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Nats open ’12 at Cubs, home opener vs. Reds

Sep 14, 2011, 3:22 PM EST

For the first time since the franchise arrived in Washington, the Nationals will open a season against an opponent from outside the NL East.

Major League Baseball announced its 2012 schedule this morning, a slate that will open for the Nationals on April 5 at the Cubs. Following three-game series in both Chicago and New York against the Mets, they'll host the Reds in their April 12 home opener.

In each of the previous seven seasons, the Nationals had opened against division rivals: the Phillies (2005, 2010), Mets (2006), Marlins (2007, 2009) and Braves (2008, 2011).

The 2012 interleague schedule has the Nationals facing all five teams from the AL East, including the Yankees (June 15-17) and Rays (June 19-21) at home and the Red Sox (June 8-10) and Blue Jays (June 11-13) on the road.

The annual Battle of the Beltways series against the Orioles takes place May 18-20 at Nationals Park and June 22-24 at Camden Yards.

The season will conclude at home Oct. 1-3 against the Phillies.

Here's the full schedule…

April 4, 6-7 at Cubs
April 9-11 at Mets
APRIL 16-19 VS ASTROSRead more »

  1. gws2p - Sep 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM


  2. natsfan1a - Sep 14, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Thanks, now that I have the dates – road trip! (I've visited Wrigley previously but not Fenway.)June 8-10 at Red Sox

  3. Navy Nats Fan - Sep 14, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I'm with you, 1a – 3 games in Fenway is the jewel of this schedule.

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Can I point out that the Nats are throwing 4 guys this week that were not part of the rotation at the start of the year and the Mets are running out guys who have been in the rotation all season long. Aside from that, we started Brian Friggin Bixler at shortstop with Steve Lombardozzi at second in one of the games and, so far, are 2 -0. And this undermanned staff has held the Mets to 4 runs and that even includes using Kerosene Slaten.Oh… and Bixler scored the winning run in the game he started and was driven in by…. wait a minute… Steve Lombardozzi.I love baseball.

  5. MIcheleS - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    So this is my first time being part of a group that has season tickets. I figure to get from 10 to 15 games..hmmm… since I am the newby to the group, I don't think I will be getting the Yanks games…

  6. Oldguy - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Lots of luck with Fenway. They have been sold out for over 600 straight games. If you want to get tickets, start early and be prepared to shell out $$$$. (As a kid I used to walk over and get for 75 cents–even on opening day, 1950. Yanks 15, Sox 10. I remember it well!) Also worth noting is that's it's a very old park (100th anniversary next year, which will add to demand) and some seats are view restricted. They do sell a lot of standing room. The best thing you have going for you is that the Nats will probably not be a huge draw. Yet. Good luck.

  7. Knoxville Nat - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Oldguy….add in that a good many of those seats have very awkward angles to view the action. I went to Fenway about 10 years ago and saw a game against the Rays and our seat along the third base line faced directly toward CF. To watch the pitcher and batter we had to turn and face towards home plate which was most uncomfortable.As for the Nats probably not being a huge draw next year, if SS should start a game that might not be the case.

  8. JaneB - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    I bought some nice seats on stubhub, at Fenway this year. Of course, I missed three innings of outfield visibility due to fog.I look forward to when I no longer mourn the end of September because My Guys won't be playing anymore.On another topic: I am fixing to send my first ever fan letter, at the advanced age of 55, to Livan. Do they actually see the letters, and if so, where do I send it? I don't mean to be stalkerish, but I want to tell him how much he means to our family.Game three of this series against (my former team) the Mets: We Win! See it now!GYFNG!

  9. Navy Nats Fan - Sep 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    In the 80s when I was at OCS in Newport RI, we got in free at Fenway by showing up in uniform.Two summers ago I went and stood in line at the "no scalping" ticket resale window, and paid face value for a lower box seat. With the advent of StubHub there are probably not as many tickets available by that method.Next summer I'll probably just shell out the $$$.

  10. jd - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    My son who goes to school in Boston seems to get tickets somehow and I know he's not rich.

  11. Scooter - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    This oughta do 'er, Jane:

  12. Steve M. - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    I plan on going to Fenway and sitting on top of the Green Monster. I have been to Fenway but never sat up there. Perfect time to do it and see the Nats play.NatsJack in Florida said… Brian Friggin Bixler, Kerosene Slaten.For a minute there, I thought JayB had written that. I like Bixler as an X-factor guy as my 26th man as I would take Bernadina over him as my 25th man. Love Bixler's hustle. Those type of guys find a way to make an impact and every once in a while they blossom into a David Eckstein or a Jamey Carroll. Blake Kelso is my X-factor guy at Hagerstown. He was so good for the 2 months he was hitting in front of Bryce Harper and fell apart after Bryce left.Slaten, you can have him. The quote last night about him being a loogy (has nothing to do with pitching) describes him well. With 2 weeks of baseball left, Davey should only use him when the team is way ahead or way behind or for an intentional unintentional HBP. Couldn't believe he plunked Willie Harris last night.Hey, where's Henry?

  13. BHarp - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Wow, I can see it now Bryce Harper playing against his favorite team the Yankees…that is going to be awesome!

  14. Steve M. - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    From a pure match-up standpoint, I like the April schedule based on getting off to a fast start. When was the last time the Nats didn't face the Braves or Phillies in the month of April:April 4, 6-7 at CubsApril 9-11 at MetsAPRIL 12-15 VS RedsAPRIL 16-19 VS AstrosAPRIL 20-22 VS MarlinsApril 24-26 at PadresApril 27-29 at Dodgers

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Steve M…. it wasn't so much BRIAN FRIGGIN BIXLER as it was BRIAN FRIGGIN BIXLER AT SHORTSTOP.I like the guy too…. it's just that there were several posts after the line up was up that practically conceded the game that night. And the next time Slaten gets in a game better be in Rochester or Reading or somewhere like that.

  16. Feel Wood - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Don't be surprised to see Bixler on the roster next year in the Jerry Hairston/Willie Harris role (utility guy who can play IF and OF), Lombardozzi in the Alex Cora role (utility infielder) and Marrero in the big bat off the bench role. Remember what Davey is doing now. He's evaluating what he has on hand in order to decide what pieces will make up the team he takes into the season next year. He's giving the young guys a good long look now, and if he likes what he sees he won't hesitate to put them on his team. Unlike Riggleman who when given the choice between a veteran and a promising young player would always choose the veteran, Davey appears willing to choose the best player whoever it may be. Rizzo may still bring in some vets as minor league FAs next year, but unless the youngsters like Bix, Lombo and Marrero totally lay an egg in spring training it will be the kids who end up coming north.

  17. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    The Nats will be playing meaningful October baseball against the Phillies in Washington!

  18. N. Cognito - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    With days of the week:W-Sa April 4, 6-7 at CubsAn off day on April 8, EasterM-W April 9-11 at MetsTh-Su APRIL 12-15 VS REDSM-Th APRIL 16-19 VS ASTROSF-Su APRIL 20-22 VS MARLINSTu-Th April 24-26 at PadresF-Su April 27-29 at DodgersTu-Th MAY 1-3 VS DIAMONDBACKSF-Su MAY 4-6 VS PHILLIESTu-Th May 8-10 at PiratesF-Su May 11-13 at RedsM-Tu MAY 14-15 VS PADRESW-Th MAY 16-17 VS PIRATESF-Su MAY 18-20 VS ORIOLESM-W May 21-23 at PhilliesF-Su May 25-27 at BravesM-W May 28-30 at MarlinsF-Su JUNE 1-3 VS BRAVESTu-Th JUNE 5-7 VS METSF-Su June 8-10 at Red SoxM-W June 11-13 at Blue JaysF-Su JUNE 15-17 VS YANKEESTu-Th JUNE 19-21 VS RAYSF-Su June 22-24 at OriolesM-W June 25-28 at RockiesTh-Su June 29-July 1 at BravesTu-Th JULY 3-5 VS GIANTSF-Su JULY 6-8 VS ROCKIESJuly 10 All-Star Game at Kansas CityF-Su July 13-16 at MarlinsTu-Th JULY 17-19 VS METSF-Su JULY 20-22 VS BRAVESM-W July 23-25 at MetsTh-Su July 26-29 at BrewersTu-Th JULY 31- AUG 2 VS PHILLIESF-Su AUG 3-5 VS MARLINSM-Th Aug 6-9 at AstrosF-Su Aug 10-12 at DiamondbacksM-W Aug 13-15 at GiantsF-Su AUG 17-19 VS METSM-W AUG 20-22 VS BRAVESF-Su Aug 24-26 at PhilliesTu-W Aug 28-29 at MarlinsTh-Su AUG 30-SEPT 2 VS CARDINALSM-Th SEPT 3-6 VS CUBSF-Su SEPT 7-9 VS MARLINSM-W Sept 10-12 at MetsF-Su Sept 14-16 at BravesTu-Th SEPT 18-20 VS DODGERSF-M SEPT 21-24 VS BREWERSTu-Th Sept 25-27 at PhilliesF-Su Sept 28-30 at CardinalsM-W OCT 1-3 VS PHILLIES

  19. Joe Seamhead - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Just to re-inforce what Feel Wood said…In Davey's interview after last night's game:“If you can’t finish first or be the wild card, I’m not losing any sleep about trying to finish third,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot more that has to go on here.”He also said that finishing .500 wasn't important to him, nor was his record as manager.I honestly think that the Davey bashers are just plumb wrong about him. I think he is a lot more calculating, for the long term, then many of you think that he is.

  20. Steve M. - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    NatsJack, luckily Slaten can be sent off as a Free Agent. I almost would have liked to have seen a JMax type of trade to the Yankees where Rizzo can convince them he is Luis Ayala part II.Some theorized the Yankees would make JMax into a star. Maybe they can do the same with Slaten as they did with Luis Ayala who left the Nats with a 5.77 ERA to now have a 1.80 with the Yankees which is the best of his career at 33 years old. Luis Ayala when the Nats traded him to the Mets essentially became Greg Veloz if anyone has followed him in the Minors.

  21. Steve M. - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    BHarp said… Wow, I can see it now Bryce Harper playing against his favorite team the Yankees…that is going to be awesome! September 14, 2011 1:27 PMMy fear is young Bryce will be wearing his Yankees tshirt under his Nats jersey. I hear he has tweeted about Yankees victories.The kid has a lot of growing up to do.

  22. N. Cognito - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:53 PM


  23. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Joe Seamhead….the Davey bashers are WAAAAYY wrong.

  24. PAY TO PLAY - Sep 14, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Joe Seamhead, You may love Davey and I believe he speaks out of both sides of his mouth. If I had his record, I would say the same thing. Think about it, if he didn't care about records, he wouldn't be putting his bullpen ace in there for 2 inning holds like he did Monday night.The only reason Clippard wasn't in there last night is because he overused him Monday.You live in Washington, the capital of politico spin meisters! Davey is good, real good, then he breaks out that s–t eating grin.I like the guy and laughing at what you wrote if you honestly believe it.

  25. Grandstander - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    My aunt works for the Red Sox. I've never loved her more than this moment. Time to give her a call just to let her know I'm thinking about her…

  26. Scooter - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    For the record, P2P, I love* Davey … AND I believe he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.* More like have a high professional regard for. I mean, I don't LOVE him love him. Not like I love … say … Grandstander's aunt.

  27. joemktg - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Grandstander,You're actually going to use the love that you have for your aunt for your own gain? I'm so personally and morally stunned by this that I can only say this:I need an aunt who works for the Red Sox. Is there room in the family?

  28. Anonymous - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Bryce Harper won't be wearing any "secret" Yankees tee shirt beneath his Nats jersey next June 15/16/17 in DC. He'll be a busy boy in Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

  29. Navy Nats Fan - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Hey grandstander – please let you aunt know that I'm thinking about her too.Why does the name Fawn Liebowitz come to mind?

  30. Bowdenball - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Steve M-I don't see much about the Yankees on his twitter feed. One or two mentions but nothing celebrating them at all … and there's a ton of mentions of the Nats, guys in the Nats organization, and the Harrisburg Senators, including his personal statement:"Love God, my family, and baseball! Washington Nationals! Luke 1:37! Clear eyes, Full heart, Cant lose!"Of course he has some growing up to do. He's 18. Cut the kid a little slack and don't believe everything you hear.

  31. Scooter - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Navy Nats Fan, she is NOT making a pot for you.(I got her first.)

  32. NatsLady - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    It may be "true" that Davey doesn't care about third place or .500. Davey does care about winning ballgames. He knows you can't win every ballgame and he decides–maybe in advance or maybe partway through–which games he thinks are winnable. Those are the one on which he "spends" his best players. If I had to guess (and with Davey everything is a guess) I'd say he's showing his players how to win a pennant, not how to win every game. The Mets really have no baby pitchers to try out in September? That's almost sad.

  33. N. Cognito - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Correction to the schedule:Th-Su April 5, 7-8 at CubsNO off day on April 8, Easter

  34. NatsLady - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. N. Cognito - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Nats just got mathematically eliminated from post season play.

  36. sjm308 - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Michelle:not sure how many are in your group? Pretty easy to solve the Yankee thing if you have 4 seats and 4 in the group in that you all go to that game. If you have ten in the group and you only get 8 games that is obviously a problem. I have been in both situations. We now have 5 guys with 5 seats and a 20 game package. Its not been a problem for the quality games and with Red Carpet I got to see over 30 games this year.Good luck and I think you will enjoy the extras from the Nationals. Just picked up a bobblehead and a yearbook last week as they gave away stuff from all of their various promotions.

  37. Mark'd - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    2 weeks ago the Yankees came back in a game and BHarper put on his Twitter "Nice Yankees Comeback". He deleted it. Did I miss Harper mentioning Zim's Walkoff Grand Slam?

  38. Navy Nats Fan - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Scooter is the winner!!!!(Could you get three dates (or Nats-Red Sox tickets) for my friends?)

  39. NatsLady - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Also, in regard to using Clip last night. Clip surely was available. Davey could have used him (even though it was two innings, Clip pitched very efficiently on 9/12, only 18 pitches and no one on base).BUT, Davey's choices were use Clip for two innings (7 and 8) again, OR use four other pitchers. (OK, maybe he only wanted to use three, but Slaten–!). Davey decides he doesn't want to use Clippard for two innings twice in a row. Good decision. So, you use non-Clippard relievers for the 7th inning and the game is still 3-2. Now, should Clip do the 8th inning?If Davey doesn't start Clip for the 8th inning, here are the outcomes1) Burnett pitches a clean inning (as happened.)2) Burnett gives up a solo home run. After that he pitches a clean inning so the game is tied. Then you go into your "tie game/extra inning" bullpen management (Henry, Clip, Storen, etc.).3) Burnett puts guys on base. Then you put Clip in to clean up the mess and Storen comes in for the 9th.

  40. Mark'd - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    NatsLady, being available and using Clippard as last resorts could be the same thing. Glad Clip wasn't used.

  41. NatsLady - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    OK, so you say, why didn't Davey manage the bullpen that way on Monday? Well, that had to do with Storen. Davey had more incentive to get to a "save" situation on Monday to make sure that Storen got used. Davey wanted to maximize his chance of using Storen on Monday. On Tuesday, he could afford to reserve his most precious resource (Clippard) because Storen had worked Monday. I know that's convoluted, but, Davey is (FINALLY) learning how to manage his bullpen.

  42. NatsLady - Sep 14, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Mark'd: EXACTLY! Davey wanted to wait until it was absolutely necessary to use Clip. Luckily, other guys stepped up and it wasn't necessary. Now Clip is both available AND rested.

  43. Scooter - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Nats just got mathematically eliminated from post season play.For 2012? Already?Crud.

  44. Dawn - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    NatsLady; You have a high opinion of Davy's skills, he knows what games are winnable now? He has a crystal ball that we don't know about? Just kidding of course, I know what you are trying to say but it sure is a difference from Riggleman's, "Nine Hard Innings, Never Give Up" mantra.I am unsure about whether Davy should stay or go. I do think he gets a pass on some of his poor decisions, just because he once was a successful manager.

  45. sjm308 - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    natslady – as usual, I think you hit it right by saying Davey has FINALLY learned how to use what he has. We have not seen any relievers except Clip and Gorzo go more than one inning lately and even Burnett has benefited and pitched really well in my opinion. I think they all (well again, all except Slaten) have proved valuable and will continue to do so as we head for home. They might stumble a little but we are not perfect. Its been fun to watch him mix and match his starting lineups as well. Consistant with Marrero at first and Morse in left and Zimm at 3rd but everything else has been to see what we have for next year. 6 More Wins!! (and then of course I will root for more)

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    I am so glad to hear Davey Johnson is finally learning how to manage a baseball team after all these years.

  47. Sam - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Holy crap. How many dumb wrap-around series and two-game series can one team have in a year? Jeez; it's awful.

  48. natsfan1a - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    No doubt Davey is also glad to hear it (Davey's thought balloon: Whew. That's a real load off my mind." or maybe "You like me, you really like me!).

  49. natsfan1a - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Oops, I think that you dropped these, thought balloon: " and "

  50. Feel Wood - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    I know that's convoluted, but, Davey is (FINALLY) learning how to manage his bullpen.He knows how to manage a bullpen, and always has. What he doesn't know is what he has in his bullpen to manage, i.e. who can do the job and who can't. That's why you see him using relievers like Slaten et al in ways that make it seem like he's trying to lose the game. He's not trying to lose the game, he's trying to find out what these guys can do so he'll know whether or not to have them in his bullpen next year when it matters again whether the game is won or not. He needs to have a bullpen where there's a guy he can count on for every possible situation, and that includes the situation where his closer and setup man may have been used up the night before but he still needs to win tonight's game. He doesn't have those guys now – or if he does, they need to prove themselves still.

  51. Diz - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    So with Strasburg pitching the opener at the Cubs on Thurs. 4/5, do you think he will pitch opening up Nats park a week later on Thurs. 4/12?Or do you think they pitch him at Nats park on the regular "every 5th day schedule"? Which ends up being the 4th home game (Sun. 4/15), his third start.Or option 3, do you think they pitch his first game on Sat. 4/7 (game 2), which would give him his 2nd start on a normal 5 day rotation, opening day at Nats Park Thurs. 4/13?Diz

  52. Traveler8 - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    @Diz,It is FAR too early to get going on this kind of speculation – thanks, you've laid out options, now let's back-burner them for 6.5 months.

  53. Anonymous - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Diz, the correct answer is that you need to buy tickets to all those games and travel if necessary in order to find out.

  54. Wally - Sep 14, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Feel Wood said……He's not trying to lose the game, he's trying to find out what these guys can do so he'll know whether or not to have them in his bullpen next year when it matters again whether the game is won or not.Feel Wood – I agree with your point 100%*. He knows that he can't win over the course of a season with two guys in the 'pen. It is also why Henry gets so many chances.* Disagree on Slaten in particular, tho – the guy has a long enough track record to know what you have; I would bury him in the pen for blowouts, but that is a minor point.On Harper, I know nothing about his Twitter feeds, but he is an acknowledged lifelong Yankee fan, and his personality seems to crave the spotlight. So I think that we should accept the real risk that he will bolt after the years of control. Who cares, right? It is at least 6 years away? Well, it might affect my decision when to call him up, in order to maximize his performance for those 6 years. I would get him as ready in the minors as possible, as opposed to letting him learn on the job up here (like Tampa does with most of their prospects, including Jennings this year). Like 2013, maybe even midyear 2013.

  55. NatsLady - Sep 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    I have reservations about Davey, but I do think that he is like a chess player planning more than one move ahead, and more than one game ahead. And fans' frustration is we don't know what his moves mean. We HOPE they mean something… After the fact–sometime–you can figure it out.

  56. jd - Sep 14, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    't may be "true" that Davey doesn't care about third place or .500. Davey does care about winning ballgames'. Exactly. At this point the overall win total and/or the standings placement is secondary however that does not imply that you don't play to win. There are many things you should be accomplishing in September if you are not asleep at the wheel and I don't think Davey is. This is why it's not the end of the world if someone like Detwiler is allowed to stay in a game beyond the comfort level of the fans or if Wang, Milone, Peacock struggle some. You may even discover that someone like Stammen is a decent option for the pen for 2012.

  57. Sam - Sep 14, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. sjm308 - Sep 14, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Feel wood:you said in depth exactly what I meant when I said "finally" using his bullpen correctly. He did not know what he had and the only way was to do just what he did. Of course he knows how to manage and his record is solid but he was miss using what he had. Trying to throw HRod and Coffey for multiple innings was just not working and he has made adjustments. I am not upset with those of you who mistook what I was trying to say and tried to be cute (sec 3 if you go back, I said nothing about his managing), but it was not a cut at Davey's skills as a manager, just a statement about what I see in these last few weeks with his use of the bullpen.There are certain things I do miss from early in the season. We don't run nearly as much or hit and run but I do like his positive nature and I think its a slam dunk he is back next year.

  59. natsfan1a - Sep 14, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    sjm, can't speak for sec3 of course but it seemed to me that he was addressing a comment from NatsLady rather than from you.

  60. Joe Seamhead - Sep 14, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    At least with Davey Johnson I believe that we have a realistic chance to compete for the playoffs next year, which is a substantial step forward for this club.' Nuff said.

  61. Drew8 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    I sure hope they get off to a hot start in April.June could be our own kiln explosion.





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