The Washington Nationals looked so crisp for most of Spring Training. But for starting shortstop CJ Abrams, he did not have nerves of steel on Opening Day. His manager, Dave Martinez, said he was nervous, and that led to three errors that opened up the floodgates for the Braves to trounce the Nats 5-2 in the opener. As they say, today is a new day. It is also April 1. Be sure to guard yourself against April Fool’s pranks.
If Josiah Gray could bottle up his results of a 0.55 microscopic ERA in Spring Training, he would. He added a cutter to his repertoire, and that looks like it might be his main fastball this season. Unfortunately, he is still throwing that 4-seam fastball that got him in trouble too often in previous seasons leading to the most home runs surrendered in that time frame. But with the cutter, maybe batters will be a little off-balance and Gray can get away with it.
The Nats batters won’t have an easy task as they are due to face the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, Spencer Strider, for this one. The Braves certainly look as lethal as they did last year. They take advantage of mistakes, and they have an offense that has some proven hitters.
The teams had a day-off yesterday and got a little breather before coming back to work today. We will see if the Nats look fundamentally better because as we know, they have little margin for error.
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 4:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):