Relive some memorable home openers in Nationals history
Today was supposed to be the home opener at Nats Park. Instead, the season has been suspended because of the Coronavirus as everyone is staying inside in order to stay safe. With that said, in order to get our baseball fix, here are some memorable home openers in Nationals history.
Home Opener 2005
This marked the first home game in D.C in 34 years as the Washington Senators moved away in 1971. The Montreal Expos were moved to D.C at the start of the 2005 season and the Washington Nationals were born. Livan Hernandez was the starting pitching for the Nats and he put on a show. The veteran went 8.1 innings giving up three runs, striking out five, and walking six. Livan had a complete game shutout going into the ninth before he gave up a three-run homer to Chad Tracy. Washington held on to win 5-3 and had Vinny Castilla to thank for that. The third baseman led the offense as he went 3-3, with four RBI’s. He was a single shy of the cycle but, was hit in his last at-bat.
Home Opener 2008
Opening Day 2008 marked the opening of the team’s new stadium, Nationals Park. The Nats were facing Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves. Hudson went seven strong innings, giving up two runs, and striking out three. Both runs for the Nats came in the first inning on back to back doubles by Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns. Odalis Perez got the start for the Nats, and he went five innings. He gave up one run, struck out two, and walked one. Washington’s bullpen held the braves in check as they allowed zero runs. The Braves tied it in the top of the ninth on a past ball and silenced the home crowd. Then Ryan Zimmerman came up and continued his clutch ways. He crushed a solo shot to walk off the Braves 3-2. The legend of Mr walk-off continued.
Home Opener 2013
Fresh off of their first-ever division title, the Nationals were hungry and ready to redeem their 2012 NLDS game five meltdown against the Cardinals. Stephen Strasburg got the start for the Nats and threw seven shutout innings. At one point he even retired 19 straight batters and he finished the game with three strikeouts and no walks allowed. Bryce Harper homered in his first two at-bats as he led the Nats to a 2-0 win.
Home Opener 2017
The Nationals face the Marlins and Strasburg was on the mound. The righty went seven innings, giving up two runs, striking out three, and walking none. After being down 2-0 in the sixth, Harper hit a solo shot to make it a one-run game. This was his fifth opening day home run. Adam Lind put the Nats up for good in the seventh as he hit a two-run pinch-hit homer. That was his first swing as a Nat. Washington went on to win 4-2.