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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals walk off in season opener in D.C.; Nats’ roster shake up after COVID crisis...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the first doubleheader of the season to start...

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer enjoyed pitching in front of fans again, but Washington’s 36-year-old starter had a few questions about the fact that just 5,000 spectators are allowed in Nationals Park right now, amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“It was great. Just to have the atmosphere back here at Nats Park, it was definitely welcome, But I’m also confused here,” Scherzer said after a six-inning start in the season opener.

“I don’t understand why we can’t have fans in the upper deck. I don’t understand why we can’t have more fans here. Somebody has got to explain that to me, because that doesn’t make sense to me whatsoever.

“I understand that we need to be safe, I respect the virus. But we can also have fans in the top part of the deck. We can have more fans in here safely. So, I would love an explanation. Like I said, that’s all I’ll say.”

Hot take, Max. I’m sure no one will overreact to it. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Soto’s World:

Juan Soto hits walk-off single to give Nationals the opening day win - (Washington Times)
"Even without nine regular players due to the coronavirus and subsequent contact-tracing quarantines, Washington’s biggest star came through when needed..."

Juan Soto was excited to get his first career walk-off in front of the fans - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"With two runners on in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Nats' young superstar stepped to the plate and worked the count to 3-0."

Juan Soto walks off in Nationals' first 2021 win - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals took the field with a heavily edited 26-man roster, after 10 players began the season on the injured list..."

Juan Soto gives the Nationals a win on delayed Opening Day - (WaPost)
“Washington opened its season Tuesday in front of fans at Nationals Park. Soto made sure they went home happy.”

Soto delivers walk-off to cap stirring opening day win - (MASN)
"Despite an 0-for-4 afternoon to that point, Soto had hit the ball hard in his eighth-inning at-bat. And he certainly hit the ball hard in his final at-bat..."

Grit guts and Soto winning Nationals formula - (Washington Times)
"Before spring training began, Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he wanted his squad to get off to a good start for a change."

Other Nats Stories:

How wonderful was that Nationals Opening Day? Let us count the ways. - (WaPost)
“For a day — or, rather, for 3 hours and 10 minutes — get lost in the baseball. Dive in, lather up, rub it all over your face, full-scale immersion.”

The Nationals’ season, delayed by covid, starts in front of fans - (WaPost)
“The Nationals opened their season and welcomed fans into their home ballpark for the first time since Oct. 27, 2019...”

Turner cleared to play, nine veterans placed on IL - (MASN)
"Turner’s inclusion in a lineup that also features Victor Robles, Juan Soto, Ryan Zimmerman and Starlin Castro helps soften the blow of the massive roster holes created by last week’s COVID-19 outbreak."

Out of coronavirus pause comes a new Nationals motto: ‘Suck it up and deal with it’ - (WaPost)
"The Nationals have (maybe) (finally) made it to Opening Day. Now comes the hard part."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Juan Soto gives Nationals epic win in delayed 2021 season opener - (USA TODAY)
"It ended with manager Davey Martinez lifting his franchise player, Juan Soto, off the ground in joy, acting for a moment like he did not want to let go."

Max Scherzer Washington Nationals covid Nats Park fans - (wusa9.com)
"'I'm also confused here. I don't understand why there weren't fans in the upper deck. I don't understand why we can't have more fans here.'"

Anthem singer DC Washington ready to take field at Nats home reopener - (WTOP)
"It’s been a long time since local singer D.C. Washington has taken the field with the Washington Nationals."

NL EAST UPDATES:

The Phillies suffer first loss - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The Phillies suffered their first loss of the season to the Mets 8-4 on April 6, 2021."

Mets snag first win behind Marcus Stroman, bullpen - (NY Post)
"Marcus Stroman’s first regular-season appearance in more than 18 months went exactly to a script that could have been written by the Mets right-hander in spring training."

Sandy Alcantara strikes out 10 Cardinals in Marlins loss - (MLB.com)
"Alcantara, an All-Star in 2019 but very much a work in progress, has started some of Miami's biggest games of the past year..."

April 6, 2021 game: Nationals 6, Braves 5 - (AJC.com)
"Early on, it appeared the Braves were headed for their first win of the season Tuesday. The game quickly morphed into a tight affair that ended with Juan Soto's walk-off hit..."