Game #1 Opening Day in “The Queen City” for the #Nats 2018 run!

Because of the rain-out yesterday, we have waited a day longer than 26 other teams who had their Opening Day on Thursday. Mother Nature hit the Ohio region hard with rainfall and today was a scheduled day-off just for this very reason if there was a game postponement. The Nationals have now waited 169 days since their season seemed to abruptly end in 2017. The best laid plans do not always go your way as we know, and Dave Martinez was hired to change the style of management for this 2018 season. One thing that can be said about Martinez’s predecessor, Dusty Baker, was that he got the Nats to the post-season in his two seasons at the helm. The process was questioned — often — under Baker, but the results were an average of 96 wins. 

Martinez has to find the happy medium between limping into the post-season versus making the post-season with enough left in the tank to make a run and win some series which no Washington Nationals team has accomplished before him. Each year we seem to learn after the fact that players were injured going into the post-season be it last year with Daniel Murphy‘s right knee, and while we knew about Max Scherzer‘s hamstring it caused the Nationals to delay him until the third game. Before that it was Scherzer’s fractured knuckle on his pitching hand in the 2016 post-season. In the 2014 season, it was Denard Span‘s sports hernia and Jayson Werth‘s AC joint after that required surgery for both men after the 2014 post-season. It is hard enough to win when you are healthy in the post-season and almost impossible when you are playing hurt. Max Scherzer is the rare player to pull-off some part of normalcy when injured — but even he could not start the first two games of the 2017 NLDS last year because of that hamstring which meant Gio Gonzalez had to start two games instead of just one.

While expectations are high for the Washington Nationals, they are high for all teams not named the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Kansas Royals, White Sox and Miami Marlins who the Vegas lines have at 90+ losses each.

Today’s starters are Max Scherzer for the Nationals and Homer Bailey for the Cincinnati Reds. The Nationals line-up has the projected personnel that we anticipated just with a batting order that has Trea Turner in the six-hole. Many fans have long-believed that Rendon or Harper in the two-hole is what was needed while others believe speed sets the line-up at the top of the order. Different strokes for different folks and Dave Martinez is the manager and he has spoken. Scherzer is in the traditional 9-hole and Howie Kendrick starts in place of Daniel Murphy who began the season on the 10-day DL.

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Stadium:  Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio
1st Pitch: 4:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

  1. Adam Eaton LF
  2. Anthony Rendon 3B
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Howie Kendrick 2B
  6. Trea Turner SS
  7. Michael Taylor CF
  8. Matt Wieters C
  9. Max Scherzer RHP

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