WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals sits in the dugout during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on March 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

2011 MLB Opening Day, Braves Vs. Nationals Score: Washington Shut Out 2-0

The Nationals were shut out on MLB Opening Day, also known as the unofficial start of spring.

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Nationals Opening Day Score: Washington Shut Out In Loss To Braves

The Nationals fell to the Braves on MLB Opening Day, a 2-0 loss at in D.C.. Livan Hernandez pitched well over 6.1 innings for Washington, but surrendered one run in each of the first two innings, which was enough to doom his club. If you didn't take off from work to watch, here's what you need to know about the game:

  • The Nationals were unable to get it going offensively. Daniel Espinosa was the only player with multiple hits. But Washington was also less opportunistic. But neither club hit much -- each managed five hits. The difference: Brian McCann was able to drive in Chipper Jones in the first inning and Jason Heyward went yard in the second. The Nats left Espinosa on base after he doubled in the bottom of the seventh.
  • Jayson Werth batted second and notched his first hit as a National after landing a big contract this offseason. He also played well in the outfield.
  • Bottom line: It hurts to get shut out, but this is game No.1 of a 162 game season.

Nationals Opening Day: Washington, Atlanta Go To Bullpen, Braves Still Lead 2-0

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. They just wrapped up the seventh inning. Here is everything you need to know.

  • Both starting pitchers are out. Livan Hernandez went 6.1 innings, surrendering two runs -- both earned -- on four hits, including that early homerun blast to Jason Heyward. Derek Lowe went 5.2 innings, and using movement to scatter three hits while fanning six. He did not give up a run.
  • Tyler Clipper got entered the game with one out and runners on first and second in the top of the seventh. He whiffed Alex Gonzalez on a 3-2 changeup and got Freddie Freeman to fly out to left, ending the inning and keeping the National in striking distance
  • Rick Ankiel led off the bottom of the seventh, and flew out to left. Second baseman Danny Espinosa doubled to the gap in left-center for the first extra-base hit of the Nats season. But it was wasted as Ivan Rodriguez grounded out to first base and Lance Nix struck out.

Nationals Opening Day: Derek Lowe Strikes Out The Side, Braves Still lead 2-0

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. They just wrapped up the third inning. Here is everything you need to know.

  • Ian Desmond is up first in the third inning, and let's remember that he struck out looking in the first inning. Well, he got much better int he third. He still struck out, but this time he was swinging. Baby steps.
  • Jayson Werth comes up and suffers the same fate as Desmond. He got some good hacks in that at-bat, but the last one found air. Lowe now has three K's all of which against the top two guys in the Nats' lineup.
  • Ryan Zimmerman comes up to bat with no one on base. The more things change in Nats Town, the more they remain the same. He works a 3-2 count, and Lowe delivers a pitch that looks below the knees. But the ump calls it a strike and Lowe has a 1-2-3 inning, all of them K's. Still 2-0 Braves.

Nationals Opening Day: Livan Goes 1-2-3 In Third, Nats Still Trail 2-0

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. We're in the middle of the second inning now, here is everything you need to know about the last half inning.

  • Martin Prado is up first for the Braves. He's playing in left for them this year, but last year he spent time at second, third, third base coach, member of the groundscrew, popcorn vendor, ticket-broker, head of the groundscrew and color commentator. He's a utility player, is what I'm saying. Livan gets him to pop out to center field for the first half of the year.
  • Up next is Nate McLouth who seriously struggles last year. Livan gets a looking strikeout. 0-2 on the year for Nate, and the struggles continue.
  • Chipper Jones is up next, and he hit a double and came into score in the first inning. Livan gets him to pop out to the opposite field for the final out, and his first 1-2-3 inning of the year.

Nationals Opening Day: Nats Waste Espinosa Single In Second, Still Trail Braves 2-0

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. They just wrapped up the second inning of the season, here is everything you need to know.

  • Even though I knew it was happening, I was still surprised to see Rick Ankiel introduced as the starting center fielder. He drives a ball deep to left field which brings the fans to their feet, but Heyward has enough room and makes the catch. The first disappointment of the season.
  • Next up is Danny Espinosa, the Nats new every day second baseman. He hits a soft dribbler up the third base line which he beats out for a single. Not the most impressive base hit in the world, but we'll take them any way they come. Don't look now, but Danny Espinosa is batting .1000 and is the leading candidate for N.L. Rookie of the Year.
  • Pudge Rodriguez is up next. Bob Carpenter brings the knowledge, "Danny Espinosa hitting in front of Pudge in this lineup is an interesting, thing." Why yes it is. Pudge ground to the third baseman, but Espinosa was running on the play so they avoid the double-play. Man on second with two outs.
  • Here comes Livan, ready to justify all the talk about his hitting prowess. He hits a soft bouncer right back to Derek Lowe, who is able to throw him out before Livan gets halfway down the base path. Gotta conserve that energy big man! Nats still trail 2-0 after two.

National Opening Day: Jason Heyward Home Run Gives The Braves 2-0 Lead

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. The Braves just took their hacks in the second inning, here is all you need to know.

  • Jason Heyward comes to bat for the first at-bat of his second major league season, and just like he did in his first year, starts it up with a home run. He takes a high pitch from Livan over the right field wall to make it 2-0 Braves.
  • Alex Gonzalez comes up, and Livan throws the changeup to get him to pop-out to left. I would say that Livan made him look silly, but honestly, MLB players should not expect to see a pitch that slow.
  • Braves rookie 1B Freddie Freeman comes up and quickly grounds one to LaRoche at first base for the second out of the inning.
  • That brings Braves' pitcher Derek Lowe up, which prompts a conversation about Livan being a better hitter than Lowe among the broadcasters. Perhaps the least important point that's ever been discussed. Lowe grounds out to Livan for the third out of the inning. Nats now trail 2-0.

Nationals Opening Day: Nationals Trail 1-0 After Stranding Two Runners In The First

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. They just wrapped up the first inning of the season, here is everything you need to know.

  • Ian Desmond is going to batting first for the Nationals this year, and they just need him to get on base for him to be successful. He responds with a strikeout looking in his first at-bat of the season.
  • Jayson Werth gets a pretty good ovation from the crowd for his first at-bat. He hits a chopper over the head of Lowe that splits the infielders for a single. Good way to start the season for Werth. The future is now, people!
  • Zimmerman hits a sharp single on the ground into right field. Werth shows off some of the new-found "athleticism" we've been hearing about this year by going first to third. The throw from Jason Heyward was cut off by the pitcher. Nats have men at the corners with one out.
  • Adam LaRoche, the other new Nat in town, wastes a pretty good RBI opportunity by popping out to short right field.
  • Michael Morse comes to bat. Bob Carpenter describes his Spring Training performance as "Nails," whatever that means. He then grounds out to the shortstop to end the inning, stranding the two runners. Nats trail by 1 after the first.

Nationals Opening Day: Braves Lead 1-0 After RBI Single From Brian McCann

Today is Opening Day, and the Nationals are facing the Braves. They just wrapped up the first half-inning of the season, here is everything you need to know.

  • Game time temperature is 41 degrees. That sounds unpleasant for everyone involved.
  • So far so good for new Nats' color guy F.P. Santangelo. We're about 2o minutes into the broadcast and I haven't heard a single "we."
  • Just when I think Livan Hernandez can't throw it any slower, he breaks out a 71 mph changeup.
  • He gets the first two outs of the game, but then Chipper Jones ropes an inside pitch over LaRoche at first and stretches it into a double. Brian McCann swings on the first pitch of the next at-bat and brings Jones in with a single up the middle. 1-0 Braves.
  • Livan gets Dan Uggla to pop out to center to end the inning. Ian Desmond will be up first for the Nats in the bottom of the First.

Washington Nationals Opening Day: Livan Hernandez Takes On Derek Lowe And The Braves

Baseball is back, and since we've already celebrated the National Holiday that is Opening Day, I think it's time to focus on the actual game that the Nationals will be playing today. They will take on the Braves at 1:05. You can catch the game on MASN, and it will be your first chance to get to know new Nats' color guy F.P. Santangelo.

The bad news is that President Obama will not be throwing out the first pitch this year. But they do have a worthy replacement - or replacements. According to the Washington Business Journal, uniformed personel representing the five branches of the Military will handle the first pitch duties this year.

The men who will take the mound during the actual game are Livan Hernandez and Derek Lowe. We know what we're going to get form Livan (a handful of innings, working out of trouble, nothing over 86 mph). Lowe is one of the best sinker ball pitchers in the game, and when he is on, he is almost unhittable. Well, actually, you'll be able to hit it; it's just going to stay in the infield and probably result in an out anyway.

Here are the Opening Day lineups, via a Nationals press release.

Prado – LF
McLouth – CF
Jones – 3B
McCann – C
Uggla – 2B
Heyward – RF
Gonzalez – SS
Freeman – 1B
Lowe – P

Desmond – SS
Werth – RF
Zimmerman – 3B
LaRoche – 1B
Morse – LF
Ankiel – CF
Espinosa – 2B
Rodriguez – C
Hernandez – P


Washington Nationals' 2011 Season Matters, Even If They Won't Be Good

With Stephen Strasburg sidelined, the 2011 Nationals won't be good or full of star power. But if you are interested in where this team is headed, 2011 is a huge year for a number of key youngsters.


2011 MLB Opening Day, Braves Vs. Nationals: Decision To Postpone Game Will Happen Thursday Morning

The Braves and Nationals are set to take part in MLB's opening day on Thursday at 1:05 p.m., but due to a weather forecast that calls for rain, there is a good chance the game will be postponed. Owner Mark Lerner, in a press conference at the teams' FanFest event, said the team will make a decision on whether to go through the game on Thursday morning.

Via Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington.

Mark Lerner says #Nats will try to make call on play-or-postpone early tomorrow. They won't play tomorrow night, would go Fri afternoon.    

As of right now (5:30 on Wednesday), the weather forecast has actually improved from earlier Wednesday. Weather.com, which previously hinted at there being an 80 percent chance of rainnow says that is down to 50 percent, and it may be at night. This would then give the Nationals enough of a window to get their game in during the afternoon, when it is not projected to rain.


2011 MLB Opening Day, Braves Vs. Nationals: Weather Forecast Calls For Rain

The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves are set to play at 1:05 p.m. on MLB opening day on Thursday ... provided the weather cooperates, of course. As of right now, though, that may not happen. The latest weather forecast calls for an 80-percent chance of rain, according to Weather.com.

As of noon on Wednesday, the weather in the zip code of Nationals Park (2003) is expected to be 48 degrees, with an 80-percent chance of rain. Here's a screenshot of the page.


The Nationals' fanfest on Wednesday will happen regardless of the weather, but obviously, if there is a lot of rain, the game will be delayed and possibly even postponed. Even if the rain is not that bad, the field conditions could be poor because of the rain forecasts for the previous days. 

If the game happens, Livan Hernandez will get the start for the Nationals, who are hoping to improve on their so-so season last year.


2011 MLB Opening Day, Braves Vs. Nationals: The Jayson Werth Era Begins In Washington

The Washington Nationals will start a new season on Thursday as teams across the country celebrate 2011 MLB Opening Day. It will be the first chance to see some of the newest Nationals, namely Jayson Werth, whom the team signed to a seven-year, $126 million contract in the offseason.

The rest of the Nats' opening day lineup looks like this, via Ben Goessling at MASNSports.com.

Ian Desmond - SS
Jayson Werth - RF
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
Adam LaRoche - 1B
Michael Morse - LF
Rick Ankiel - CF
Danny Espinosa - 2B
Ivan Rodriguez - C
Livan Hernandez - P

Desmond, Zimmerman and Rodriguez are the only position players that played on a full-time basis last year. We already talked about Werth. LaRoche is (hopefully) the defensive-minded first baseman that Mike Rizzo said the team needed to get in the offseason, despite his shoulder issues. Morse was part of an outfield platoon last year, but has won the starting left field job with a strong showing in the spring. I'm not sure the Nats thought Rick Ankiel would be a starting center fielder when they signed him, but after the trade of Nyjer Morgan, here we are. Danny Espinosa had a very strong September after being called up to the majors, and he looks to build on that with his first full season.

Check out Federal Baseball for more on the Nats.

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