Washington Nationals: Ranking The Past Opening Day Lineups

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May 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; General view of Nationals park during the game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; General view of Nationals park during the game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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2010 – 11.8

2010 was the first and only full season that Jim Riggleman got to manage the Washington Nationals. That year, the team went 69-93, but it was a ten-win improvement from the two prior seasons.

For the third time in his career, Zimmerman led the team in WAR that year (7.2) thanks to setting a career high in home runs (33) and driving in over 100 runs (106) for the second time in his career.

After Zimmerman, Adam Dunn moved over to first base after opening the 2009 season in left field and had a 2.4 WAR. Dunn had a second straight 38 home run season and drove in 103 runs. As for that year’s left fielder, Josh Willingham made his only Opening Day start in D.C. He would end up having the second highest WAR of his career (2.8).

This lineup that day did have a Hall of Famer behind the plate in Ivan Rodriguez, but he finished with a negative WAR (-0.1) that year. Besides Willingham, the outfield struggled as center fielder Nyjer Morgan (-0.6) had 88 strikeouts that year to go with a .253 average. Plus, right fielder Willie Harris (-0.7) hit below .200 for the season (.183).

John Lannan (0.1) took the mound at Nats Park that afternoon for the second time in his career. The 25-year-old finished second on the team in wins (eight) and innings pitched (143.1) that year to Hernandez.

Lannan and the Nats didn’t have a great Opening Day that season as they were blown out 11-1 by the Philadelphia Phillies. He gave up five runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings in the loss. The only run scored by the Nats offense that day came courtesy of a Zimmerman RBI double against Roy Halladay in the bottom of the first.

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