Friday, April 1, 2011

Recapping 1 of 162: Opening Day

(Photo credit Joe Drugan/Capitol Baseball 2011)

After a cold, rainy Opening Day in Southeast DC, let's do the first evaluation of 2011's talent.

Livan Hernandez looked good. There are a surprising number of people in the blog world that have been critical of Livo's Opening Day appearance. In 6 2/3 innings, he threw 77 pitches and gave up just 2 runs on 5 hits. It's hard to ask for a whole lot more than that. His first two innings could have been better, but he was on fire for the rest of the game. Seriously folks, as a starting pitcher, you have to hope that your team can muster two measly runs to help you out. But the Nats didn't and Livan got the loss + quality start combo.

Sean Burnett made the Braves batters he faced in the 9th, lefties and righties alike, look silly. He continues to make a case for himself to be the Nats closer. One can't look into the fact that he pitched in the 9th inning today because it wasn't a save situation, but it'll be interesting to see how it rolls out over the next two weeks.

Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam LaRoche did exactly what they should be as the 2-4 hitters. They hit and created nearly all of the Nats offense. The rest of the team will have to help out if they're going to have any sort of offense this season. LaRoche also had a sick diving defensive play at 1st base that I guarantee Adam Dunn not only wouldn't have made, he wouldn't have even tried.

Danny Espinosa started the season out with a bang, too. He went 2 for 3, and one of those hits was a frozen rope to the left center field gap. He also made a running stop and put out at 2nd that had Nats fans (and Bill Ladson) extremely excited.

Ian Desmond looked downright uncomfortable at the plate. He'll certainly get his chance at the top of the order, but if Espinosa's first outing was any sign, he might end up in the top spot after all. On a happy note, Ian committed no errors today!

Finally, Tyler Clippard looked good, getting out of a jam with 2 inherited runners. But we're protesting saying much more than that because he no longer enters the game to Peaches. Not cool, Tyler...

What did you think about the Nats first game of 2011?


  1. You have to at least be mollified that they looked good in every phase of the game except hitting. Chalk that one up to a cold day and a pitcher who was on his game.

    It is also noteworthy that while the Nats are 2-5 lifetime in home openers, this is the first time they have come up on the losing end that they did not get blown out. :)

  2. They played well under the circumstances, and you can never judge baseball by a single game. Let's see what happens in the next few weeks.

    Big questions: Can Desmond get on base consistently? Does Espinosa play his way to the top of the lineup? Do LaRoche and Morse hit enough to justify leaving Werth up in the two-hole?