Apr 6, 2012, 12:01 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond drives in the winning run with a ninth-inning single.
CHICAGO — Adam LaRoche stood at the plate in the top of the eighth inning of a 1-0 ballgame, a pair of teammates on the bases in scoring position, the intimidating Kerry Wood on the mound, a sellout crowd of 41,176 pleading for the hometown Cubs to get out of this jam and everyone inside the Nationals dugout living and dying with every pitch.
The calendar said it was April 5. The vibe throughout Wrigley Field suggested otherwise.
"It seemed like a playoff game," LaRoche said. "It really did."
Get used to that feeling, folks. The tension and high drama that was present throughout the Nationals' 2-1 victory — especially during the insanely intense eighth and ninth innings — could become commonplace over the next six months. Maybe seven months.
Sure, Opening Day has a way of magnifying everything. Perhaps the stakes won't feel quite as high on May 8 in Pittsburgh or August 6 in Houston. But the kind of ballgame the Nationals played today –Read more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
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.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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