Nationals’ top 10 Opening Day performances
Ranking the top 10 Opening Day performances in Nationals history
Opening Day would’ve been this Thursday. While there won’t be any baseball played, it does give us a chance to look back on some of the best Game 1 performances by a Nationals player since the team moved to D.C. in 2005.
10. Stephen Strasburg, 2012
Box score: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K
Strasburg’s first career Opening Day start was a gem at Wrigley Field. He cruised through seven frames and helped guide the Nationals to a 2-1 win over the Cubs.
9. Trea Turner, 2019
Box score: 2-4, 3 SB
Turner was only the seventh player in MLB history to steal three bases on Opening Day. The last player before him to do it? Emilio Bonifacio, who swiped three bags against Washington in 2009.
8. Max Scherzer, 2018
Box score: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 10 K
Scherzer didn’t go particularly deep into this contest, but he kept the Reds off the board as Washington won on the road 2-0.
7. Anthony Rendon, 2014
Box score: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 R
A back-and-forth affair swung Washington’s way when Rendon hit a three-run homer off John Lannan (a former Nationals Opening Day starter) in the 10th inning to propel his club to a 9-7 win over the Mets.
6. Ian Desmond, 2012
Box score: 3-5, 3 1B, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB
The stat line wasn’t the most impressive in the world, but Desmond lands on this list for the go-ahead single he hit in the top of the ninth against the Cubs in that 2-1 win.
5. Stephen Strasburg, 2013
Box score: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K
Strasburg makes another appearance on this list thanks to a masterful start against the Marlins that saw just three hitters reach base against him. It won't be the last time an appearance from this game appears on this list.
4. Adam Dunn, 2009
Box score: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Dunn is the only pre-2012 player to make this list after either scoring or driving in all six runs against the Marlins to start the 2009 season. His pitching staff did little to help, however, as Florida won 12-6.
3. Daniel Murphy, 2016
Box score: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 1 R
As crazy at it sounds, only one player has reached base four times in an Opening Day game for the Nationals: Murphy. His big day led the Nationals to a 4-3 win over the Braves.
2. Bryce Harper, 2013
Box score: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
The only player in Nationals history with a multi-homer performance on Opening Day, Harper scored the only runs Washington would need in a 2-0 win over the Marlins.
1. Max Scherzer, 2019
Box score: 7.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 12 K
Scherzer kicked off last season with a vintage performance, but the bats stayed quiet as he was tabbed with the loss in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Mets.