Apr 2, 2013, 12:00 AM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Bryce Harper got a curtain call after hitting his second homer.
They have become the two most prominent faces of the Nationals, and really, two of the most prominent faces of baseball despite the fact each is in his young 20s and combined they’ve only played 184 games in the major leagues.
On a team loaded with talent and expected by everyone to do great things this year, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg still manage to stand out above the rest. They alone can’t — and won’t — lead the Nationals to October glory. But they’re certainly capable of taking over any given ballgame and leading their team to victory.
And when the stage is brighter than normal, as it was on Opening Day on South Capitol Street, they sure do have a knack for rising to the occasion.
“Even though they’re young guys, they have experience at the big-league level,” reliever Tyler Clippard said. “With those two things in combination with their ability, it gives us as a team a lot of confidence that they’re putting the ‘W’ up on their backs and not any other uniforms. I’m glad they’re on our team.”
So were the 45,274 fans who crammed themselves into Nationals Park this afternoon and witnessed the closest thing to Opening Day perfection they’re likely to ever see in person. Strasburg: Seven scoreless innings. Harper: Two home runs. The Nationals: A convincing, 2-0 victory over the Marlins to get perhaps the most-anticipated season in Washington baseball history off to a flying start.
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)...
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