Apr 5, 2012, 3:06 PM EST
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
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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- WATCH: Harper faces Strasburg for first time
- Werth hits off tee for first time since surgery
- Matt Harvey expected to make much-awaited return against Nats
- Ankiel starts new chapter as life skills coordinator
- Ian Desmond discusses team expectations and future with Nats
- Eventful BP for Harper, update on Werth in Tuesday's workout
- Desmond, Rendon like what they see from Zimmerman at 1B
- Scherzer to start exhibition opener vs. Mets
- Bryce Harper does a pretty epic videobomb on Anthony Rendon
- ESPN throws shade on Nats' jerseys, calling them among worst in MLB