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
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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- Nats announce season-opening rotation order
- Zimmerman expects to return in 2-3 days
- Strasburg returns to mound as Nats face Mets
- Storen returns to mound after 2-week absence
- Phillies' All-Star likely to begin season on disabled list
- Report: AL Central team interested in former Nats closer Soriano
- Zimmermann contract talks "not looking good"
- Another Nats injury: Zimmerman banged up on diving play at first
- Former Nats All-Star wins closer job with Oakland Athletics
- Harper back in lineup as Nats face Cards