Washington Nationals' Opening Day 2009: Washington at Florida.

(ed. note - "Turn on MASN2. Log on to MLB.tv. Find the right channel on MLB Extra Innings, or on XM or turn the dial to Charlie and Dave!! Whatever you have to do, be there at 4:10 pm EST when the Washington Nationals and the Florida Marlins start their respective 2009 seasons with DC lefty John Lannan on the mound against Marlins' righty Ricky Nolasco. It all starts in Miami, Florida, in Dolphin Stadium, as the Nationals look to rebound from last year's disastrous 102-loss campaign...the Age of Dunn is upon us...")

Opening Days...

It all started on April 4th, 2005, the official Nationals' debut as a team, with Washington losing the first game in franchise history 8-4 to the Phillies on the road in Citizens Bank, where a Kenny Lofton 3-run blast was the difference. In 2006, it was April 3rd, as the Nationals started the season in Shea, dropping a 3-2 decision to New York in a game that should have been tied in the eighth if then-Mets' catcher Paul Lo Duca, (who clearly dropped the ball on a play at the plate involving Alfonso Soriano), hadn't deceived the umpire into believing that he'd held the ball all along. 2007 saw Washington begin the season at home for the first time against the Florida Marlins, but they lost for the third time, 9-2, dropping to 0-3 on Opening Day, when now-retired starter John Patterson got hit hard for 6 runs on 7 hits in 3.2 IP...and who can forget how 2008 began?

March 31, 2008. Opening Night in Nationals Park. 2-2 ballgame in the ninth after the Atlanta Braves tie it when a pitch from the Tallest Pitcher in MLB History Jon Rauch gets by then-Nationals' catcher Paul Lo Duca and allows a run in from third. Two down in the Nationals' ninth and Ryan Zimmerma-- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Walk-off!! Might be the greatest moment in the franchise's history, that or the walk-off against the Yankees, when Zim took Mariano Rivera deep...

Nationals now 1-3 on Opening Day. 

YOUR 2009 WASHINGTON NATIONALS:

The DC Rotation:

  1. John Lannan - LHP
  2. Scott Olsen - LHP
  3. Daniel Cabrera - RHP
  4. Shairon Martis - RHP
  5. Jordan Zimmermann*(starting in minor league camp back soon)
The DC BULLPEN:
  1. Joel Hanrahan - CL
  2. Joe Beimel - SU
  3. Mike Hinckley - LHP
  4. Wil Ledezma - LHP
  5. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera - RHP
  6. Steven Shell - RHP
  7. Julian Tavarez - RHI(Right Handed Intimidation)
DC Backstops:
  1. Jesus Flores 
  2. Wil Nieves
  3. Josh Bard
The DC IF:
  1. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
  2. Cristian Guzman - SS
  3. Ronnie Belliard - 2B
  4. Nick Johnson - 1B
  5. Willie Harris
  6. Alberto Gonzalez
  7. (INJ) Anderson Hernandez
The DC OF:
  1. Adam Dunn - LF
  2. Lastings Milledge - CF
  3. Austin Kearns - RF
  4. Josh Willingham - Angry Bench Player
  5. Elijah Dukes - Angry Bench Player
How About A Few More Opinions On What's In Store For the DC Faithful?

New York Times' writer Tyler Kepner had a 2009 National League Preview in the Sunday New York Times' Sports section yesterday entitled, "Phillies' New Addition Is Balm for the Bruises", in which Mr. Kepner dismisses any idea of the Nationals competing in 2009 by writing that they're one of three NL teams to lose more than 95 games who don't, "...figure to be much better," so the story of 2009 for the Nationals, in Mr. Kepner's opinion:
"The Nationals will pick first in the June draft, and if they choose pitcher Stephen Strasburg who throws 102 miles per hour, they can expect a protracted summer negotiation with the agent Scott Boras."
With a win for the San Diego State Aztecs on Friday in PETCO Park, Strasburg improved, (as reported by sdsuaztec4, who provided video and photography in the most recent edition of, "The Strasburg Files Episode 5: Petco Park!"), to (6-0) in 7 starts and 48.1 IP in which he's posted a 1.49 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 17.5 K/9 and a 9.4 K/BB.

SIGN STRASBURG!!

One More Season Preview? 

In the most recent newsstand edition of USA TODAY Sports Weekly, USA Today sports writer Gerry Fraley has a 2009 season Preview of the Washington Nationals in which Mr. Fraley predicts the Nationals will be 5th of 5 in the NL East, and 16th of 16 in the National League. (Who's the #1 Prospect for 2010?) In Mr. Fraley's best case scenario for the '09 Nationals, Adam Dunn does what he's done and helps Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes "meet expectations", while giving the DC starters the benefit of more run support. In Mr. Fraley's worst case scenario, Dunn's production sags in DC, Nick Johnson gets hurt, the young starters fail, and in Mr. Fraley's words, "Without a true closer," (ed. note - "Ouch, Sorry, Joel!"), "...the bullpen converts 50% of its save chances for the second consecutive season."

BUT THE TIME FOR PREDICTIONS IS OVER...

Your Opening Day Lineup...

MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports in a post on his blog entitled, "Acta announces starting lineup for Opening Day", that when the Washington Nationals come up to bat in the top of the first today at 4:10 pm EST in Florida, the Marlins' starter Ricky Nolasco will be facing: (ed. note - "Nicknames provided by Federal Baseball.com.")
  1. Leadoff Lasto - Lastings Milledge - CF
  2. The Guzzzzzzz- Cristian Guzman - SS
  3. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! - Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
  4. Adam Dunn - LF
  5. Nick Nick Johnson Johnson - 1B
  6. AK, Mr. Kentucky, or Bluegrass - Austin Kearns - RF
  7. Ronnie B. - Ronnie Belliard - 2B
  8. WWJD - Jesus Flores - C
  9. John "Cool Hand" Lannan - SP
(ed. note - "I've waited all winter, and now it's here, Opening Day 2009, the Washington Nationals at the Florida Marlins. 4:10 pm EST in Florida. Lannan vs Nolasco. Adam Dunn's regular season debut in a curly-W. Game 1 of 162...")

Who's Watching The Nationals? Game Thread w/ The Nationals vs Nolasco, and Lannan vs the Marlins scheduled for just after 1:00 pm EST...That's where Federal Baseball.com and The DC Faithful will be gathered...IT'S OPENING DAY 2009!!! WHO'S WATCHING THE NATIONALS?
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