Grab your cracker jacks, peanuts, buttered popcorn, and crack open a cold one because it’s that time of year again.
After a successful spring training, in which the Washington Nationals compiled a Grapefruit League best 19-4 record, the curly W’s traveled to intra-division rival Atlanta for their Opening Day contest.
To say the Nationals hit off their 2016 season with a bang would be an understatement, as the reigning National League MVP, Bryce Harper, went yard in his first at-bat, and for the fourth time in his Opening Day career. Harper’s carried on success from 2015 lifted the Nationals over the Braves in 10 innings, 4-3.
Washington also got a huge hand from Daniel Murphy, who launched a solo home run to center field in the fourth inning and drove in the game-winning run by lining a double to deep left field in the 10th inning. He also drew two walks and picked up a single, adding to his stellar debut in a Nationals uniform.
The Nationals were down 3-2 in the contest after Braves’ Garcia doled a punishing blow, sending a solo shot to left center field and then in the eighth inning, drawing a bases loaded walk.
Michael Taylor would knot the game up at 3-3 in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly to center field that would bring in Jayson Werth.
Harper would draw two walks and swipe a stolen base on top of his opening at-bat home run. Wilber Ramos added two hits for the Nationals, both singles.
Max Scherzer pitched seven innings of quality baseball, only being taxed for two earned runs on his three hits and two walks allowed while striking out seven.
Newly acquired center fielder Ben Revere exited the fourth inning with an upper body injury and was then replaced by Taylor.
The Nationals (1-0) will take on the Braves (1-0) for their second of a three game series tonight at 7:10 pm.