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Washington Nationals and Davey Martinez ready for 2018 home opener after 4-2 road trip...

After six games on the road, the Washington Nationals are back in D.C. for the 2018 home opener at 1:05 PM EDT this afternoon.

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Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

After the Washington Nationals’ exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins last week, new Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez talked about starting the season on the road, with six games between Cincinnati and Atlanta before the home opener in the nation’s capital.

“It would have been nice to play at home,” Martinez said, “... but you know what, we’ve got to play on the road sooner or later, so we’re excited about just getting that first day out of the way.”

With the first road trip out of the way, which saw the defending NL East champs sweep their three-game set with the Reds before dropping 2 of 3 to the Braves, Martinez’s team returns to Nationals Park today for the home opener against the New York Mets. He told reporters in SunTrust Park that he was happy with the results in the first six games of the season.

“4-2, good road trip. It’s a good start,” Martinez said. “So, get on a plane tonight and we go open up at home and have a lot of fun.”

Before last week’s exhibition, Martinez was last in Nats Park in October 2017, as the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs, who took Game 5 of the NLDS matchup with the Nationals.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

“I do have memories,” Martinez acknowledged, “and those memories will never go away, but I am excited to be wearing red. I heard from a lot of people saying I look good in red, so — yeah, but I feel very fortunate to be with this organization, which is incredible, and to work with some of the guys that I get to work with every day and build relationships with these guys. I’m really excited about the opportunity.”

It took ten years as a bench coach in Tampa Bay and Chicago and a number of interviews before he landed his first managerial gig, but Martinez inherited a team with World Series aspirations, and as he explained in his introductory press conference in November, there are big expectations in D.C. in 2018.

“This is a half a dream come true to me,” Martinez said, “... to be able to work here with [GM Mike Rizzo] and the Lerner family and to see what they’ve built. This is just an ongoing thing that they’ve started years ago, and to continue in the successes that they’ve had and to get to that next level, which is win a World Championship here in Washington.”

Martinez was part of the Cubs’ team that ended Chicago’s 108-year championship drought, and now he’ll try to implement what he learned from Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon as he tries to help bring the World Series back to Washington for the first time since 1933.

“I was with arguably the best manager in the game,” Martinez said last week. “I learned a lot from him, and what to expect, and he let me do a lot of different things, so coming into this, the biggest advice he ever gave me was to be myself and I did that coming into this.”

Martinez and the Nationals are back in Nationals Park this afternoon for the first of 82 games in their home ballpark. Will they reach their goal together?

Earlier this winter, Martinez said he and his team are ready.

“I think they're ready to win, they want to win, I know the fans are ready for us to win, and one thing that stood out last year in Game 5, I stepped out of the dugout and I see 50,000+ fans with all red on screaming. That was pretty impressive. So I know the fans are hungry for a winner and this year hopefully we give it to them.”