Monday, April 3, 2017: 4-2 W (Marlins) *Opening Day*
The Washington Nationals 2017 campaign kicked off on Monday. In my opinion, opening day should be a national holiday. Another idea is to have most of the opening day games on a Saturday, so more fans are able to watch. Before every game there is a ceremonial first pitch. On opening day the guest is often a “bigger name” person than during most regular season games. Since the Nationals came to D.C. there has been a precedent of the sitting President of the United States throwing out a first pitch on opening day. President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch in 2005 and 2008. President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch in 2010. President Trump did not throw out the first pitch to start the season as the White House said there was a “scheduling conflict”. It will be interesting to see if the President throws out the first pitch at a future opening day game or potentially a playoff game. The Nationals went down 2-0 in the fourth. However, the home team got on the board for the first time of the year via the home run from none other than Bryce Harper. The home run was Bryce’s 5th Opening Day homer in five opening day contests. Adam Lind came off the bench to pinch hit and went deep putting the Nats ahead of the fish to make it 3-2. Daniel Murphy singled in Eaton in the 8th to add on in the Nats’ Opening Day over Miami.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017: 6-4 W (Marlins)
The Nationals were down early after Roark gave up two in the first inning but settled down nicely. He did not give up a run through the rest of his six inning start, striking out six. Ryan Zimmerman homered in the bottom of the second inning. I believe if he is able to stay healthy and play 100+ games, we can see “Mr. National” hit 20-25 homers and possibly more. The Nationals had an explosive 4th inning scoring four runs. Bryce drove in Eaton with a double to start the scoring run. Followed by Murphy singling in Harper. Wieters then singling in both Murphy and Zimmerman. The big 4th inning paved the way to Washington’s second straight victory to start the season, adding another run in the 5th. The Marlins put up a run in the top of the 8th and 9th but Treinen secured his 2nd consecutive save of the season. I was a slightly surprised when Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as the Nationals closer. I was hoping Koda Glover would take on the role, as I loved what I saw in his short time last season. As long as Treinen keeps getting the save, you won’t hear much from me questioning the skipper’s decision.
Thursday, April 6, 2017: 3-4 L (Marlins)
Gio Gonzalez made his first start of the year for the Nationals and was phenomenal. He did not give up a run in the six frames he worked, striking out seven. I have been skeptical of the starter as he hasn’t lived up to what I had hoped he would ever since his 20 win season in 2012. Ryan Zimmerman hit another home run making it back to back games with a tater. The Nationals looked as if they were going to end the series with a sweep, but four runs in the final three innings by the Marlins including a clutch hit by one of my favorite former Nationals, Tyler Moore. When I met him on the fourth of July a couple years ago and he was one of the nicest guys I have met. He spent a good amount of time to chat with me and a couple friends. The thing that stuck out to me was how down to earth he was. He wasn’t too nice this time helping the Marlins acquire their first win of the season, and the Nationals first loss.
Recap: Overall the Nationals played well, showing they can come from behind and win ball games. The bullpen is looking a little shaky to start the season. The Nationals are notorious for not having lock down pen recently. The home runs are coming from star, Bryce Harper, veteran, Ryan Zimmerman, and pinch hitter, Adam Lind. I cannot wait to see how the rest of the lineup comes along throughout the year. In my early season opinion, this is potentially the most dangerous lineup so far in their early history.
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