Skip to content

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

Read more ยป

413 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Are we already over 200 comments. Got to love dempsters reaction to the broken bats

  2. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    So, now against Dempster, if you add our stellar 1 for 17 performance against him through 5.The Nats are batting a cool .122 against Dempster the last 3 years.Awful.

  3. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Adding our 1 for 17 day today, the Nats are now batting a cool .122 over the last 3 years against Dempster.

  4. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Wow, the 6th Inning of Game 1 and here we are, already over 200 comments.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Carpenter and FP should wear cheer leader uniforms. Bring back Dibble. At least he was balanced.

  6. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    ugh

  7. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Ugh! Zim's second homer of the day robbed by the wind.

  8. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    So close! Stupid wind… I could've sworn that was a home run. Ugh.

  9. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Oh, that wind, that is just painful…

  10. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Zim crushed that. Can't believe it stayed in the park.

  11. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    And there goes LaRoche again…

  12. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Is LaRoche this year's Werth at the plate?Or is this just the first game, and is any such statement sheer BS?

  13. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Wnd aside, it's great to see Zim swinging the bat so well. This could be a big year for him

  14. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Good to see the Nats not satisfied with last year's performance – this year, the K crown will be ours!

  15. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    8 Ks for Dempster. Yuck.

  16. Marty - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    I bet Dempster wishes he could face LaRoche and Werth everyday.

  17. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Ryan Z should have 2 HR's, LaDOUCHE simply SUCKS, and Jayson is WerthLESS. Same old fing Nats

  18. SCNatsFan - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    On a bright note LaRoche's foot looks good on his repeated walks back to the dugout.

  19. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    @Dave -It's possible that Werth is this year's Werth at the plate.But yes, it is just the first game.Note to self – breathe, breathe…

  20. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    I love Zim but he needs to stop trying to muscle it out of the park. It's not going out today.

  21. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    When they said ALR was a slow starter, they weren't kidding were they?!Shooting for the Golden Sombrero the 8th!

  22. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Chad Tracy can play first AND hit- yay!

  23. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Also, let's not forget, Ryan Dempster is a pretty good pitcher and he owns us.

  24. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I know we jinxed our hitters by making fun of the Marlins getting no hit for seven innings last night.

  25. bups - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Werthless, love his new stance. He looks much better striking out this year.

  26. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Chad Tracy can hit the ball & play first.

  27. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    What pitcher doesn't own us Michele?

  28. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Werth's really not looking bad at the plate, despite the results. LaRoche just looks lost.

  29. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Mick.. Remember that Espi owns Cliff Lee.

  30. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Well, Werth actually contacted the ball with the bat once today. LaRoche, not so much.

  31. BadAir - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    11 straight outs with two LaR strike outs. Nats in mid-season form. DJ playing for big innings early just like Weaver. Maybe he should play smallball with SS pitching.

  32. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Another dominant inning from Stras. 2 Ks and a pop fly.

  33. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Unfortunately, also one dominant inning after another by Dempster…

  34. Dixiemag - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Every Nats player should apologize to Strasburg for the lack of support today.

  35. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Time to watch the Masters. I will be happy with a 1-5 record heading into the home opener. At least that means they can't go 0-21. 1 bloop hit in 7 innings and people think we're going to the playoffs. Now the question is who will have more: Hole in Ones at Augusta or runs this weekend for the Nationals. My money is on Hole in Ones. Maybe I should make that hits instead of runs.

  36. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    LaRoche – could be a slow start but strikeouts have always been an issue. 28 percent strikeout rate with the Dbacks in '10, over 22 percent in his ML career.

  37. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    @DixiemagThey've needed to do for a lot of games.

  38. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    On the other hand, am remembering that Davey's '86 Mets opened 2-3. There was a sense of crisis. Not for long.

  39. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    This is Strasburg's last inning.Thanks to no run support, Davy's got to pinch hit for him to lead off the 8th.And I don't get it. We are struggling against Dempster and we Ramos is swinging at the first pitch? Let's take some so we can get him out of there.Ugly.

  40. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Is that Desmond's first throwing error of the year?

  41. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    "Look at that gun," says Bob C of Desmond. Uh, rihgt. Ready, fire, aim…

  42. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    NatsInsider is well represented at Duffy's today. Sofa, Sunderland, RPrecup, units, Natsnut, 1a, Khera and a bunch of Anons of course. Cheers everyone. BTFGN!

  43. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Desi rushed the throw. But looks like the homer scorers are giving Baker a hit.

  44. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Scorekeeper's generous to both Desmond and Baker. Base hit, no error.If Desi's throw is on line, Baker's out by a step and a half. Go figure.

  45. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    And the nice 5-4-3 DP to empty the bases.

  46. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Are the Nats going to let Stras take a loss on the first game of the year? Really?Dempster's at 92 pitches. How much longer for him?

  47. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Shark almost had DeRosa for lunch

  48. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Lets go get Strasburg a win (or a least a run, so he can't loss).

  49. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Hey, Stephen! Welcome to Jordan Zimmermann's world!

  50. MC 703 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    The anons have started already. Go Louis CK – ah I mean Chad Tracy!

  51. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    And Baker pays Desmond back by letting that ball go through.

  52. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Desi is on first!

  53. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I cant decide if a game like this reflects why the W-L stat is useless, or if it reflects why it is the ultimate statistic clearly identifying who did more to help their team win? SS did 7 IP, 1R, but Dempster did just a little better at 0R and his 1-0 record will be that much better than SS's 0-1 record.

  54. hmmm... - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    flagship sinks. can't get game on am or fm websites, or phone app. grrrr. gotta settle for sunshine bob

  55. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Dang! They're making Dempster look good.

  56. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Let's play all 9 innings before we decide what the W-L record is (however worthless for pitchers it may be).

  57. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Bottom line; LaRoche is no cleanuo hitter.

  58. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    I dont need two more innings to learn the outcome of this game …

  59. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Arrrrgggg – this is embarassing. Unfortunately , it's just more of the same – good pitching, no offense.

  60. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Dempster's done. I guess those two almost homers by Zimmerman put the fear into Sveum.

  61. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    hmmmm… you can only get games via MLB Radio on the internet.

  62. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    LaRoche up with runners on first and second, two outs.I'm feeling pretty good about this.Not.

  63. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Desi steals second. Zim walks. Here's LaRoche with 2 out.

  64. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Wow, ALR has a chance to really stink it up today.

  65. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Oy.

  66. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    You said it, SweetBlues

  67. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    LaRoche walks!

  68. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    ALR opts for OBP. Good on him.

  69. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Wow. LaRoche gets on base with a walk.Putting the fate of the inning in the hands of……Jayson Werth. (Do I feel pretty good about this, or not?)

  70. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    He tried to strike out…..

  71. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    LaRoche walked. Pretty sad I was hoping for a walk from our cleanup hitter. I though that was best case…

  72. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    When you wrote LaRoche walks, it would have been AWESOME if the music from the Natural could have played. Just like in the movie, except replace mammoth HR that blacks out the stadium, with BB.

  73. Maijo - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Time to step up Jason.

  74. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    We shouldnt expect too much from Werth in this situation. That would have required a $127M contract, and we only ponied up $126M.

  75. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Come Werth earn thatr money. I'll take a hit, but would settle for a walk or wild pitch!

  76. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Ball four! RBI for Werth

  77. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Damn! I'll take it!

  78. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Okay. Werth walks in his first RBI. Strassy's record is safe for now.

  79. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    OK, about that Win stat – Dempster just lost his. Fair measure of his performance?

  80. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Yes – Tied up, now I like our chance. Bases still filled and we have the better pen!

  81. josh f - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    OH MAN – huge ABs by two guys who were goats early. Gotta love baseball.

  82. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Unbelievable.

  83. Pete - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    BASES LOADED WALK BURN YOUR PANTS 1-1

  84. NaterialGuy - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    OMG

  85. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Not sure I can take 161 more versions of 1-1 in the eighth, let's hope our bullpen is better than theirs.

  86. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Yikes. Should LaRosa have been sliding there? He's out at first, stranding three on base.

  87. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    DeRosa just basely out at first. Man, that was close.

  88. Pete - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    MILLIONS OF PEACHES, PEACHES FOR FREE

  89. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    So we have been given many, many base runners and gifts wrapped up as walks and we can't hit any of them in? That is just pathetic. Kerry Wood was terrible. But I do think neither pitcher can get a win now. Is that right?

  90. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    I feel like I am going to throw up.

  91. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    @Alan_A: "OK, about that Win stat – Dempster just lost his. Fair measure of his performance?"+1. It's a meaningless statistic. Dempster dominated the game until he came out. Now some relief pitcher will get the "win," because of what the other team's offense does.

  92. sm13 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Heck of a way to finally score a run.

  93. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Vulture a win, Tyler!

  94. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Love DeRosa's hustle. Good sign of things to come

  95. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Yes, our favorite All-Star vulture is on the mound. I'm feeling better about this now. (Really.)

  96. sm13 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Heck of a way to score a run!

  97. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    1-1 but we are pathetic at the plate. LaDouche and Werth cant hit if their lives depended on it

  98. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Oopsie. Let's see what the official scorer does with that. Espi bobbles a grounder right to him.

  99. A DC Wonk - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    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. Can I help you wipe that egg off your face?

  100. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    If we are struggling against what may be the worse pitching in MLB, what does that bode for the season?

  101. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Looks like the scorer did it right this time. Switched an "H" to an "E." So Espinosa has his first error of the year.

  102. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Mick.. this isn't the worst pitching, That belongs to Houston

  103. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood cant be the worst pitchers in baseball, can they? Or am I stuck in 2002?

  104. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Desi had a very good game – I am not going to pick at that. I might go so far as to say he was the next best player on the field for us today ( after SS).

  105. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    OK, second worse

  106. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    BTW.. Larry Bowa is not drinking the Nats koolaid anymore.

  107. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Sure wish we had Morse in the line-up

  108. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Mick, give it a rest man. Zimm should be 2 for 2 with 4 RBI today and Werth tagged one pretty well earlier in the game. The top of the order has been on A LOT. The Cubs are also nowhere near the level of worst pitching considering they have Dempster and Matt Garza. That would go to the Astros, Orioles and Pirates way before the Cubs.

  109. hmmm... - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    dempster 112/116 4.41 career may be worst in mlb?ryan z struggling against the worst wind in MLB?let's calm down.

  110. hmmm... - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    second worst wind. lot of hot air blowing around here today too

  111. TimDz - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Man..I can't believe we are going to lose game seven of the World Series this way….this team is really pathet….wait…..This is just the FIRST game of the season?Nevermind…Really people. It is opening day, the wind is blowing in and, even if we lose today (GASP), there are 161 more to go…

  112. bdrube - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Just thought I'd point out that there were two 1-0 finals in the NL already today, Philadelphia over Pittsburgh and the Mets over Atlanta. So we've already met or exceeded the run totals of at least four other teams.

  113. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Tracy with another ball that should have been a home run…off the wall.

  114. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Chad Tracy.. WOOO HOOO!

  115. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Oh my. Tracy with a double against the ivy in RF. Just a single by Desi will do the job now.

  116. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Hah!

  117. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Base hit Desi!

  118. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Yes sir IAN!!!!

  119. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    OK, so we start Tracy at first and let Desi do his thing…

  120. Joe Seamhead - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    What say you Desi naysayers?

  121. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Holy Crap IAN!!!! I am building the bomb shelter as we chat! There is no way the world isn't going to end!

  122. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    My keyboard to Desmond's ears. Ian drives in Carroll (pinch running) with a single to right. 2-1 Nats.GYPFBNG!

  123. Tcostant - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Yes Nats up 2-1, I knew we could win the pen game!

  124. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I am not a Lidge fan, please prove me wrong

  125. NaterialGuy - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Let's go Lidge!!

  126. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Erik- What game are you watching? Strasburg pitched extremely well. He was 95-98 with incredible movement. Hardly "meatballs" :-)Defense let him down.But Nats are up 2-1 in the 9th! Lidge coming in to close.Go NATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  127. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Okay. Brad Lidge won the World Series three and a half years ago, right?Shut this one down, Brad.

  128. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Lidge to lock it down

  129. Frediemac - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    How abut Ian Today? WOW

  130. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    In the words of Ian Desmond…….TAKE THAT PERIC!!!!

  131. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Breaking out the bourbon and Maalox for the first time this season!Bourbon and Maalox for my friends, Barkeep!Go get 'em, Brad Lidge!

  132. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Let's see…if Lidge can save this one, our favorite vulture begins the year in proper form, yes?I love our bullpen.

  133. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Well if that wasn't the Tyler Clippard vulture effect at its finest I don't know what is!

  134. Maijo - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Nats showing a lot of heart out there. Just need Lidge to hold em now.

  135. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    This ump is sharp.

  136. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Perhaps Adam LaRoche should have been doing more than getting minor league at bats….. Maybe Chad Tracy can play some first? Maybe as much as I wanted the season to open, I kind of forgot how crazy it is to be a Nats fan. 161 more – need to breathe.

  137. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Lidge completely had Reed Johnson fooled

  138. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Lidge has looked amazing this spring.

  139. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Aaaaaaaaaaaw.

  140. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    On the other hand, Ian Stewart wasn't fooled at all.Pitter-pat goes my little old middle-aged heart. Too much drama for my liking.

  141. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Wind gives us a favor after it's robbed us 3 times. That ball should have been long gone.

  142. NG - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Z-man and Ramo! One more Lidge!

  143. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    OMG Zimmerman!

  144. Maijo - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Great play Zim!

  145. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    JUST FYI.. That was a tough play for Werth, that part of the park is hard to judge (I should know I spent my childhood watching guys do that).And yes RZ is your gold glove winner!

  146. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    question… could Clip have pitched the 9th and if he could WHY NOT?

  147. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    What were they thinking..

  148. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Holy crap, batman!

  149. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Just think…we get to watch Zim do that for a long time.Dear Rizzo / Lerners: THANK YOU for that extension.

  150. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Wow. Just wow.Maybe Lady Luck is with us this year. We sure are due.

  151. SweetBlues - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Hooooo Ray!

  152. dj inFl. - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    It could not have happened any better.Way to go Desi!Maybe a few more neganons will leave to cut grassinstead of bringing clouds to a sunny day.Way to go Nats.

  153. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    What's the record for the most comments for a game thread? I think we break it today!!

  154. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    And there's your ballgame.

  155. Joe Seamhead - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Wowie,Zowie!!!

  156. pdowdy83 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Well that was quite a first game. This could be a really wild season!!

  157. Maijo - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    That's what I'm talkin about !

  158. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    a curly WWWWWWWWWWW

  159. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    is it OVER? did we WIN? i cant LOOK.

  160. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Wowie. Lidge takes it all the way to 3-2 with 2 outs, but gets Byrd looking with a pitch on the corner.Perfect pitch on the pitch track. Right on the low outside corner of the zone.PFB, I must say.

  161. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    PFB

  162. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Way to go, Lidge!

  163. Mark'd - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    For all the Desmond supporters YES!!!!

  164. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    In the immortal words of MichelleS: "WOO-HOO."First in war, first in peace,first in the National League East.WOO-HOO!!!!!

  165. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Clippard in mid-season form, vulturing wins already!

  166. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    can someone break down that last double play? Third to Home for the tag and then to First???

  167. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Wow. Is Kristina Akra real short, or is Lidge real tall? Or some combination of the two? She looks like she's looking up at the Sears Tower.

  168. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Okay, I am going to be a complete mess by the home opener. This was a great game! Way to Go IAN!!!!

  169. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    That Win stat, on the other hand, counts. I'll take it.

  170. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    That was an epic game. No other way to say it.

  171. kid for a day - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  172. Joe Seamhead - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    You gotta give Davey a lot of credit with his late game managing! We stole that one!

  173. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    @Alan_A, LOL. I'll take that "win" too, since no save was blown. But let's not forget the immortal "blown save / win."

  174. m20832 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Zimmerman saved Werth's butt…Nice first win and pretty darn good pitching!Keep it up Boys of (brrrrr) Summer!GYFNG!!!

  175. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Lidge looks a foot and a half taller than Kristina.Other than being Smurf-tall, she seems pretty good. The nice part is that when she speaks, it doesn't ruin the effect.Good call, MASN.

  176. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    This will be a story of the year folks.Many many 2-1 wins.Offense is weak, but pitching is amazing.Offensive reinforcements will arrive soon. Go Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  177. Alan_A - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    @Dave -Lidge is 6'5".Kristina, on the other hand, isn't….

  178. SFNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    It wasn't a double play, anon @ 5:03. There was one out when Cubbie hit a triple off the wall. Then a sharp grounder to Zim…third to home for 2 outs. Then a K for out 3.

  179. Gumbo in Gotham - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Wow! Tons of drama on opening day! So glad the Nats got the curly W and also really glad that Stras didn't have to take an "L" after pitching so well.Great job Ian Desmond! I'm not a Desi hater, but I'm not exactly a big supporter either. He certainly showed his bat today.

  180. Smatt1001 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Let's go Nats 1-0!!!

  181. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    I believe the phrase "vulture win" applies to relievers who gave up the lead and then got a win.A scoreless inning in a tie game is a "real" win for Clippard :-)

  182. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I don't think a 2-1 9 inning game at the very beginning of the season counts as epic, or are you using the word epic to mean "cool?"

  183. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Thanks SF! the gamecast I was watching called it a double play, out at home. I was scratching my head there for a minute. Going home to watch the highlights now!

  184. NatsBrat - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Take that, that, that, and that (3 hits/1 ribbie)–you Desi haters!!!!!!!!!!!My man is now leading the NL in hits, and average!Goooooooooooooooooooooo Desi!!!!!Goooooooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  185. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    @Cwj, true enough. But don't we like to think of Tyler as our own Vulture? Even when he just keeps the other team from going ahead?

  186. jeeves - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Hey Anon who hates Desi. God, you are right, he's terrible, made an error. Oh wait, he was the whole Nat's offense essentially winning the game for them. Of course, kudos to Tracy who helped the cause.Might have to give some credit to the pitchers too.

  187. ehay2k - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Ahh, victory. And the top spot in the NL East. I hope this is somehting we get accustomed to.

  188. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Chad Tracy is quite an upgrade over Matt Stairs, no?

  189. A DC Wonk - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    One down, 88 or so to go for playoffs?

  190. NatsBrat - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Take that, that, that, & that (3 hits and 1 ribbie) you Desi haters!!!Goooooooooooo Desi!Goooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!!

  191. SonnyG10 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Oh my Gosh! What a great comeback win.

  192. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Nice turnout and crowd and excellent free wings today @ Duffy's. I will post pictures of the autographed baseball later.

  193. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    You know, that win was really quite a Houdini act. How frustrated do you think the Cubs fans are with Kerry Wood?

  194. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  195. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  196. ehay2k - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Nice – wish I could have been at Duffy's. But got to see the last 4 innings live. Will watch the others tonite.87 more wins, and we take the division. Just sayin…GYFNG!

  197. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    397th

  198. NG - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    This crazy game was like deja vu all over again. Just last July 4th, the Cubbies were in DC, the Nats were trailing and tied the game after three consecutive walks by Kerry Wood, then eventually won the game against Marmol (that one was a walk-off wild pitch with Werth on third). http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=310704120

  199. jd - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Mick, You gotta take it easy. If you look around the league there are 1-0 scores all over the place. It's hard to hit when it's cold and windy and you just arrived from Florida. Say what you want but the walks by LaRoche and Werth in the 8th were as good as hits and Wood is not a bum. he is a good pitcher. Nice game Desi; it's one game but the approach is the same as the end of last year. I think he gets it.

  200. jd - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Oh and JayB. How's that bench so far?

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.

*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.

Follow us on Twitter