Aug 13, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen (59) talks with starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) on the mound during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
1. April 6 – Home opener vs. New York Mets
The Nationals will open the season within the friendly walls of Nationals Park, which is almost certain to be full of red-clad, towel-waving fans yelling until they’re hoarse. The last baseball game played in Nationals Park was a playoff game, and I fully expect for there to be an almost playoff-like atmosphere in DC for the start of the year.
Obviously, the Mets aren’t the most intimidating foe, even considering the fact that they’re a divisional opponent. But there might be a little drama brewing on the bulletin board to give this match-up a bit more “oomph” in terms of watchability.
Matt Harvey, the Mets young star pitcher who missed all of 2014 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, has already told reporters that he’s counting the 2015 season opener as a win. Sure, it was said back in September, but as this game looms ever closer on the calendar, expect it to be mentioned a little bit more often.
I’m certain that Matt Williams and the rest of the Nats coaching staff will make sure the heavy hitters in the lineup have heard any bit of bravado Harvey has dared spew prior to the game. It’d be great for the Nats to come out and make Harvey eat crow. A little chin music might be heard, as well.
Of course, there’s also the chance that Harvey doesn’t even pitch this game, but I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. Sure, the home opener will be great to watch regardless of the Mets starter, but it could certainly add to the potential storylines going into the game, and that never hurts.
Obviously, this will be the most anticipated game of the year because it’ll be the first Nats game in months. Harvey’s talk just makes it even more exciting. And, if the Nationals also complete a deal to send Ian Desmond to New York, that’s just one more reason this will bethe most anticipated match-up of the 2015 season.