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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. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    The Cubs are the team of my Father (who suffered for 75 years) and the team of my youth. The Nats are my home town team now. And Since the Cubs are going no where this year – LETS GO NATS!!!

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    The adventure bgins. My calendar for today says 2:20 PM – Nats/Cubs – Beer. I'm ready.

  3. ChicagoNatsGirl - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    I'm so happy to be a Nats fan in Chicago today and this weekend. I just wish I had business-appropriate Nats clothing to wear at work today. Maybe that's what I'll do in my second career–design MLB-themed suits for women. That'd be awesome. Go Nats!!!!

  4. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    This IS the best day of the year! So looking forward to seeing my Nats whup up on the Cubbies. THIS is the year of the Nats Fan. OK, boys……live up to the hype!

  5. sm13 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Wooohoooo a real game thread. Can't wait to watch the game with my daughter who is also celebrating her birthday. And we get to do it all over again next Thursday in Sec. 310. Go Nats!!

  6. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Great day to be on spring break. Will be watching tv at 2. Let the games begin

  7. Occupy Wrigley Field - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    We're getting ready to leave our hotel now. Sitting up behind home plate, with that wind right in our faces. But opening day in Wrigley – it's all worth it, right?Anyone else make the trip?

  8. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    In the immortal words of MichelleS: "WOO-HOO."The bourbon and Maalox have been restocked.The Best 25 Have Come North (including Kristina!)The Neats foot oil has lubed up the mitt.The radio is set for Charlie and Dave.The sun is shining, and the wind is blowing in.Jesus is in the mound.What could be better?Wild card, or bust.86 victories.Go You Freaking Nats Go!!!!!!!!!!!Mark and every Nats Insider, let's have a great season.

  9. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Here's hoping this is the year when my Nats Insider handle starts to lose its meaning. In Sunshine's immortal words, GYFNG!

  10. natsfan1a - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Happy Opening Day, Insiders! It was a long winter, but we made it through. Here's to a season that's PFB, no, make that VFB. GO NATS!!

  11. BadAir - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Nats beat Marlins by one game for last playoff spot – why? Because Nats play Red Sox in only one series (Orioles in other) and Marlins play Red Sox twice.

  12. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Boy, pitching staff looks like a group of all stars and the lineup looks…unfinished. Let's hope for a 2-1 Nats win because they won't be busting scoreboards with crooked numbers this year. A lot of close ones ahead.

  13. Pete - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    GIDDYUP!

  14. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    MicheleS–Though living his whole life on the South Side, my grandpa rooted for the the Cubbies, but the rest of us were all White Sox fans. Go Nats!

  15. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Here's hoping the offense can match our pitching this year! All stoked for a great year of Nats baseball, and planning to catch Opening Day at Hard Times with a plate full of wings and beer!

  16. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    MarkZ– I see three posts with active threads (this one, predictions and Lannan). Seems like this system works just fine. Off-topic but I'm glad we have the current interface.

  17. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Great to see a 0 on the top of the page. Can't wait for next Thursday as well.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Do you think anyone in the dugout will think twice about talking to Davey during the third inning of the game. That's the time when a guy might get Lannaned.

  19. Unkyd - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm……(licks his chops)……. :)

  20. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Cough.. Cough.. Sniffle.. working from home.. My Allergies have acted up. That was the line for the day. Have MLB Network on. Will put ESPN 980 so I can hear from Mark Z. Apparantly they are doing an opening day special from noon to 2.

  21. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Best 25 have gone north!!Very excited. Looking forward to an exciting season of Nats baseball!!dfh21

  22. JayB - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    dfh21…..not the best 25 really. Harper is better right now Roger, Brett, Nady and likely Werth……DeRosa is better until he get hurt.Steve Lombo is a very poor 3rd and Chad Tracy just plan sucks…but because Rizzo was so passive in building the bench…I guess they are the best we have.Pitching…..Chadd D is better than several guys in the Bull Pen……I have the beer ready NJ….but it should have been a better opening day 25 than this…….you can not possible think this was a strong opening 25.

  23. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    So who all is going to be at Duffy's today?

  24. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    I keep hoping that JayB's posts will be like a hate fart in the wind. But then they keep coming up. Dammit!

  25. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda never won a championship. And, if ifs and buts were candies and nuts, then we'd all have a merry Chrstmas. Coaches from my sporting youth said stuff like that all of the time, JayB.This is the 25 we've got. It's also the best 25 we've ever had, hands down. Could it have been better, should it have been, etc? Maybe, but who cares. It's go time. It's Go Nats time!!dfh21

  26. bdrube - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    @JayB – it's the strongest opening 25 the Nats have ever had BY FAR. To argue otherwise is just plain daffy.

  27. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    JayB.. It's opening day. Have some hope at least 1 day a year.

  28. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Minor-league affiliates schedule for today:Rochester @ Syracuse 2 pmHarrisburg @ Bowie 7:05 pmWest Virginia @ Hagerstown 7:05You can watch Syracuse and Hagerstown on MiLB.TV if you have a subscription. They also archive games. Hard to believe they blackout some minor-league games.Minor League Schedule – Nationals affiliateshttp://www.milb.com/milb/schedule/index.jsp?leagues=l120,l121,l110,l122,l113,l123,l124,l117,l118,l127,l126,l112,l128,l116,l111,l109

  29. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    I can probably still name the entire roster for the '69 Cubs, but that's what trauma does to a young mind. But I moved to SF and became a Giants fan in the post-Mays days.

  30. JayB - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    The best they have every had….sure is by a good amount….does that mean they do not have to finish the job and be the best they could be?Not to me….just a little more money and some aggressive contracts in December and we would be favored to win the division.

  31. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    I'll be there!

  32. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Me, too!

  33. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Anon @12:17 whoever you are, have a great time.

  34. NatsFanChris19 - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Its been a long and exciting offseason. Ready to get it started!! GO NATS!!!

  35. Feel Wood - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    bdrube said… @JayB – it's the strongest opening 25 the Nats have ever had BY FAR. To argue otherwise is just plain daffy.Not only that, but Morse and Ankiel will be back by the home opener next week, and Storen shortly thereafter. Kristina Akra-sized upgrades all.

  36. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    If JayB thinks that fixing holes is such an easy thing, you have to wonder why he's never done anything about the massive holes in his own head.

  37. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    JayBe, true enough, but I don't care if they win the off-season. Every year, some team defies the predictions, and wins games they were not "supposed to." I see no reason why these guys can't. And yeah, I know I said 83.

  38. Eric - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Leave it to JayB to p*ss all over opening day. Dude If you want something to constantly complain about, become an O's fan.

  39. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Me, three!Anonymous said… Me, too! April 05, 2012 12:17 PM

  40. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Let's ALL go!

  41. Unkyd - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    "So who all is going to be at Duffy's today?"……………..On the train, as we speak…..SeeYa!!!!

  42. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Opening Day is not a prelude to anything far reaching. Remember 2008, Nats start 3-0, ha ha, where did that get them. In 1969, Nats lost opener to Yankees and ended up 86-76, by contrast in 1971, Nats beat A's 8-0 and a young pitcher named Vida Blue got smacked around.Front page of Wash Sports section the next day reads: Bosman Hurls Nats into AL lead. Well, Blue proceeds to win 17 in a row and the Cy Young after that, and our Nats proceed to leave for Texas. Opening Day's are over rated to say the least.

  43. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Geez, I was going to walk over there, but I may change my mind at this point…

  44. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    But if Unk is going, that's at least one person I know… see ya there, unk. You know he doesn't open until 2 PM, right?

  45. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    What is it, the clouds? Lannan? Fear of success? Where is all this vinegar coming from?

  46. Senator Clegghorn - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Mick, surely you aren't suggesting the appeal of Opening Day is predicated on its predictive value? IT'S A PARTY, SON! A PARTY!

  47. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    A view of the Nats from the Chicago Tribune

  48. Drew - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    This morning at Napoleon's tomb I ran into another guy in a Nats cap. Truly. (Big crowd — not much elba room.)If that chance meeting turns out to be a good omen for Opening Day, the conga line starts at the Arc de Triomphe!GYFNG!

  49. NCNatsie - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Okay, I just got the email I've been dreading, so feel I must issue my disclaimer so anybody out there who knows me will know…Yes, my first name is Jay, and yes, my last name begins with a B, but I AM NOT THAT JAYB!Happy Opening Day to all. Go NATS!

  50. DWS - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Thanks for the heads up MicheleS (ESPN 980), Marks up next. Happy Opening Day!

  51. waddu eye no - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    electric kookaid trip:stras will throw a 100 pitch complete game shut out, after bernie makes over the shoulder barehanded catch to save home run.HRs from zim, espy and laroche. desi 3 for 4 with a walk and 2 stolen bases. laroche makes unassisted DP.werth shaves beard with one hand while hitting base clearing triple with other.after castro stands on home plate to get hit by a strasburg pitch, joe west descends from the clouds (flying under power of his own hot air) and gives him first base. ramos throws him out trying to steal.have fun at duffy's.hot damn. gyfng

  52. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    As a Nats fan living in California, I'd just like to thank MLB for opening the Nationals' season in the central time zone, so I won't feel like I'm drinking beer too early in the morning. Now let's sweep the Cubs and get off to a hot start!

  53. Mr. Doggett - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    My son was given a baseball before he was born that was autographed by John Lannan and Josh Willingham. On the day he was born, John Lannan started, pitched a great game, and Josh Willingham hit a walk off HR to beat the Orioles. Weird. On the day my son experienced his first baseball game, John Lannan lost his job. Today, Opening Day 2012 MASN is coincidentally replaying that entire game from 5-23-10. Weird.Ok I'm a huge nerd, but still….it's weird

  54. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Watching Mets-ATL, they are honoring Gary Carter.

  55. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I say, I say Senator Cleghorn, I am partying right now, LOL

  56. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Am I dreaming, or is it really opening day?Hard to believe it is finally here!!Strasburg today will go: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO.Nats win 4-0 :-)GO NATS!!!

  57. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    And now we have a new verb — getting LannEn-ed – which is infinitely better than being Patterson-ed. Depending on who you ask. Woo- Hoo One hour to go until first pitch!!!!! I actually went into work very early this morning so that I could get off at 2. Seriously – my co-workers think I am absolutely nuts. I say — Nats on tv and imaginary friends on the computer are the only way to go!!!

  58. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    No kidding about Kristina Akra.All she has to do is conduct an interview better than a shoe box and she'll be an upgrade over Taylor.I guess MASN is pulling out all the stops this year.Hope we hit Dempster better than the last couple of years. Last year we were 4 out of 25 against him and one of those hits was from Hariston. Avg – .160. The year before that? 6 of 48, Avg – .125Yeesh!

  59. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    The Mets have some odd underarm thing in their uni's. Also the pinstripes look weird on a person's ass. Things I now notice with a big-screen TV…

  60. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Strasburg will keep it close, the Nats will get to the Cubs' bullpen, and Clippard will vulture a save, in a park where Phil Regan made a living doing just that.

  61. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Hanson has struck that guy out twice.

  62. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    vulture a WIN.Geez, and I'm not even AT Duffy's (yet*).

  63. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    the pinstripes look weird on a person's ass.(note to self, cancel that tattoo appointment.)

  64. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    WOW….just saw the new side line reporter on MASN…we got an upgrade! (Sorry Debbie….)

  65. Unkyd - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Beautiful day!!!!! I knew I'd be way early… Been having a nice walk. Went past Ben's Chili Bowl, but too much line. I'm a sucker for pulled pork, anyway, and Duffy's looks good (on the menu, anyway….)

  66. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Wings, Unk. Best in DC, five years in a row.

  67. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Ok, saddling up now…

  68. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Hoping to head to Duffy's soon. Woo hoo!!

  69. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Of the four on the DL, I think I'm worried about in this order (least to most)Ankiel – a minor injury, he'll be on and off the DL all season; Wang – we know what it is and it will heal;Morse – could linger, or he could re-injure it, the guy swings hard;Storen – "elbow inflammation" – what caused it? Is it a symptom of something deeper? Was he overused last year, or did he throw too hard too soon this spring?

  70. jd - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Morse is the one we can't do without long term. I think we can get from Lidge close to what we get from Storen and I don't think Det will hurt us too much either.

  71. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    jd– agree on the impact. Was just thinking about the likelihood of the players' return from rehab and staying healthy.

  72. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Lived on Southport and Addison in Wrigleyville for 8 years…truly a magical place for baseball. Still love my Cubbies and the memories from the Dusty Baker era. That being said…the Nats are my hometown team and now first in my heart. As Ernie used to say…What a day for a game-Let's Play Two!!!

  73. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Agree. We need Morse back — in full Beast Mode — ASAP. Defensively, Bernadina can handle CF, and he's not much worse at the plate than Ankiel and has more upside if he could ever put it together. I hope Storen's injury is just a passing thing. Sounds like he's feeling good after a couple bullpen sessions. But if it does turn into something lingering, at least the Nats have plenty of depth there to pick up the slack.

  74. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    We'll know a lot more after Ank and MM start their rehab assignments today.They both need some ABs if they are going to be ready by the 12th/10th respectively.Would love to have our full lineup against the Reds come April 12th.

  75. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Hey, they have the MASN feed on Extra Innings. I figured it would be the Cubs. I even get to watch the game with the home-town crew. Opening Day just keeps getting better!

  76. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Lannan in Syracuse, introduced with the rest of the team, shook hands with the manager, etc. Professional. Harper jumping around–a bundle of energy, got a nice cheer from the fans.

  77. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Have WGN on.. Bill Murray just ran the bases before he throws out the first pitch… Hilarious.

  78. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Gio read the Nats lineup, then gave a big cheer and wave. Not exactly an introvert.

  79. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Game on!!!!!

  80. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Woo hoo, here we go. It seems like a long time coming. Murray is always good for a laugh.Big fan of Kristina here. Given the discussion last year by some of our ladies, we of the 'male persuasion' may need to have a conversation about her soon, but not on Opening Day.

  81. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Wow the wind is Howling in…

  82. NaterialGuy - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    yes! Desmond

  83. waddu eye no - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    and we're off!

  84. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Cold in Syracuse. Harper wearing a hoodie.

  85. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Gio is a really fun guy. We loved him in Oakland. My wife was very sad to see him go, but at least he came to her 2nd favorite team :)

  86. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Surprised that I don't know this, but have they said why Garza isn't getting the OD start?

  87. A DC Wonk - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    WTF?! Ian swinging on the first pitch again?! He'll never be a lead-off batter! ;-)(snark mode off ;-)

  88. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Desmond with a 1.000 obp, already my predictions stink!

  89. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    OMG.. It is the end of the world. Ian gets a hit and Danny walks. Everyone prepare for the Mayans to come!!!

  90. NaterialGuy - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    "They way I walk is just the way I walk"

  91. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Stupid Wind, RZ's ball would have been out if it wasn't howling

  92. Will - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Adam LaRoche*mumble*%$!@%$!*mumble*

  93. NaterialGuy - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Well the top of the line-up did their job

  94. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    And Werth pops out. Can't blame that one on the wind. But a nice inning by the 1-3 hitters.

  95. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Werth *mumble*%$!@%$!*mumble*

  96. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Well, Desi and Danny did their jobs… Note to the hitters – it's not going out today.

  97. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Some miscommunication in the infield.

  98. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    UGH. That was bad. Is that a Hit?

  99. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Wow! Sori put a charge in that one, but it's just a loud out.

  100. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Without the wind, Nats lead 3-2

  101. NaterialGuy - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    The wind taketh and the wind giveth.

  102. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Without the wind, that's not where the pitchers throw the ball, Strasburg is challenging these guys.

  103. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Looks like they scored that infield weirdness a hit.

  104. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Right you are, Blovy – point taken.

  105. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Hmm.. they didn't black out WGN.

  106. Gumbo in Gotham - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Hooray for Opening Day! Wish I was either at the game or at least at home watching, but since I'm at the office I sure am grateful for the updates.Go Nats!

  107. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Yes, very good point. Stras was daring them to hit it in the air.

  108. gonats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    as i have been saying all along, why is Laroche on this team? Yes, he can field, so what?

  109. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Nats go quietly in the 2nd.

  110. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    The home plate umpire is quite hilarious.

  111. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Man on 2nd and 3rd less than 2 outs….if this team is going to be a contender, that has to be put in play.ALR, that was a dagger in the first. We are already going to be struggling for runs without that garbage.Ugh…painful.

  112. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Werth! Helluva catch.

  113. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Nice Catch Jayson!

  114. jd - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Wow, Do the Cubs have a party to go to?

  115. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Nice play by Werth. Saved a hit right there.

  116. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Nice catch by Werth

  117. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Oh My.. this is going to be good…Strassie is just dealing!

  118. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    I hate when the Nats can't get that run in, when a guy is on third with less than 2 outs. It happens to much.\ to the Nats.

  119. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    2 Innings. 14 pitches. 10 strikes 1 K 1 "hit"Yep. Stras is dealing.

  120. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Pretty amazing – Stras has faced 7 batters, gotten 6 outs and has only thrown 14 pitches.That's called efficiency.

  121. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    OK…checking AtBat Lite and going on 20 innings for 4 games and nobody has scored.

  122. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Harper with a double on his first AB.

  123. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    This is crazy, ID just took 4 pitches

  124. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Desmond is doing what he's supposed to do. Of course, the error helps.

  125. GoNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    yayaya desi

  126. A DC Wonk - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Ian — now two at bats, and a season 1.000 OBA! ;-)

  127. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    2 walks for Danny today.

  128. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Espy too. C'mon Zim. Just keep them moving

  129. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    That's it.. I am building a nuclear fall out shelter because this just can't be happening. Both of them on base to start the game. WTF!

  130. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Arggghhh…..C'mon ALR!!!

  131. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Nice call by FP there (on sending the runners). LAROCHE! Get 'er done.

  132. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Time to prove yourself Adam…

  133. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    ALR. A bit rusty.

  134. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Laroche is #%$^^&$& terrible!!! God he sucks!!!

  135. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Ugh. Or not. Twice today already he's done that.

  136. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    5 LOB in 2 ABs….nice!

  137. Will - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Adam LaRoche. You're absolutely killing me.Dempster just walked Espinosa and Zimmerman, and you're swinging at every pitch?? FFS

  138. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    All with less than 2 outs too!

  139. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    10 LOB by ALR and JayW

  140. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Werth his that one solid, but nothing doing. Once again, 1-3 hitters getting the job done and no one picking them up.

  141. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    not going to score until the sixth

  142. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    I'm beginning to feel a little deja vu.

  143. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Guys, you are wasting Despinosa's getting on base! How often you expect that to happen????Charlie and Dave and work for me. Later.

  144. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Thanks, veteran guys, really , just thanks for that – twice.

  145. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Get used to this guys, and say a big thank you to Mr. Rizzo for improving the offense!!! So pathetic. Laroche and Werthless…I have seen enough already. Bring up Harper…TONIGHT!!!

  146. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    After one game, Ladouches WAR is -1 for those of you into advanced metrics.

  147. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    5 stranded runners. I will at least say Werth has hit the ball hard. LaRouche swings like a sissy and a LOSER!!!!

  148. josh f - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    LaRoche looks horrendous out there…

  149. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Sunshine.. Can you pass the bourbon and the Maalox?I am watching WGN, I want to here what they think of Stras

  150. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    that's still terrible situational hitting from Werth, ALR probably needed more ST atbats against major league pitching by the looks of it.

  151. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    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.

  152. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    DC Wonk,ID's average is not 1.000, one of those was an error, he's batting a solid 0.500

  153. kevinx - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    LaRoche, you are killing me.

  154. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    But ID's OBP is 1.000.

  155. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    As soon as Morse is back, get LaRouche the hell out of here

  156. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    So, when both Desi and Danny get on base, twice in the same inning of the same game, it gets blown. I miss Michael Morse. I'd much rather see him hitting after Zimmy than ALR.

  157. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Ditto what I said at 2:54pm. I hate when the Nats can't get that run in, when a guy is on third with less than 2 outs…

  158. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Damn wind. Nats would've been on the board by now if it were calm.

  159. Will - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Either of Werth's hits would have scored Desmond from 3rd on a sac fly. Unfortunately, LaRoche is incapable of putting the ball in play, so Werth's drives were useless.

  160. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    You cant have runners at 2nd and 3rd, one out and your cleanup and 5th batter can not deliver!

  161. Will - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    And by "Werth's hits" I mean fly outs.

  162. Exposremains - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I know he's a lefty but why do you put a guy that barely played in ST as your clean up hitter.

  163. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    this whiskey is goooood, lol

  164. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Stras still dealing. That was a nice hit by DeJesus, but otherwise SS is cruising.

  165. The Dude Abides - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Like every team today is just killing the ball except the Nats. Right?When you've decided you don't like someone, whether it's the Lerners, Rizzo , or Johnson, you're going to spew evil just like a Republican discussing the President.

  166. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Chad Tracy.

  167. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Bottom of the order has nothing for Dempster.

  168. Jim Webster - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    LaRoche has looked like a pitcher in his first NL game, just swinging aimlessly.

  169. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    True Dave, we would be on board, but so would the Cubs, It should be 3-1 Nats based on the wind blowing in from the Michigan River

  170. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    It's the first game of the season, and it doesn't look like anyone is crushing the ball (just looked at game day and there is only 2 runs on the board for 5 games). I am thinking its just Darn cold out

  171. hmmm... - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    anybody thrown out of duffy's yet?

  172. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    AND that is why you have ALR. That could have been an ugly wild throw, but he picked it

  173. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Dang, Desi.

  174. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Man, Desi with a CANNON. I didn't know he had it in him – holy cow.

  175. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    We really could have used that Harper double today…..

  176. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    at least LaRouche can field, that was a nice pick up from Desmond's low throw. If LaRouche does not start hitting he will be known as LaDouche, lol

  177. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Yep. Good play by Desi and LaRoche. That should have been an infield hit.

  178. Gumbo in Gotham - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    LaRoche is frustrating. Must remember that it is just the first three innings of the first game. Glad to see Ian and Danny getting on board. Definitely miss Beast Mode.

  179. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Who is it that we were worried about? Despinosa?

  180. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Ramos…. what the hell was that????

  181. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    not smart, take the sure out

  182. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Brain fart by Ramos

  183. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    oh sure, NOW you take pitches

  184. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Nice job by the Shark.

  185. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Thank you Ryan, for bailing out Ramos

  186. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Zim! what a pick!

  187. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen.. Your 2012 Gold Glove winner at 3B

  188. TimDz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Not watching the game (the curse of having to work for a living), but from the updates, it seems that the Nats are at least getting folks on base against Dempster. As for SS, he has appeared to cruise through three innings.If we can get into their bullpen early, things can change quickly. For all the grousing about Desi and Espi, they ARE doing their jobs of getting on base.Its just the first game…people need to relax.

  189. Dixiemag - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Looks like Strasburg is going to lose this game 1-0. Just like last year, the Nat's hitters can't support a well-pitched game. LaRoche looks lost at the plate.

  190. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    ok, everyone at once, why didn't we trade for byrd? now back to reality

  191. Exposremains - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Please not one of those games where the Nats miss a chance early and then the other team scores and thats it.

  192. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Nice play by Zim to end the inning.

  193. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    OK, Nats, let's hit the G-DAMN baseball now!!!!!

  194. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    I have a good feeling that we will score 3 runs in the 5th

  195. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Exposremains — ding, ding – you win the prize!

  196. Ben - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Does anyone know who is pitching game 5 of the Season? I have tickets to see the Nats play the Mets on Tuesday at Citi Field. I know that since they have off tomorrow, Stras might pitch on 4 days of rest. Is it gonna be Stras or Ross?

  197. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I can't believe Laroche is still here. He is awful. Hes already stranded five men with only one out. I am already boooooooored as hecll with this team. going to cut grass.

  198. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Good thing the Cubs can't hit, because Strasburg is throwing meatballs up there right now. I know he is working on pitching to contact to conserve pitches, but on this team you have to be perfect to have a chance to win. Can Harper be here by Saturday???

  199. TimDz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    (insert sarcastic tone here):You're probably right…They should just forgo the LAST FIVE INNINGS…It's hopeless…_______________Dixiemag said… Looks like Strasburg is going to lose this game 1-0. Just like last year, the Nat's hitters can't support a well-pitched game. LaRoche looks lost at the plate.

  200. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    so much for 3 runs

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 53 --
ATLANTA 67 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 10.0
NEW YORK 60 68 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
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.

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