Opening Series Review

This is a recap of the 2013 Opening Series. The Washington Nationals took on the Miami Marlins. There was at least 1 home run hit by a National in each game of the series. For the first 2 games, the Nats made the Marlins the only team in the MLB that hadn’t scored a run.  With the Nationals sweep, the Nats are again, first in the National League East. If they stay in that same position by September 28, 2013, they are heading to the playoffs!!!!!

Opening Day: April 1 (2-0 Nats)
On Opening Day, Bryce Harper was the man. He hit 2 bombs into the right field stands. It sparked the series sweep.  Stephen Strasburg pitched 7 scoreless innings, and he reached high speeds in the upper 90s. Tyler Clippard was on in the 8th inning, giving up a walk, but recovering by getting the next three Marlins out. Rafael Soriano, the new closer, was on in the 9th inning to close out a win by striking out the dangerous Giancarlo Stanton looking.  Check out this post for my full Opening Day recap.

For Miami, Ricky Nolasco pitched six innings, giving up 2 solo home runs to Bryce Harper in his first 2 at bats of the season. In the 8th, Michael Dunn gave up a hit to Denard Span, his first in a Nats uni, with an out already recorded, and Dunn got the next two.  The Marlins, however, were not hitting on Opening Day; three hits for no runs.

Wednesday, April 3 (3-0 Nats)

On a cold and windy night, Gio Gonzalez pitched a scoreless 6 innings for the Nationals, and his curve was amazing. He also recorded his 2nd career HR by hitting one into the 1st row of the left field stands that cleared the flower bed. Go Nats! Ryan Zimmerman also hit a triple.

Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus, pitching in front of his Dad and nephew from California, got an easy 7th, going 1-2-3. Drew Storen also took advantage of the AAA Marlins team playing in DC, and got another 1-2-3. Rafael Soriano struggled a bit in the 9th, giving up a single to Donovan Solano and walking Giancarlo Stanton, but he got Justin Ruggiano to fly out. The Nats won their second-straight, a rare thing for a team to open up with 2 shut outs in a row.  Team ERA of 0.00.
 
Marlins pitcher Kevin Slowey went 6 1/3 for Miami, giving up the homer by Gio Gonzalez. Ryan Webb pitched 1 1/3 with a tough 7th. Espinosa scored on a force out by Denard Span. A.J. Ramos pitched the 8th, giving up a double by Bryce Harper. Bryce came speeding home on Ryan Zimmerman’s single. 

Thursday, April 4 (6-1 Nats)

Jordan Zimmermann had pressure on him to make it 3 in a row.  He pitched 6 innings for the Nats, giving up a homer to Justin Ruggiano. Otherwise, he was amazing. He didn’t get the shutout, but that’s OK.

The highlight of the game was Jayson Werth’s three-run shot over the Marlins bullpen to seal the game.

Everyone held their breath as Henry Rodriguez took the seventh and surprisingly got a 1-2-3 inning. Good Henry showed up!  Tyler Clippard had a 1-2-3 8th, and Craig Stammen got the last few outs and the Nats won again.

Miami’s starter, Wade LeBlanc, went 5 innings and gave up a 2-run double to Ryan Zimmerman. Jon Rauch also gave up a single to the Z-Man, but was scoreless in relief. Mike Dunn came on after Jon Rauch did his time, but Jayson Werth hit it far over the opposing bullpen.

* * *
As I predicted, the Nats easily “Squished the Fish” in a 3 game sweep to start the season.  They travel to Cincinnati to face the Reds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I predict the Nats will win the weekend games and take the 2 of the 3 games in the series.   

The Nats will “Put the Reds to Bed.”  So, this weekend, use the hash tag #PutTheRedsToBed.


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