Nationals: Top 3 Opening Day performances in team history

The Washington Nationals 2019 World Series pennant is shown prior to their Opening Day game against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Washington Nationals 2019 World Series pennant is shown prior to their Opening Day game against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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The Nationals had a great Opening Day in 2013, with Stephen Strasburg providing seven shutout innings.
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 03: Stephen Strasburg #37 and Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals during the Opening Day game against the Miami Marlins on April 3, 2017 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 4-2. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /

Number 3: Stephen Strasburg 2013 and Bryce Harper 2013 (tie)

Strasburg: 7 IP, 3 hits allowed, 0 runs, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts (W)

Stephen Strasburg was an All-Star in 2012 with a FIP of 2.83. Making his second consecutive Opening Day start, he stifled the Miami Marlins for most of the afternoon. What places him on this list ahead of the Scherzer performance is the efficiency with which he worked. Stras finished with just 80 pitches and faced just two batters over the minimum in his seven innings of work. He also induced eleven ground ball outs, allowing just one extra base hit.

Strasburg gave up a leadoff single to Juan Pierre, then retired the next 19 batters he faced. He was given an early 1-0 lead after the first inning, and it proved to be enough. The Nationals would add another run in the fourth inning.

Harper: 2-4, 2 home runs, 2 RBI

Bryce Harper hits home runs on Opening Day. That’s what he does. Beginning with a jack in 2013, he homered on Opening Day four out of the next five years. That year, however, he hit two long balls on the first day of the season. In a game where he provided to be all the run support Stephen Strasburg needed, Harper took Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco deep, twice. Nationals hitters were only able to scratch out three hits off the Miami starter in the six innings he hurled, though two of them left the yard.

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