PHOTOS: Nats Home Opener Against Pittsburgh Draws 40,405; Gore Has Strong Start in 8-4 Loss

Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)

WASHINGTON, DC-Anticipation and expectation are two words that perfectly capture the start of baseball season. All winter, fans anticipate the start. On Opening Day and the home opener, they expect a win. Unfortunately, the 40,405 who attended the April 1 home opener at Nats Park witnessed an 8-4 loss, thanks to the hitting of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  (See the box score HERE.)

Despite the loss, the crowd saw a close game for the most part. And the Nats somehow managed to keep it that way until the very end, even though the team was outhit 15-8.

Mackenzie Gore pitched 5.1 innings, striking out six. (Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)
Here comes the pitch..(Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)
Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press
Strike! (Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)

Starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore threw a quality start with 5.1 innings and six strikeouts, walking just two and giving up only three earned runs. It was a good performance for him this early.

Fun between innings (Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)

Centerfielder Victor Robles, a holdover from the 2019 World Series-winning team, put on a show on the bases, stealing two.

CJ Abrams connects in the seventh. (Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)

CJ Abrams, the shortstop acquired in the trade that sent Juan Soto to San Diego last year, has noticeably improved this season on the field and at the plate. He hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh against Pittsburgh reliever Roansy Contreras.

The crowd watches as Ildimaro Vargas, playing third base, waits for the ball to fall into his glove. (Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)

All in all, the game served as a building block. It’s a long season. There are six months of games to be played. So the Nats can use this to build confidence. And that’s just what they did, winning last night (Apr. 3) 5-3 to tie the series. The rubber game starts at 4:05 this afternoon.

Screech meets some young fans. (Photo: John Canery for The Zebra Press)

[SEE ALSO: Help Visit Alexandria Maintain Ranking on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Small Cities” List]

Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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