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GameNotes: Opening Day 2021

​​​​​​​Welcome to our first edition of GameNotes for the 2021 season.

Game Details

Atlanta Braves (0-3) vs. Washington Nationals (0-0)
LHP Drew Smyly (0-0; 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (0-0; 0.00 ERA)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 | 4:05 p.m. | Game #1 | Home Game #1
Nationals Park | Washington D.C. | TV: MASN 2 | Radio: 106.7 the Fan, Nationals Radio Network

Latest Washington Nationals Headline

After the postponement of three games against the New York Mets because of COVID-19, the Washington Nationals will host the Atlanta Braves for a three-game set here in Washington D.C.

Today’s GameNotes

On the Mound

Two-time CY-young award winner Max Scherzer will take the mound for the Washington Nationals in the season opener in Washington D.C. Scherzer will face a struggling Braves offense that managed just three runs while getting swept by the Phillies in a three-game series over the weekend. Despite these early struggles, the Braves lineup features the reigning National League MVP: Freddie Freeman, and two other NL MVP Candidates in Ronald Acuna and Marcell Ozuna. Scherzer will take the ball on Opening Day for the sixth time in seven seasons with the Nationals. Scherzer is coming off a 2020 season in which he posted a 3.74 ERA and a 5-4 record, his 11th straight above-.500 season.  

Scherzer has faced batters in the current Atlanta lineup 273 times since 2015. Over that stretch, he has a strikeout rate of 28.2% while holding these hittiers to a 0.242 average. 

Tuesday’s game will also mark the first time the Nationals will be playing in front of fans at Nationals Park since Game 5 of the 2019 World Series. 

Today’s Opening Day Events:

  • A pregame moment of silence to rember and honor the lives lost due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • A previously recorded performace of America the Beauitful by The United States Navy Band.
  • Nation’s colors presented by The United States Capitol Police Cermonial Unit.
  • The United States of America National Anthem performed by Sergant Major (ret) Bob McDonald of the United States Army Chorus.
  • Award Presentation for the 2020 National League Batting Title and Silver Slugger Award, presented to OF Juan Soto.
  • Instead of the traditional “first pitch,” the Nationals will honor the 2019 World Series Championship team and fans by highlighting World Series signage around Nats Park and “re-raising” the World Series Championship flag in Center Field Plaza.
  • Play Ball! will be announced by Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez.
  • God Bless America performed by singer D.C. Washington.

Series Notes: Washington Nationals

  • The Washington Nationals will finally start thier 2021 season as the team has been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. The Nationals will be playing in front of a limited amount of fans the first time during the regular season since Game 7 of the World Series in 2019.
  • The Nationals will be missing some of their starters including the likes of Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber, Josh Harrrison, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester, Brad Hand, Yan Gomes, Alex Avila and Jordy Mercer. According to reports, the team hasn’t formally revealed which four players tested postive for COVID-19 nor which seven playeers and two staff members remian in quartine.
  • Yesterday afternoon, six infileders went through drills including, Ryan Zimmerman, Luis Garica, Carter Kieboom, Hernan Perez, Adrian Sanchez and Starlin Castro.
  • In an afternoon press conference Dave Martinez said that the reason why Trea Turner wasn’t out on the field yesterday working out with the team was waiting to get offical clearance from Trea’s PCR saliva tests.
  • Will Harris (on the 10-day IL with right hand inflammation) has been cleared to start throwing. Davey Martinez says he’ll need to essentially go through a “spring training ritual” now. Will head to Fredericksburg camp at some point.
  • Newly acquired Washington National Jonathan Lucory will be starting behind the plate. According to reports, Lucory and Scherzer have been in touch to go over the game plan for today.

Series Notes: Atlanta Braves

  • The Braves are  struggling, getting swept in a three-game, season-opening series at the hands of another NL East Rival, the Philadelphia Phillies. 
  • With the reigning National League MVP Freddie Freeman and two other MVP candidates – Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna – the Braves have the potential to have one of the game’s best offenses for a third straight season. Freeman went 0-9 over the series against the Phillies, and Ozuna struck out seven of 11 at-bats.
  • The only runs so far this season have come from Travis d’Arnaud’s game-tying, seventh-inning homer on Sunday and a pitch-hit two-run homerun by Pablo Sandoval on Thursday.

Game Lineups (Subject To Change without Notice)

Washington Nationals

Victor Robles CF
Trea Turner SS
Juan Soto RF
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Starlin Castro 3B
Hernan Perez 2B
Andrew Stevenson LF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Max Scherzer P

Atlanta Braves

Ronald Acuna Jr. RF
Ozzie Albies 2B
Freddie Freeman 1B
Marcell Ozuna LF
Travis d’Arnaud C
Dansby Swanson SS
Austin Riley 3B
Cristian Pache CF
Drew Smyly P


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