Opening Day: A Nationals’ Holiday indeed! Late and great and FUN!

Some want Opening Day to be a National Holiday, and for Daniel Murphy , his first Opening Day as a member of the Nationals was like a Holiday: Joyous and festive and with a lot of meaning.

Murphy was 2-3 with 2 walks and the 2 hits were a go-ahead HR, and a double for the Game Winning RBI in the 10th inning. Quite the debut for Daniel Murphy.

Bryce Harper‘s 1st Opening Day was in 2013, and he hit 2 HRs that day. He hit a HR on Opening Day in 2015, and a huge HR yesterday for Opening Day 2016. It appears Opening Day is ‘fun’ for Bryce Harper. 4 opening days in his career, and 4 Home Runs.

Murphy’s 10th inning dramatics would not have been possible if Jayson Werth hadn’t walked to start the 9th and a clutch opposite field single by Wilson Ramos, who was 2-5 in the game, and a Danny Espinosa 2 strike bunt single which all set up the game tying RBI on a shallow Sac Fly by Michael Taylor scoring Werth.

From Tom Boswell, “Werth should have been out by several feet: Game over, Braves win, 3-2, on Opening Day. The ugly story of the day would have been that the Nats’ bullpen failed and Werth got himself thrown out at the plate on a crazy dash — mostly his own idea — on a short flyball to end the game…But two knees, flying full speed, followed by a 6-foot-5, 240-pound man, can make a catcher flinch or take his eye off the ball. That final, necessary tag, with ball, glove and both knees meeting on top of home plate, can be an ugly thought. Werth, 36, and Pierzynski, 39, both old, crusty and tough, collided. For an instant the game seemed over. Then the ball rolled 10 feet away as Werth scored to tie the game with two outs in the ninth. Werth rose, limped, rubbed then grinned. What grumpy Opening Day?”

Max Scherzer was very good going a full 7 innings while giving up just 2 runs. The bullpen might not have been as bad as the stats say they were, but Oliver Perez was nails in a key bases loaded LOOGY spot in the 8th inning and Blake Treinen worked out of his own jam in the 9th, and Jonathan Papelbon went 1-2-3 in the 10th for Save #1 and #350 of his career.

Not to be missed in the last out in the game was a ripped groundball right at Ryan Zimmerman who was defensively positioned on the line against the lefty, and Jonathan Papelbon delivers his first ‘high-five’ of 2016 to Bryce Harper.

Dusty Baker notched win #1 in his managerial career for the Washington Nationals, and he spoke for over 8 minutes after the game in his post-game presser.

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