Opening Day came and ended with a win for the Washington Nationals. DC had not won the first game of the season since 2008 (Ryan Zimmerman walk-off) and before that — 1971 (Dick Bosman shut out the Oakland Athletics 8-0 at RFK Stadium DC Baseball History).
Ian Desmond is the player of the game, going 3 fo 5 and accounting for all but one of the Washington hits. He hit the first pitch of the game for a single. It would be the last Nats hit for 7 innings. Desmond had the next one, a single in the 8th . After Ryan Dempster (10 K 3 BB 2 H over 7 2/3) left, Kerry Wood came on and walked Ryan Zimmerman. A passed ball advanced both. Adam LaRoche, who left 5 men on in his first two at bats, walked to load the bases. Wood then walked Jayson Werth, scoring Desmond. That was it for Washington who tied the game.
Tyler Clippard relieved Stephen Strasburg after 7 strong innings (5 K 1 BB5 H ) and allowed only one runner on an error by Danny Espinosa in the bottom of the 8th.
In the top of the 9th, Chad Tracy doubled and Desmond singled him home for the winning run. The bottom of the frame saw Brad Lidge make his Nats debut. He got into trouble when Ian Stewart hit a deep fly to the curve in the right field wall. Werth let it drop in front of him for a triple. Manager Davey Johnson then called the infield in, so when Jeff Baker bounced one to third, Ryan Zimmerman was in position to throw out the runner. Lidge then struck out Marlon Byrd with a full count for the save and the win.
Other notes…the wind blowing off of Lake Michigan through centerfield cost Zimmerman two home runs. Alfonso Soriano missed out on one too. The Nats hit the ball hard throughout the day, but April at Wrigley Field is cruel…Strasburg needs to learn to field his position. Somewhere there is a gif of him calling off his ball.
Lastly, Bill Murray was there for the first pitch. He ran the bases first: