Stephen Strasburg (6.0 scoreless innings) and 3 relievers combined to scatter 3 hits and 4 walks as Washington blanked Johan Santana and the Mets, 4-0, on Wed. in the rubber game of a 3-game set...the Nationals reached base safely 20 times (10 walks, 9 hits, one HBP)...Mark DeRosa got off the Opening Week snide, tallying his first hit, 3 walks and one RBI in the win. Offensively, Washington posted a double-digit walk total for the first time since April 2009... the Nationals struggled with RISP (1-for-14) and thus stranded 14 baserunners...Washington won for the 6th time in 7 games at Citi Field and improved to 4-0 all-time in rubber games at NYM’s new home...the Nationals claimed their 3rd series win at Citi Field in 4 tries since the beginning of last season...Washington and NYM combined on 10 hours and 16 minutes of baseball (3:25 average) during the 3-gamer. OPEN SESAME
This afternoon, the Nationals host the Reds in DC’s 79th home opener dating to 1901...today’s tilt marks the 18th time that either the AL Nationals, Senators, Expansion Senators or Nationals open in The District after the season began on the road...this last occurred in 2009 when the Nationals kicked off the season in Miami before returning to host the Phillies in DC’s opener.
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
With Wed.’s 4-0 victory, the Nationals capped their 2-city, 6-game roadtrip with a 4-2 record (2-1 at CHI, 2-1 at NYM)...in doing so, they registered just their 2nd winning multi-city trek (6-5 West Coast tour, June 2-12, 2011; 2-2 at ARI, 1-2 at SFG, 3-1 at SDP) dating to May of 2008.
MODERN DAY PERSPECTIVE ON 4-2The Nationals’ 4-2 record represents their best 6-game record since coming to DC in 2005...incidentally, the best 7-game mark was 3-4 and was achieved in 2005, ‘08, ‘10 and ‘11.
HISTORIC 4-2 PERSPECTIVE
Before ‘12, the last time a baseball team from DC sported a winning record after the initial 6 games of a season was 1951, when the AL Nationals won 5 of their first 6 contests. The AL Nationals ultimately finished in 7th place in the 8-team AL with a 62-92 record.
Davey Johnson’s leadoff hitter, Ian Desmond reached base 12 times (10 hits, 2 walks), scored 5 runs and swiped a base during Washington’s season-opening 6-game roadtrip. Dating to last year's All-Star break, Desmond is batting .297 (87-for-293) with 17 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs, 29 RBI and 20 walks in 75 games...those numbers render a .345 OBP, a .430 slugging mark and a .775 OPS...Desmond’s half-season+ .775 OPS is a tick below the .781 career mark of NL All-Star Jose Reyes.
With an 8th-inning sac fly on Tue., Ryan Zimmerman reached the 500-RBI plateau...Zimmerman became just the 8th active third bagger to record 500+ RBI manning primarily the hot corner...Alex Rodriguez (1893), Chipper Jones (1563), Scott Rolen (1249), Aramis Ramirez (1127), Adrian Beltre (1116), Eric Chavez (813) and David Wright (729) were waiting for Ryan to join the list. The 27 year old Zimmerman also became the 7th player in the franchise annals to tally 500 RBI...the first 6: Tim Wallach (905), Andre Dawson (838), Gary Carter (823), Vladimir Guerrero (702), Tim Raines (556) and Jose Vidro (550).
Offensively through 6 games, Davey Johnson’s bench (all players that do not start in a given game) is 4-for-12 (.333) with a double, 4 RBI, 2 runs scored and one walk.
DIVISIONAL DALLIANCES DIMINISHED
Only 9 of Washington’s 42 scheduled contests through May 20 will comes against NL East brethren...the Nationals next face a NL East foe when MIA visits for a 3-gamer, April 20-22.
The Nationals are 5 games (3-2 record) into a stretch where they will play 16 games in as many days...Washington is slated for only one longer run of consecutive contests in 2012...after the All-Star break, from July 13-29, the Nationals are slated to play 17 games in 17 days.