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Game 1: Nats at Cubs

Apr 5, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Historic Wrigley Field hosts the Nationals for the first game of the season.

CHICAGO — I suppose there are worse places to be on Opening Day than this. Man, what a setting, huh? It is, however, quite cold in the appropriately named Windy City. Gametime temperature will be 51 degrees, but there's a still breeze blowing straight in from center field, right off Lake Michigan.

There may not be anyone in attendance today happier to know that than Stephen Strasburg, who gets to take advantage of the weather — not to mention a less-than-daunting Cubs lineup — in his 2012 debut. It'll be interesting to see how far Davey Johnson lets his ace go. Strasburg threw as many as 84 pitches this spring, so he should be good to surpass 90 and maybe even approach 100.

Veteran Ryan Dempster will be on the mound for Chicago, facing a Nationals lineup that is without cleanup hitter Michael Morse and center fielder Rick Ankiel (both are set to begin rehab assignments with Class AA Harrisburg tonight in Bowie) but still boasts a red-hot Ryan Zimmerman (who looked fantastic this spring).

It's the greatest day of the year, and if you can't be here watching the game live, rest assured I'll have plenty of updates throughout right here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CHICAGO CUBS
Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 2:20 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 50, WGN (outside DC area), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Sunny, 51 degrees, Wind 16 mph in from CF

NATIONALS (0-0)
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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413 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Great game by Desi. Great game by Stras. Great game by Zim. And lights out by the bullpen.And I wouldn't give up on LaRoche just yet. Dempster obviously stymied him with the sinker. But he looked good against Wood.

  2. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Only 12 wins to go…to pass the Wizards.

  3. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    @NG -You're right, except it wasn't three straight walks. He hit Espinsoa in between walks to Zimmerman and Nix. The second walk scored the tying run. There was a wild pitch in there, too, during Zimmmerman's at bat.

  4. Gonat - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Congratulations to the Nats and especially Ian Desmond who gets more grief than any Nat now that Lannan is a Chief. My only critical comment was that throw by Espinosa on the triple in the 9th inning by Stewart was just stupid. You can see Desi holding up the stop sign and Espi still threw the ball and the ball almost skipped by Ryan Zimmerman. Strasburg looked very good as the game went on.

  5. Drew - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Just win baybee: Pitch until you hit.P.S. Sarkozy just announced that France is willing to deal LaRoche for a baguette and an expresso.I think he said "Adam's swinging like crepe." But I might have misheard.

  6. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    First in War. First in Peace. And First in the NL East.

  7. Gonat - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Anonymous said… Laroche sucks. He is awful. I called this earlier on here and was criticized. Now what do you think. As soon as Morse is healthy we should platoon Laroche and DeRosa. April 05, 2012 3:09 PM ___________________________________Typical dbag comment. First game and you already have stupidity like this. His walk in the 8th kept that inning going and loaded the bases that led to the tying run.

  8. Anonymous8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Drew said… Just win baybee: Pitch until you hit.P.S. Sarkozy just announced that France is willing to deal LaRoche for a baguette and an expresso.I think he said "Adam's swinging like crepe." But I might have misheard. April 05, 2012 6:09 PMAt least that is funny. His glove was great today and you just have to watch him to gauge if you have to move him back in the order. 1 game in. Just 1 game.

  9. Anonymous8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    How's about Chad Tracy! The 24th man if you consider Stammen the 25th man.

  10. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Sorry about the double post–not sure my phone browser was getting in.Congratulations Mark, Comcast, and all the insiders on the first (yes?) 400+post for NI. And that's WITH several regulars at Duffy's. Which was excellent, BTW. We should schedule a post from there.

  11. Gonat - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I see they re-scored that ball off of Espinosa's glove from single to error.

  12. spike94wl - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    "Every team wins 54 games…Every team loses 54 games…It's what you do with the other 54 that count."Today, we won one of the other 54 games.GYFNG!

  13. JaneB - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    This game, in the immortal words of 1a, was VFB. of course, I didn't SEE it but I lived all the ups and downs through my Imaginary Friends. So proud of Ian…and so so grateful for Mark and you all. And anon at 11:29, you were right on about the score!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 47 1.5
MIAMI 48 52 8.0
NEW YORK 48 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 44 58 12.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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