National League Game Summary - Miami at Washington|
(Monday, April 1st)
Final Score: Washington 2, Miami 0
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Bryce Harper homered twice and Stephen
Strasburg tossed seven scoreless frames as the Washington Nationals began
their NL East title defense with a 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins.
"They're learning as they go, but they're awful good. It's fun watching them,"
said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
Harper became the first reigning NL rookie of the year to hit a home run on
Opening Day of the following season since Ryan Howard did so for the Phillies
He recorded the third multi-homer game in his brief career and second against
the Marlins, after a similar effort last Aug. 29, and became the third
defending ROY with two homers in the first game of a season -- joining Raul
Mondesi (1995, Dodgers) and Carlton Fisk (1973, Boston).
"They really were loud and crazy," Harper said of the regular-season record
crowd of 45,274 which received a well-deserved curtain call after his second
homer. "Hopefully they're going to be like that all year."
Strasburg (1-0) ended up allowing three hits and fanned three, needing only 80
pitches to complete his outing.
Tyler Clippard tossed a scoreless eighth and Rafael Soriano followed suit in
the ninth to record his first save for the Nats.
Ricky Nolasco (0-1) worked six innings in the loss, yielding only two runs and
three hits while striking out five and issuing two walks for the Marlins, who
are looking to recover from a last-place finish and 69-93 record in 2012.
Harper's two-out blast to right put the hosts on the board in the bottom of
the first, and the super sophomore did it once more to lead off the home
"I didn't make the best pitches to him, and he didn't miss 'em. That's what
hitters do," Nolasco admitted.
Meanwhile, Strasburg was brilliant. He allowed a leadoff hit to Juan Pierre in
the first, then sent down 19 in a row until Giancarlo Stanton's one-out double
in the seventh. Placido Polanco singled and then Rob Brantly lined into an
atypical 7-2-3-4 double play -- which concluded when Stanton was tagged out at
home -- to end his afternoon.
Strasburg, who had been the subject of much drama surrounding his late-season
shut-down as the Nationals approached their first division title and
postseason appearance since the franchise relocated from Montreal, will be
facing no such restrictions this year.
"Things have changed around here quite a bit," said Nats third baseman Ryan
Zimmerman on the difference between his first and eighth Opening Days.
Washington's victory was the first Opening Day shutout in America's capital
since the Senators of the American League beat Oakland, 8-0, on Apr. 5, 1971
at RFK Stadium ... Strasburg is coming off a 2012 where he finished 15-6 with
a 3.16 ERA in 28 starts, while Nolasco finished 12-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 31
starts ... The clubs split 18 meetings a season ago, with each team taking six
of nine on their respective home turf ... Harper became the fourth current
member of the Nationals to go deep on Opening Day, following Adam LaRoche
(2006), Ryan Zimmerman (2008) and Chad Tracy (2009).
04/01 17:38:40 ET