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Washington Nationals: Opening Day News, Notes, Stats.

• Game Notes: via the Washington Nationals: 

• Livan Hernandez made his 9th career Opening Day start this afternoon, four of the nine have been for the Washington Nationals franchise:

4/26/04: Montreal 3, Florida 4 - Livan's Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's, 1 HR, 97 P, 61 S.

4/4/05: Washington, 4, Philadelphia 8 - Livan's Line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's, 1 HR, 92 P, 57 S. 

4/3/06: Washington 2, New York 3 - Livan's Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's, 113 P, 69 S. 

3/31/11: Washington 0, Atlanta 2 - Livan's Line: 6,1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K's, 1 HR, 77 P, 51 S. 

•  3-In-A-Row: Braves' starter Derek Lowe's W gives him a 3rd consecutive Opening Day win. 

• J-Hey Kid: Jason Heyward homered on Opening Day for the second-straight season, according to the Nats and the Elias Sports Bureau, Heyward's one of only two players to hit a HR on Opening Day in each of their first two seasons in the Major Leagues...Who's the other player?

• via MASN's Ben Goessling (@MASNBen) on Twitter: (1)"39,055 in attendance today. Not announced as a sellout." (2) "That's the smallest attendance at a home opener since the Nationals moved to Washington."

• Previous Opening Day Crowds:

2005: 45,596 (RFK)

2006: 40,530 (RFK)

2007: 40,389 (RFK)

2008: 39,389 (Nats Park)

2009: 40,386 (Nats Park)

2010: 41,290 (Nats Park)

2011: 39,055 (Nats Park)

• Jim Riggleman's Post Game Press Conference Quotes:

• On Derek Lowe: "He was real good. Going back to last year, early in the year it seemed like we got him a couple times and the last couple-three times we saw him last year he was real good and he took it right there with him today. You can see why he was their Opening Day guy. He was real good today, the ball was down all day. Had a good slider, just worked fast, all the cliche things that you want. He and Livo really both threw very well, and just a very well-pitched ballgame." 

• On Livan Hernandez: "I thought Livo was outstanding. Chipper [Jones] is a great hitter, Hall of Fame player that started the rally and [Brian] McCann, another great player, hit three ground balls today that we really had trouble reaching. Seemed like everywhere we played they hit it somewhere else. [Adam] LaRoche made a great play to take one hit away from him, but he hit a ball up the middle on us, he hit a ball to [Danny] Espinosa's right, he hit one to his left that as I said, that Adam caught, but that was a big rally right there and just a great piece of hitting by [Jason] Heyward to get on top of that high pitch that he hit for a HR." 

• On Jayson Werth's debut: "Jayson did a good job. Got on base, gave us a chance. We had a nice little opportunity there early with first and third, but that's where really Lowe locked in. He got LaRoche and Morse both on off-speed pitches when we had him trouble, and just a great piece of pitching, but Werth was fine. He played a very good ballgame, very good defensive ballgame. I thought both clubs played very well, a real clean game." 

• On Choosing Between Nix And Stairs To PH In The 7th: "That was a tough call. You know, I really felt, and I don't know, but I felt that if I put Stairs up there that they wouldn't really let him hit. I thought they would kind of dance around him and then we would have, even though he was the tying run, I thought we'd end up with [Peter] Moylan who's very tough on right-handers going against Desi there, so I thought we had a better chance of getting a left-hander pitched to if I put Nix up there and I had a lot of confidence that Laynce would get him, but again, they made good pitches. 

• On the team's defense: "We really played good, you know, Livo fields his position, of course and Zim made a nice play feeding what turned out to be almost a double play. [Sean] Burnett [made a] nice feed to Desi for the double play. Just a very well-played game, Pudge did a great job behind the plate, the story was pitching and both clubs pitched good, they were just a little better than us today." 

• Defense/Offense: "I think defense and speed kinda come hand-in-hand and it generally is going to be something that doesn't go into slumps too often and [it was] just unfortunate that we played such a good ballgame but just couldn't really put a rally together on Lowe early and he got better and better as it went, but as you said, that type of defense, that was just a very well-played ballgame, every ball that went in the air was tracked well by our outfielders, every ball on the ground, made'em look routine, just a good ballgame."