For Bryce Harper, two homers in his first two at-bats, and even some ''M-V-P!'' chants. For Stephen Strasburg, 19 consecutive outs during one stretch of seven scoreless innings.
And for the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals, a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday in Game 1 of a season lame-duck manager Davey Johnson declared months ago should be defined as ''World Series or bust.''
Harper, the 20-year-old left fielder coming off NL Rookie of the Year honors, hit solo shots over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field off Ricky Nolasco in the first and fourth innings. He sprinted around the bases both times, and after his second trip, he climbed back out of the dugout for a curtain call, pumping his right fist.
It was Harper's first taste of opening day; he began last year in the minors before getting called up.
For Strasburg (1-0), this marked the start of what should be his first full season in the majors, with zero pitch or inning limits. The All...