Baseball is BACK!

 The team plane left Viera and landed in DC Thursday night.  For Nats fans, Opening Day was around the corner and we were about to see GAMES THAT COUNT!! The last time we saw the Nationals win was when Charlie Slowes made his famous “Swing and a Long Drive! Deep Left Field! Going, going, it’s gone!!!! The Nationals have won the game, 2-1!!!” call. But the next day we didn’t make it due to bad luck caused by the Saint Louis Cardinals.  And baseball ended for Nats fans for about 5 months.

But after the season ends, the players have their calendars marked for one day: Opening Day. That day is where the players try to get off to a fresh start. No injuries. No slumps.  Just baseball.

It’s also fan day at the ballpark. On Opening Day, you can meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while and talk with them. (I also met some of my Twitter followers like @Smeshie, @TheRealFrankL, @DavidMorris9656, @RedPorchReport, @jonfeng1, @laineydel12, and many more were there too).  Yesterday at Nationals Park, 45,274 people came to cheer for the Nats! The game had the largest attendance rate for a Regular Season game in the history of Nationals Park and only a little less than last year’s playoff games!

Right off the the bat, I predicted the Nats would SQUISH THE FISH in the season opener.  Nationals Opening Day starter, Stephen Strasburg, gave up a single to Juan Pierre in the first inning. F.P. Santangelo must’ve said “There Goes The No-Hitter!” for the first time on MASN. But Stras recovered in time to avoid damage. First, he retired Chris Coghlan. Second, Strasburg was very lucky that the got Giancarlo Stanton out. Then, he got veteran Placido Polanco out to retire the side.

The last home run hit by a Nat in 2012 was Michael Morse, as he took Adam Wainwright deep into the opposing bullpen on October 12 (Game 5 of NLDS). Put that back in history. In his first opening day, Eye-Black Man smacked a looping change into section 140.  He showed the lighter side of the MLB how to hit a homer, served medium rare with a side of #NATITUDE!!! And then, in the 4th, the ball Bryce Harper hit basically pretended he was Bob Carpenter and said “See.  You.  Later” to Ricky Nolasco’s 6th pitch.  Bryce hit another tater into the right field stands.  The league leader in home runs, folks, is #34 Bryce Harper! You barely t see where it landed until you heard the “A-Wooga! A-Wooga!” of the submarine horn. It cleared the bullpen. It was an absolute bomb off the Kid’s bat.

Without the exceptional arms of Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos, Adam LaRoche, and Danny Espinosa, the Nats wouldn’t of made the awesome 7-2-3-4-2 double play in the 7th inning. Rob Brantly flew out to Bryce Harper. (7) Bryce threw it to Ramos. (2) Ramos saw that Placido Polanco was trying to advance to second, so he threw it to Adam LaRoche. (3) Laroche couldn’t get Polanco, so he threw the poor little ball to Danny. (4)  Danny fired it to Ramos again, who tagged the great (and surprisingly speedy) Giancarlo Stanton at the plate. All on the same play! It ended the inning for the Nats, and stopped Miami from causing any damage.

Talk about recovery. Stephen Strasburg threw 7 scoreless innings, and gave up only 3 hits. We all cheered when Tyler Clippard came on.  We also clapped and danced to “Pitch Soriano” when they announced new closer #29 Rafael Soriano. 

I also want to give a shout-out to @MattsBats follower and Nationals center fielder Denard Span for getting his first hit as a Nat! I hope he has many more to come.

My dad, my brother, and I scored opening day. My dad scored the whole game; My brother and I did partial due to viewing issues (we left our seats when it started to rain and got chicken fingers).

The lucky number around Nats Park: 1. 1st Opening Day for Bryce Harper. 1st season without any limit for Stras. 1st game of 2013. 1st time there were that many fans at the game. 1st hit by Denard Span in a Nats uni. And of course, Rafael Soriano’s first save for the Nats. He closed the came perfectly with a flyout and 2 backwards Ks, including getting Giancarlo Stanton to look at a fastball  right in the middle of the plate. The submarine horn sounded at Nats park on the gloomy but wonderful day of April 1. The Nats won their season opener against the Miami Marlins, 2-0.

The 2013 Nationals celebrate their first win of the season!

Let other baseball fans know about my blog ( and Twitter (@MattsBats).  I love getting new followers and RTs.  If you want to receive an email whenever there is a new post you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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  1. Top 10 Matt’s Bats Posts of 2013 « Matt's Bats

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