Washington Nationals: Examining Stephen Strasburg’s Opening Day Track Record

rickinator555
Mar 3, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

With Stephen Strasburg projected to start Opening Day for the Washington Nationals, we look back at his prior Opening Day starts in D.C.

On Wednesday, the Washington Nationals saw Max Scherzer make its first start of the spring. While he won’t miss much time to begin the regular season, it doesn’t sound like he will be start Opening Day for the third straight year. Here is what Scherzer told the media after his start:

If Scherzer can’t make that start on April 3 against the Miami Marlins at Nats Park (1:05 p.m ET, MASN), that start is most likely going to Stephen Strasburg if everything goes right. Opening Day is something very familiar to him. The 28-year-old would be making his fourth Opening Day start of his career, which would tie Livan Hernandez for the third most in Expos/Nationals history.

More from District on Deck

In his other three Opening Day outings, Strasburg has one win, has given up five runs, and has struck out 18 batters over the course of 20 innings. While he hasn’t picked up a win in each one of those games, the Washington Nationals have won each game.

Strasburg’s first Opening Day start was on April 5, 2012 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He gave up two hits in the first three innings before the Cubs got on the board in the fourth via a RBI single by Marlon Byrd. However, that would be the only run he would give all day.

Despite giving up just the one run and striking out five batters over seven innings, Strasburg got the no-decision because the offense struggled against Ryan Dempster (ten strikeouts). But, the Nats would win the game thanks to a Jayson Werth walk in the eighth and a Ian Desmond single in the ninth.

One year later, Strasburg was back on the mound at Nats Park against the Marlins. Bryce Harper ended up hitting a pair of solo home runs and that was all the run support the right-hander would need. He went seven innings, gave up three hits, and struck out three on 80 pitches in a 2-0 win.

While Strasburg struck out ten batters at Citi Field on Opening Day 2014, he gave up four runs in the first two innings, including a three-run home run by New York Mets outfielder Andrew Brown in the top of the first inning. Despite giving up four runs in the first two innings, Strasburg shut out New York for the final four innings.

Since Strasburg kept the Nats in the game, they were able to rally with a Denard Span game tying double in the ninth and then four runs in the top of the tenth, which included a three-run home run by Anthony Rendon against former Nats pitcher John Lannan.

Opening Day always brings a lot of intrigue to any baseball fan because it’s the start of a new season. For the Washington Nationals fan base, it’s a chance to see their pitcher begin his first season throwing solely from the stretch.

Next: 2017 Player Preview: Tanner Roark

Any fan wants to see their team get a win on Opening Day. If you go off of Strasburg’s Opening Day track record, they have a good chance to win if he’s the one taking the ball. Of course, fans would rather see Strasburg make an October start than Opening Day.

facebooktwitterreddit