Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats Opening Day Trivia


It took a few days to get there, but the Nats finally got their season (and home) opener done. A 6-5 Juan Soto walk-off in front of a packed house of 4,801 DC city-mandated attendance limit.

Here’s some useless Nats Season- and Home-Opening trivia

Home Opener Attendances through the years

  • 2021: 4,8011 (4:05 tuesday game, 74 degrees, partly cloudy, 5mph wind)
  • 2020: 0 (7:09 thurs game, 90, partly cloudy, 7mph wind)
  • 2019: 42,263 (1:07 thurs game, 56, partly cloudy, no wind)
  • 2018: 42,477 (1:08 thurs game, 42, partly cloudy, slight wind)
  • 2017: 42,744 (1:05 monday game, 66 and cloudy, slight wind)
  • 2016: 41,650 (4:05 thursday game, 60 and 1.5hr rain delay)
  • 2015: 42,295 (4:05 monday game, 75 and gorgeous)
  • 2014: 42,834 (1:05 friday game, 50s and overcast)
  • 2013: 45,274 (1:05 monday game, 60 and beautiful)
  • 2012: 40,907 (1:05 thursday game 56, partly cloudy)
  • 2011: 39,055 (1:05 thursday game, 41 degrees and overcast)
  • 2010: 41,290 (1pm game monday, beautiful weather 80s and sunny): phillies invasion
  • 2009: 40,386 (3pm game on a monday, chilly 53degr and overcast).
  • 2008: 39,389 (season and stadium opener), 8pm sunday night, Braves, nat’l tv clear but cold.
  • 2007: 40,389 (in rfk, 1pm game vs Florida, 72degrees
  • 2006: 40,516 (in rfk, tuesday day game vs Mets, 72degr and sunny)
  • 2005: 45,596 (in rfk, debut of entire franchise, 62degr and clear, evening game).

2021’s weather was spectacular, certainly better than, say, 2011 or 2018. Or even the 2008 stadium opener, which was frigging cold. Notably, the 2005 home opener crowd stood as the franchise’s attendance record for more than a decade until supplanted by Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS.

Home opener Box Scores

6-11 all time through 2021. The links in this list below are to opening day box scores at either or

How about Season openers?

Record: 8-9 in season openers.

times home/away: 10 home, 7 away.

  • 2021: Home: Nationals d Braves 6-5. WP: Hudson, LP Smith (starters Scherzer v Smyly):,lock_state=final,game_tab=box,game=634624
  • 2020: Home: Yankees d Nationals 4-1. WP: Cole, LP Scherzer (starters same):,game_tab=,game=630851
  • 2019: Home: Mets d Nationals 2-0. WP: deGrom, LP Scherzer (starters same):,lock_state=final,game_tab=box,game=565895
  • 2018: Away: Nats d Reds 2-0. WP Scherzer, LP Bailey (starters same):,lock_state=final,game_tab=wrap,game=529420
  • 2017: home: Nats d Marlins 4-2. WP Strasburg, LP Phelps (Starters Strasburg, Volquez):
  • 2016: away: Nats d Braves 4-3. WP Treinen, LP O’Flarity (starters Scherzer, Teheran):
  • 2015: home: Mets d Nats 3-1. WP: Bartolo Colon. LP: Max Scherzer
  • 2014: away: Nats d Mets 9-7. WP Aaron Barrett, LP Familia (starters Strasburg, dillon Gee):
  • 2013: home: Nats d Marlins 2-0. WP: Stephen Strasburg. LP: Ricky Nolasco.
  • 2012: away: Nats d Cubs 2-1. WP Clippard, LP Marmol (starters: Strasburg and Ryan Dempster):
  • 2011: home: Braves d Nats 2-0. WP: Derek Lowe. LP: Livan Hernandez.
  • 2010: home: Phillies d Nats 11-1. WP: Roy Halladay. LP: John Lannan
  • 2009: away: Marlins d Nats 12-6. WP: Nolasco, LP; Lannan
  • 2008: home: Nats d Braves 3-2. WP: Jon Rauch. LP: Peter Moylan (Starters: Tim Hudson and Odalis Perez)
  • 2007: home: Marlins d Nats 9-2. WP: Dontrelle Willis. LP: John Patterson
  • 2006: away: Mets d Nats 3-2. WP: Glavine, LP: Hernandez.
  • 2005: away: Phillies d Nats 8-4. WP: Lieber, LP: Hernandez.

Written by Todd Boss

April 7th, 2021 at 10:48 am

Posted in Nats in General

14 Responses to 'Nats Opening Day Trivia'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Nats Opening Day Trivia'.

  1. I wonder how much longer Scherzer will be the Nats’ Opening Day starter. I actually thought Strasburg “deserved” the honor in 2020 after being the bell cow for the WS win. But Stras wasn’t healthy then. In 2021, the Nats really need Stras to surpass Max. That’s how the money for the next half decade is allocated. Even if the Nats can/do bring back Max for a few more years at a much-reduced salary, which I hope they will (at the right price), Stras needs to be Da Man moving forward, starting this afternoon.


    7 Apr 21 at 11:57 am

  2. Fedde today faced 14 batters and managed to get 5 of them out.

    Mark L

    7 Apr 21 at 1:32 pm

  3. I can’t imagine Fedde retaining his roster spot after today.

    Scherzer an interesting case: if Stras was healthy he’d probably have gotten the opening day spot, agreed. But, Scherzer has also more than earned his Ace/#1 starter title with this team. A better question might be, what would you feel comfortable resigning him for after the end of this season? Lets assume he pitches to the same overall numbers that he did in 2020, perhaps slightly better; that’s still a 120 ERA+ guy, somewhere between a #2 and #3starter. I still think that’s worth $15M a year on the open market, even at his advanced age. Would you sign him to a 3yr/$45M deal with a 4th option year to take him through age 40 season?

    Todd Boss

    7 Apr 21 at 2:41 pm

  4. Another thign … how the F do you take Zimmerman out of the lineup right now? He tore it up all spring, he’s still tearing it up.

    Josh Bell played RF his rookie season! Maybe we can move some OFers around.

    Todd Boss

    7 Apr 21 at 2:51 pm

  5. Yeah, I got on here with the same thought — Fedde just had his Guthrie moment. But Riz didn’t waste a 1st-round pick on Guthrie like he did on Fedde . . . and he HATES to admit a mistake. But Fedde has no trade value now, right? And he was the one who blew up his own fourth option.

    But why Fedde today anyway? Voth did particularly well against the Braves in 2019.

    Oh well, at least we can feel better than the Braves, whose “ace” only made it two innings, giving up five. Pretty crappy that the Nats couldn’t do better off the Braves’ pen. That wild pitch run from Suero is going to be a killer.


    7 Apr 21 at 2:59 pm

  6. Also, the Braves are now walking Soto at every opportunity.


    7 Apr 21 at 3:00 pm

  7. Todd, regarding Bell, Dr. fore said his defense at 1st was as bad as advertised. Let’s see how good/bad Schwarber is in left in April.

    Mark L

    7 Apr 21 at 3:14 pm

  8. Frustrating day, but I feel like we win both of those with Bell, Schwarber, Avila, Gomes, Mercer, and Hand available. Fedde shouldn’t make another start for the Nats; we know who he is at this point, and he’s Jacob Turner.


    7 Apr 21 at 6:57 pm

  9. Definitely lost two winnable games yesterday. MLB teams generally don’t lose games where they score 6 runs, and they generally don’t lose games where their starter goes 6 innings giving up 1 hit. Long season, it’ll even out.

    Interesting thing i keep looking for: i think the 40-man roster is overloaded by 2 players right now, but I wonder if MLB has retained the covid rules that say that covid DL trips essentially remove the player from the 40-man roster for the duration of their stay …

    Todd Boss

    8 Apr 21 at 8:51 am

  10. Todd and Sao — Yes. The two games on Wed. are exactly to the point I’ve been making for weeks about how narrow the margin of error is for the Nats this season. You’ve got to win the games when you score six runs, you’ve got to win the games when you give up two or less, and you can’t waste a near-perfect Strasburg start, all the more when facing a rookie starter.

    To top it all off, they lost the first game on a wild pitch and the second one on a long-gone homer to 800-pound, 800-year-old Panda.


    8 Apr 21 at 1:31 pm

  11. Way-too-early hot takes:

    — We’re not going to be able to afford Trea. Last year wasn’t a fluke, and he’s going to put up a monster year with Soto batting behind him.

    — Soto is getting Bonds-like respect, even with Zim hot behind him. Soto has to keep the discipline, though. Harper never could.

    — The Robles lead-off experiment is looking good so far. The plate discipline message FINALLY has gotten through to him. Will it last? We’ll see.

    — Great start by Zim, nice start by Castro.

    — Perez has struck out in six of nine plate appearances. He also has a hit and a walk. Only once has he put the ball in play for an out.

    — Like Perez, Stevenson isn’t making much of this opportunity thus far. Stevo had a good first game but wasn’t good on Wed. Again, very SSS.

    — Cody Wilson can claim having been a major-leaguer even while never getting added to the 40-man.

    — Does Lucroy tempt them to carry three catchers when the supposed regulars return? He’s off to a decent start.

    — I wasn’t sure when they broke camp that Rainey was ready, and I’m still not.

    — Why didn’t Davey bring in Voth as the long man when Fedde floundered? Voth ended up not being used at all. Voth was very good against the Braves in 2019, FWIW.

    — I don’t know how they defend keeping Fedde around. They probably will, though. Jacob Turner is a good comp, a high pick who looked good in a uni but never pitched very well.


    8 Apr 21 at 1:46 pm

  12. Just how good a comp is Fedde to Jacob Turner?

    Fedde, 2017-20: 5.10 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 1.53 K/BB
    Turner, 2017: 5.08 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 1.53 K/BB

    As a reminder, we DFA’d Turner not once but twice in 2017, because he was out of options and he wasn’t very good. And he was two years younger then than Fedde is now. And both are former first-round draft picks.

    Include Fedde’s first results of 2021 and his career numbers balloon to 5.29 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 1.49 K/BB.

    At what point will we have seen enough?


    8 Apr 21 at 3:47 pm

  13. There’s one key difference between Turner and Fedde: only one of them was a Rizzo 1st rounder.

    It amazes me continually that these executives, many of whom have MBAs and clearly have taken classical economics training, cannot realize when they’re falling victim to the folly of a Sunk Cost.

    Fedde’s signing bonus is a sunk cost. If they’re keeping him on the roster and costing themselves games in lieu of trying another player simply because of his draft pedigree or their “investment” in him … then they’re making basic economic decision making mistakes.

    Todd Boss

    8 Apr 21 at 3:58 pm

  14. Exactly. We weren’t romantic about Jacob Turner’s “pedigree” or his “potential”. We gave him a shot, he was mediocre at best, and we thanked him for his service and sent him to a farm upstate (quite literally, now that I think about it).

    Fedde was useful because Fedde could be moved between the majors and the minors at will. Now that Fedde is out of options — after taking the Nats to arbitration, something Mike Rizzo always loves — he’s no longer very useful to us unless he pitches well enough to stick on a major league roster.


    8 Apr 21 at 4:02 pm

Leave a Reply