Game #1 Recap: Strasburg & Harper Shine Opening Day
After what seemed like an extremely long Spring Training, the Nationals finally opened the season against the Miami Marlins. The Nationals played excellent defense, pitched well, and got a few big hits from Bryce Harper to lock down the 0-2 win.
Stephen Strasburg was solid on the hill, giving up no runs, collecting 3 K's and pitching 7 strong innings. Strasburg's 7 strong innings set the tone for the game, one the Nationals would show their pitching dominance throughout. Strasburg was very efficient with his pitches on opening day, he threw 80 pitches, 52 of which were strikes. Through the 7 innings Strasburg pitched, he averaged 11.4 pitches per inning.
Bryce Harper was unbelievable on his first ever opening day. In his first at bat, in the first inning, Harper came to the plate . The Marlins' Ricky Nolasco thew ball one, but immediately thereafter, Harper deposited Nolasco's next pitch into the seats in center field. Harper would hit another bomb in his next at bat in the 4th leading off the inning, accounting for both runs on the day.
Tyler Clippard came in to the game in relief in the 8th inning. He immediately walked Donovan Solano to open the frame, but was able to get through the inning without any damage done, picking up a strikeout along the way and allowing no hits. Clippard would throw 23 pitches, 14 of which were strikes.
Rafael Soriano came in to close the game in the 9th, doing so in an efficient manner. Soriano needed only 11 pitches, 8 of which were strikes to complete the 9th inning and collect his first save of the season.
Ricky Nolasco was good for the Marlins, allowing only 2 runs over 6 innings while collecting 5 K's. Both Chad Qualls & Mike Dunn shut out the Nationals for the rest of the afternoon, but Harper's 2 home runs were enough for the Nationals to take the opening day victory.