A great opening to the Nats 2013 campaign. A beautiful day at the park to sneak away for a 1pm game time (not that I got to; meetings, meetings).
Stephen Strasburg looked completely dominant, retiring 19 overmatched Marlins in a row after a game-opening single and departing after 7 complete innings on just 80 pitches. He relied on location as opposed to power on the day, recording just three strikeouts but getting a ton of weak grounders for outs. If this had been September in the midst of a playoff push he’d likely have thrown the complete game (or at least one more inning considering that the other two hits he gave up were to the middle of Miami’s order in the 7th; he was set to face 6-7-8 in the 8th for “easier” outs). But its April; no need to burn pitches/IP now when we’ll need them later.
Tyler Clippard comes in, shaky at the start but gets the outs he needed for the hold. And we get our first look at new closer Rafael Soriano in an ideal situation for a closer; 2 run lead, leading off the 9th inning. He didn’t disappoint, punching out two to get the save.
On the offensive side, Bryce Harper continues right where he left off with his torrid Grapefruit league campaign by clubbing homers in his first two at-bats. Wow; that’s a way to start your season. Who says that Spring Training stats are meaningless? :-)
Nothing more today. A good first day of the season.
ps: 500th post! I had to post something fun for the record books.