Bryce Harper got the Washington Nationals on the board for the first time this season with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Miami Marlins’ lead to 2-1, and Adam Lind, in his first at bat with the Nationals, crushed a 2-0 fastball from Fish reliever David Phelps, sending a two-out, two-run, pinch hit blast over the GEICO sign in center in Nationals Park to put the home team up, 3-2 in the seventh.
Stephen Strasburg was impressive in his 2017 debut, pitching out of the stretch the whole way for the first time in a regular season start.
Strasburg held the Marlins to two runs on six hits in seven innings of work, sat 96 with his fastball for most of the game and dialed it up to 98 early, while generating 12 ground ball outs on the afternoon.
Sammy Solis tossed a quick, eight-pitch 1-2-3 eighth and Blake Treinen locked it down in the ninth after the Nationals added to their lead and took the season opener, 4-2.
Nationals now 1-0.
Here’s how it happened:
• Stephen Strasburg’s first pitch of the season, out of the stretch, natch, was a 96 mph fastball inside to Dee Gordon.
He retired the Marlins in order in a 16-pitch frame, hitting 98 on the radar gun with his 16th pitch, an 0-2 fastball that got Christian Yelich swinging.
• Trea Turner lined a 3-2 sinker from Edinson Volquez off the top of the left field fence for the first hit of the season for the Nationals. Adam Eaton walked on first pitches in the next at bat, but three straight Ks followed and the Nationals stranded two in a 21-pitch first by Volquez.
• Eaton was 1 for 1 with a walk after he lined a 3-2 curve from Volquez to right for his first hit in a Nationals uniform with two out in the third.
• J.T. Realmuto doubled to center on a 2-1 fastball from Strasburg to lead off the fourth and scored from third one out later when Giancarlo Stanton sent a 96 mph first-pitch fastball out to the wall in center on a bounce for an RBI double and a 1-0 lead.
Marcell Ozuna hit a two-out single to center to bring Stanton in after the Marlins’ right fielder moved to third on a Justin Bour groundout, 2-0.
• Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the fourth, but Jayson Werth K’d swinging (chasing a few pitches) and Stephen Drew grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3. 0 for 5 with RISP at that point.
• Edinson Volquez completed four scoreless and then singled to start the fifth, for his second hit of the game, 2 for 2 (career high in hits).
• Bryce Harper made a leaping catch at the wall in right, hitting the W.B. Mason sign hard as he took away a potential RBI/extra base hit from Christian Yelich with two on and two out in the top of the fifth.
• Edinson Volquez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 82 P, 51 S, 4/3 GO/FO.
• Harper got the Nationals on the board in the 6th, crushing a 95 mph 2-2 fastball from David Phelps and hitting a line drive home run out to right. Harper’s first of 2017 and 5th on Opening Day in his career.
• Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 85 P, 63 S, 12/4 GO/FO.
• Matt Wieters connected for his first hit in a Nationals uniform with two out in the seventh and new Nats’ bench bat Adam Lind stepped in for Strasburg and hit a 2-0 fastball from Phelps out to center, over the GEICO sign for a two-run blast that made it 3-2 Nats.
• Sammy Solis needed just eight pitches to retire the Marlins in order in the eighth.
• Adam Eaton and Harper took back-to-back walks from Junichi Tazawa to start the home-half of the eighth and Daniel Murphy hit a chopper through the right side to make it a 4-2 game.
• Ryan Zimmerman singled in the at bat that followed Murphy’s hit, loading the bases with no one out, but Jayson Werth K’d swinging at frisbees from Brad Ziegler and Stephen Drew grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 to end the threat.
• Blake Treinen came on in the ninth and collected his first save of the season, the second of his career.
- The Nationals begin their 13th season in the nation’s capital today, with their 10th season opener in Washington, D.C.
- Washington is 4-1 in their last five Opening Day games, and 5-7 overall on Opening Day.
- In today’s “Fun With Arbitrary End Points” segment: Miami has a 116-103 advantage over Washington in the all-time series between the NL East rivals, but the Nationals have a 47-29 record against the Marlins since 2013.
- Dusty Baker is celebrating his 43rd Opening Day and his 27th as a manager/coach.
- Baker has 1,766 career wins as a manager, and with four wins, he’ll pass Jim Leyland for 16th on the all-time win list for managers.
- The Nationals have hit nine home runs on Opening Day over their first 12 seasons: Bryce Harper (2013 (2), 2015, 2016); Terrmel Sledge (2005); Ryan Zimmerman (2008 (walk-off)); Adam Dunn (2009), Adam LaRoche (2014), Anthony Rendon (2014), Daniel Murphy (2016).
- Stephen Strasburg made his 4th Opening Day start this afternoon. He’s (1-0) with a 2.25 ERA on Opening Day heading in to today’s outing.
- Strasburg is (12-7) with a 3.51 ERA, 42 walks, 139 Ks and a .228/.293/.365 line against in 25 career starts vs the Marlins.
- When Strasburg starts, the Nationals are 95-61 since he debuted in 2010, and when he gets three or more runs of support while in the game, the Nats are 70-8 in his outings.
Nationals now 1-0