is this a 1 time thing or permanent?

peric said...

Looks like its permanent Ghost until Ted can find a way to make some changes to the TV contract.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

This is an interesting at-bat for Harper. No way Nolasco wants to look real stupid, right? Probably comes inside....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

peric said...
Looks like its permanent Ghost until Ted can find a way to make some changes to the TV contract.

April 01, 2013 2:30 PM


Disgusting. Another Angelo$er salvo! Opportunity for CSN to do a "Washington" post-game show.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Except Harper, I don't think anyone has caught up to Nolasco's off-speed stuff.

Smatt1001 said...

What a crazy DP!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark, and there's the 80th pitch! Wow!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

And Nolasco is out of the game!

UnkyD said...

Mark.... He may not need 100....just sayin...
:)

MicheleS said...

Take on Me is now in the 7th inning stretch song.

EmDash said...

I can't watch the game because I'm at work, but reading this on the play-by-play:

"Stanton was out advancing, left fielder Harper to catcher Ramos to first baseman LaRoche to second baseman Espinosa to catcher Ramos, Stanton out."

Makes me really look forward to watching when I get home, because I can't even picture that...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mets bashed Edinson Volquez around. 6 earned in 3 innings. Now 7-1 Mets in the 5th.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Mark, what is Stras's pitch count today? 80?

April 01, 2013 2:13 PM


Lucky guess? Stras done at 80 pitches.

baseballswami said...

EmDash- didn't look as complicated as it sounded.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Ramos has never done that before.

RickH said...

Tyler! One more to go.

RickH said...

Wow! This game is going fast.

peric said...



Davey firmly subscribes to the Earl Weaver school of baseball and the first rule of that school says you must try to get out to a fast start, a huge start. That tends to cause most of the other teams to quit on the season early. And that's how you win 100-100 games in the MLB.

And I expect that is what Davey will try to do. And then tee things up in the playoffs for the 2nd season once they get there.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Another barn burner in this game. Hope the Nats get a bunch of insurance runs!!!!

MicheleS said...

Looks like Soriano is warming up.

MicheleS said...

And a nice base hit for Denard.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Okay, so BHarper34 is on pace now to hit around 250 HRs this season.

RickH said...

LET'S GO NATS!!!

peric said...

Maybe Tyler Moore or Adam LaRoche will pick Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood to replace Take on Me. After all she does destroy a brand new $50,000 truck with a baseball bat in the music video.

peric said...

Okay, so BHarper34 is on pace now to hit around 250 HRs this season.

I honestly believe doubles are almost as important. But if he could hit more than 75 ... say 80 homers somehow it would rescue one of baseball's more revered records from the stigma of steroids and other PED's.

MicheleS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RickH said...

Okay, Soriano can stay!

waddu eye no said...

yeah!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Great start to the season!

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Game 1 in the books and it's a Curly W!!

Pete said...

Curly DUUUBBBSS!

natsfan1a said...

Now, *that* was fun. :-)

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
natsfan1a said...

(The second one was from my cat. Heh.)

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