Found April 01, 2013 on
The Nats Blog:
All of the excitement during the pomp and circumstance from the pre-game festivities didn’t take long to materialize into real excitement. The Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 2-0, though the game seemed more lopsided than the box score showed with the help of some dominant individual performances.
In his first at-bat of the season, Bryce Harper mashed a line drive home run to the right center field stands for a home run. It was a second-pitch curveball, which followed a splitter, which shows you how much he is respected, or feared, by MLB pitchers. He wasn’t nearly done yet, though. Later, in the fourth inning on a 3-2 slider, he put another ball in the right center field seats for his second home run of the season in his second at-bat of the season. Harper is the youngest player in the live-ball era to hit two home runs in his team’s Opening Day game, according to ESPN Stats and Info. He’s also the first defending Rookie of the Year to homer on Opening Day since Ryan Howard did it in 2006.
Harper also made a great play in the field to end the seventh inning. After catching a Rob Brantly fly to left, he used his arm to throw a strike to Wilson Ramos with Giancarlo Stanton tagging up to try to score. Stanton retreated to third, but with Placido Polanco, who was on first, trying to advance to second to draw a throw, the Nats infield played it perfectly. Ultimately, it was scored a 7-2-3-4-2 double play to end the inning.
The Nats offense was, otherwise, pretty quiet. Wilson Ramos reached twice with a walk and a hit, and Ian Desmond had a hit in the seventh.
The other major story of this Opening Day, besides Bryce Harper’s monster game, was Stephen Strasburg’s incredible start. He was able to dominate all of his pitches with his fastball reaching 98 mph on several occasions. He gave up a hit to start the game, but he then retired 19 consecutive batters before giving up his next hit. He had the Marlins hitters freezing with regularity on fastballs, the hitters obviously expecting something else. He made it through seven innings allowing just three hits and striking out three. He was pulled after just 80 pitches.
In the eighth, Tyler Clippard came on in relief. He struggled early with his command, walking Donovan Solano to lead off the inning, but he settled down to retire the next three batters in a lengthy 23 pitch inning.
The ninth inning was utterly dominated by closer Rafael Soriano in his Nats debut. He retired three batters in 11 pitches, and two of them struck out looking. On most of those pitches, Wilson Ramos never moved his glove to catch it. He was putting it exactly where he wanted it to go for his first save of the season.
The Nats have now won their Opening Day game for the second straight season, and it’s the second home opener they’ve won at Nationals Park. They take a 1-0 record into an off day before coming back for a 7:05 pm matchup against the Marlins on Wednesday.
-In the top of the first, Ryan Zimmerman made an incredible diving stop to his left and throw to first, which robbed Placido Polanco of a sure single and RBI and ended the inning. It allowed Strasburg to get into a rhythm after allowing a leadoff hit to Juan Pierre.
BEST OF MAXIM
Up above, both of the homers Bryce Harper hit to start get the 2013 season started in style. (Best of all, MLB.com includes both the MASN and WJFK radio calls of Harper's blasts.) By our unofficial count, Harper's combined HR sprint time today: 28 seconds.
Harper & Strasburg 2, Marlins 0: And away we go...
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Bryce Harper, the sky-is-the-limit second-year Washington Nationals outfielder, homered in his first two at-bats on Opening Day in the team’s tilt against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. By doing so, Harper became only the third defending Rookie of the Year Award winners, joining Raul Mondesi and Carlton Fisk, to hit two home runs in the first game of the following season...
I figured it was about time for someone else on here to sing the praises of young Bryce Harper. Maybe the best young player in the majors (apologies to Mike Trout fans) started off the season, in which many have predicted any NL MVP award, by taking Richard Nolasco deep twice. The first came on a 1-0 count and a 73 MPH curve ball. It’s been noted that Bryce Harper received...
Tweet Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper went into his rookie season as one of the most hyped prospects in almost a decade and backed it up with a solid rookie campaign. Harper appears to have picked up right where he left off, slamming a home run on each of his first at-bats in the Nationals [...]
Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?
Well, I guess that’s too late to figure out now. I kept him. He’s now the “ace” of my fantasy baseball team. I know what you might be thinking. Keeping Strasburg? Isn’t that a no-brainer? He’s already been named the Nationals’ Opening Day starter. However, you are talking to the same woman who had Joey Votto on her team last...
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...
Bryce Harper’s Monday afternoon:
1. Picked up the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year award.
2. Hit two home runs in his first two at-bats.
3. The first was caught by a Jayson Werth lookalike.
4. Squared to bunt in his third at-bat.
5. Did not get thrown at, somehow.
6. Kept Miami from scoring with his laser-rifle arm.
Stephen Strasburg, by the way, was brilliant, giving up three hits...
Bryce Harper appears poised for a breakout season with the Washington Nationals in 2013, but he wants more than that. Becoming the face of one of the best young teams in baseball would be nice, but Harper wants to become the Tom Brady of the MLB. During an interview with the Washington Times on Sunday, Harper expressed a desire to be featured on magazine covers and be seen as more...
Opening day across baseball will feature star pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander trying to get off to great starts, old rivalries at Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium and the beginning of a quirky interleague schedule.
A dozen games are set for Monday. No snow is in the forecast for any ballpark on April Fools' Day, but freezing temperatures are expected at Target...
For Nats phenom Bryce Harper, life is sweet. He’s young, rich, adored by millions, and, best of all, has a lifetime supply of burritos from Chipotle Mexican Grill. In Washington’s first game of the season Harper smacked a pair of dingers against the Marlins, a taste of what’s to come for the 2013 season.
Harper’s latest adventure living the good life had him at the White...
How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record in the Washington Nationals opener vs. the Miami Marlins?
Will he K more than the newest, richest pitcher in the world -- Justin Verlander? The Tigers ace, who takes the hill 4:10 p.m. ET in Minnesota to face the Twins later today, agreed to a $180 million, seven year contract on Friday .
Strasburg and the Nats host the Marlins...
Stephen Strasburg is ready for his first big league season without restrictions.
Ready to go from season's start to finish.
Ready to throw as many pitches as it takes and to stay on the mound as long as possible, including into the eighth and ninth inning, something he's never done in the majors.
It all begins Monday, when All-Star ace Strasburg starts the season opener...
I’m pretty sure any of the Ryan Braun naysayers are no longer saying nay. If you told me Player X would win the MVP award and then get busted for a failed PED test (regardless of whether or not it was tampered with), I certainly wouldn’t project him to have a better season the next year.That’s the story of Braun’s last 12-15 months, though. After concerns that the amazing...