Nationals

Quick Links

The perfect mix of new and old propels Nationals to Opening Day victory

The perfect mix of new and old propels Nationals to Opening Day victory

WASHINGTON — The Nationals got the 2017 season started off on the right foot thanks to some deft fielding and two big swings on Monday afternoon. 

Stephen Strasburg gave the Nationals seven innings of quality work and his teammates did the rest, defeating the Miami Marlins 4-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 42,744 at Nationals Park.

How It Happened: Edinson Volquez and Stephen Strasburg didn't bring a lot of heat on Opening Day, but the two aces kept the ball in play for the first three innings. But in the top of the fourth inning, Strasburg allowed the Marlins to make contact one too many times. Catcher J.T. Realmuto doubled to center field, and after Christian Yellich filed out, Giancarlo drove in the first run of the season, sending the ball over the head of center fielder Adam Eaton, who was in shallow position. Stanton advanced to third base on a ground out from Justin Bour, before Marcel Ozuna drove him in on a single to center.

The Marlins nearly doubled up their lead in the fifth with two men on, but Bryce Harper came to the rescue. With Vloquez on second and Realmuto on first, Yellich sent a Strasburg pitch deep to right field. Harper had to sprint to the right field wall and make an acrobatic catch to end the inning and prevent the Marlins from taking a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Nationals finally took the offensive in the sixth inning, thanks to Bryce Harper, who belted the fifth Opening Day home run of his career.The very next inning, manager Dusty Baker pulled Strasburg and inserted offseason acquisition and pinch-hitter Adam Lind, who took David Phelps deep for a two-run home run.

A Daniel Murphy single drove in Eaton in the eight to give the Nationals a security run in the eighth inning.

New Faces Deliver: Three of the newest Nationals made big impacts on Opening Day. Adam Eaton, who the team acquired in a trade from the White Sox, finished 1-for-2 with one hit, one run and two walks. Former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters also made his Nationals debut. He singled in the seventh inning, putting a runner on base for the final member of the Nats' new trio, who gave the Nationals the lead for good with a two-run home run.

Bryce Harper Day: Bryce Harper sure does love Opening Day. The Nationals superstar became the first player in the Live Ball Era to hit five Opening Day home runs before his 25th birthday. He also became the only player in franchise history to hit a home run on Opening Day in three consecutive seasons.

Closing It Out: Blake Treinen entered the game in the top of the ninth inning with the Nationals leading 4-2. It marked the first save opportunity for him since being named the team's primary closer. Treinen got dangerous slugger Giancarlo Stanton to pop out in foul territory and struck out Justin Bour on a full count before striking out Ozuna to end the game.

Final Line: Strasburg (W, 1-0): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 SO, 0 BB

Quick Links

Simone Biles back flip twists before first pitch of the World Series

Simone Biles back flip twists before first pitch of the World Series

Ahead of Game 2 of the 2019 World Series, Houston native and Team USA gymnast Simone Biles threw out the first pitch in a way only she could.

Some celebrities struggle to throw their pitch past the plate, but Biles landed an impressive backflip twist (in jeans, might I add) before throwing her pitch.

Biles previously threw a first pitch at another Astros game on July 4, 2016, wowing Minute Maid Park with an aerial before throwing to former Astros pitcher Scott Feldman and asking him to sign the baseball for her.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

David Ortiz shows 'phenom' Juan Soto some love before Game 2

David Ortiz shows 'phenom' Juan Soto some love before Game 2

Arguably the greatest designated hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, David Ortiz has seen his share of greats. As a FOX Sports baseball analyst on-site for the World Series, Big Papi made time to hang out with Juan Soto, the young Nationals legend.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a phenom (noun) is defined as "a person who is outstandingly talented or admired, especially an up-and-comer." See: Juan Soto, rocking 180 RBI, 17 stolen bases, and .937 OPS in just two years of playing Major League ball.

The kid can't even drink champagne yet (turns 21 on October 25) but Papi says Soto has "been bless[ed] with something that a lot [of] athletes don’t have," a good head on his shoulders and responsible parents. 

Ortiz also notes Soto's remarkable maturity, saying "he is only 20 year old and play the game and have the personality of a 30 year old person." 

We know we're watching history in the making with Juan Soto in Washington, but we could also be witnessing the start of a beautiful baseball friendship. Ortiz could serve as a close mentor to Soto; both hail from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: