Talking Points #4: ZOMG it’s Opening F!!$*&^$ Day! (With GIFs)

Don’t like baseball? Don’t feel like you know very much about it? Don’t think that should stop you from sounding like you do? Nats101 presents Talking Points, a weekly series designed to take advantage of the BSing nature of Washington D.C., and make you sound like a seamhead on your very first try. (And maybe learn ya some baseball while we’re at it).

ZOMG it’s Opening F#($*#$ Day!

  • Okay, depending on where you are and who you are with, you may want to temper the language a bit. The point is, this is it: The day every baseball fanatic has been waiting for since the end of last October. (Hence my happy GIFs and Videos in the post today).
  • Your Washington Nationals open the season today, Monday, in the fair city of New York. They will play their National League East rivals the New York Mets. Their first home game is Friday, against their other National League East rivals (and much better competition) the Atlanta Braves.
  • The Mets are likely not to be very good. However, when you play 162 games in a year, and 18 against the Mets, the bad teams are going to win a few. The goal for the Nationals is to win 2 of the 3 games they plain in New York before they come back to DC. Winning all 3 would just be gravy.
  • Try and put the radio (or TV if you can) on at work, 1 p.m., and listen to the game. Here are your TV and Radio listings.
  • If you’re going Friday, great! Be sure and let everyone know that while you’re disappointed that Doug Fister’s health is stopping him from getting the start, you’re excited for Tanner Roark (Row-ark) to make a start.
  • If you’re not going Friday, that stinks. Clearly it is because you can’t get off of work and you’re so jealous of the people who are going.
  • There are more GIFs and videos and things below the line. Click it!

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Review-Preview: Nats Obliterate Marlins, Move on To Cincy to play Reds

Smoooooooth Gio2

This is from @Section138. Please visit Gavin’s blog often and follow him on Twitter. He also has been making cool Nats shirts since before making cool Nats shirts was cool.


There are a million places to go get a recap and preview of every game, but here at Nationals 101 we prefer to take a slightly bigger slice of the pie.  The Review-Preview will take place between series and give a quick recap of the previous series (including anything we think you can learn from the series) and what you can look forward to in the next series coming up.

NOTE:  Due to some awful car trouble that ate up all of Friday, I didn’t finish the Preview part.  Given last night’s debacle it’s probably best to skip this editions “preview” section and just do a review.  Next week we will review the Reds series and Preview the White Sox series.  

REVIEW Miami Marlins Series

Quick Take:  The Nationals came into Opening Day with the reputation as one of the best teams in the league, and the Marlins came into the series as possibly a AAA team playing in the big leagues.  Nothing either team did changed anyone’s mind as to either of those mindsets.

The Nationals swept the Marlins and remain the only unbeaten team in baseball (a dubious distinction, but a distinction none the less) by beating the Marlins 2-0, 3-0, and 6-1.

So What Happened?  Simply put, the Nationals pitching over powered the Marlins in every contest, holding the lowly Fish to just one run over three games.  That’s the first time that’s happened since the late 70’s over an opening series by the way.  How good was the Nationals pitching?  Let’s look at the starters combined and bullpen combined stat lines:

Starters:  3-0, .47 ERA 19IP, 13H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 9K

Bullpen: 0.00 ERA, 8IP, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 9K, 2 Saves

The numbers are slightly more impressive for the Gio and Strasburg given that Jordan Zimmermann gave up the sole run and 8 hits.  Only 3 of the hits went for extra bases (2 doubles and a Home Run) and the defense was stellar (committing just one error)  in keeping these guys out of the run column.

The bats started a little quiet over all, but got louder as the series went on.  Scoring the first two games was more about timely hitting-Bryce Harper stole the show in game one with two Home Runs in his first two at bats.  Gio hit a solo homer, followed by two more insurance runs later in the game.  The Nats finally took the top off in game three, gettings 6 runs-scoring two in the first and adding four more between a Werthquake and Harper’s third bomb in three games.

Lost In the Shuffle:

Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa are struggling at the plate right now, but it’s only three games in (and Danny isn’t striking out as much).

The only really feared player for the Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton, was held to 1 for 9 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.  He also did not put in a very good effort into getting to first base on a play, and just turned around and stomped off to the dugout after his strikeouts.  He’s the lone star on an awful team and rumor is that he’s not happy about the fire sale the Marlins put on this year.  He could be quitting on this team as early as game 3 of the season, which bodes even better for the Nationals

Rafael Soriano is very impressive in person.  His delivery is insanely smooth, he never looked troubled on the mound, and he just threw strike after strike.  Also, for the #haters, Henry Rodriguez found the strike zone no problem in his one outting, and Drew Storen also looked just fine in his first appearance this year.  Indeed, the bullpen could be lights out this year-as predicted by many.

Conclusion:  Exactly what was supposed to happen between these two teams happened. You don’t want to overrate beating up the Marlins, but the point is they did beat up the Marlins.  Houston won this weekend against a much better team, so don’t downplay getting the job done.  Often the Marlins have been awful and played the Nationals tough. This time, the Nats put the foot to the pedal and really didn’t let up.

Cliff Notes: Opening Week Edition

Strasburg Unleashes on Opening Day

Strasburg Unleashes on Opening Day

Cliff Notes is a bi-weekly post featuring links to some of our favorite stories from other parts of Natstown over the past couple of days.  We want to make sure you’re reading the best of what Natstown has to offer!

Finally Baseball came back to the Nation’s Capital!

Ouij on Natstradamus takes Barry Svruluga and others to task for freaking out over Stephen Strasburg being pulled in the home opener after just 80 pitches.

I made an appearance on the Red Porch Report this week and talked about my 5 Things To Keep Fans Sane article.  We’ve been fans of this show for a bit-it’s easily the most professional sounding podcast in Natstown.  Also, I managed not to ruin the whole show-so go give it a listen!

We also got a shout out on Matt’s Bats Opening Day Post.  Thanks!

@Stephanats and @TClippsSpecs got married on Opening Day, then came to the game!  I guess I’m happy for the other couple in the article too.

While we’re talking about TClipps article about Harper’s swing mechanics is short, easy to understand and informative.  So read it!  That link would be enough, but also read Ouij’s response (more of a companion article) that says Harper’s batting stance makes him look like a cricketer-and goes in depth as to why that works! (I, for one, am no convinced Frank Thomas and Bryce Harper would be even better at cricket).

Lastly, a very nice light piece by @EffyeahJDub about being a long distance fan on CitsofNatstown.

Holding Court: Confessions of Giddy Schoolgirl

Welcome to a new feature on, “Holding Court.”  Written by Court Swift (@RCourtSwift) one of the most knowledgeable Nationals (and everything) fans I know.  He’ll be writing a columns for us that not only get you up to speed on some baseball things, but also offering his sage like opinion on those same topics.
In this Week’s Holding Court, Opening Day has Court feeling a little over the top!  

It’s true.  Thinking about this upcoming season has turned me into a giddy little schoolgirl. The Pointer Sisters have never been this excited.

This year, Opening Day should be a local holiday. I see children skipping down South Capital Street waving pennants and throwing candy. K Street lobbyists flocking to Nationals Park like the pod people they are, turning mindless obedience (at least for the day) to better things. Flash mobs of delirious Nats fans popping up all over the city, spinning and singing and singing and spinning. Willly Wonka meets The Yellow Brick Road meets Damn Yankees. But with beards. Glorious, majestic beards:
Danny Edit

2013 IBWAA Predictions from Nationals101!

The Internet Baseball Writers Assocation: Washington DC chapter invited us this year to partake in their Washington Nationals predictions for 2013.  As we talked about last week, predictions are fun-but I don’t pretend to be very good at them. The full results of a bunch of different writers can be seen at the link above, but you can click below to see our individual answers.  What are your predictions and thoughts for this year?  Leave ’em in the comments section:

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