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W:S.Strasburg(1-0) L:R.Nolasco(0-1) S:R.Soriano (1)
HR: MIA- None WAS- B.Harper 2 (2)
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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, April 1st (All times Eastern)

Miami Marlins (0-0) at Washington Nationals (0-0), 1:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 0.00) Washington - Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - Expectations are through the roof in the nation's capital.

The Washington Nationals start what has been dubbed a "World Series or bust" season on Monday against the new look Miami Marlins at Nationals Park.

After finishing in the bottom of the NL East six times in seven seasons from 2004-2010, the Nationals began a slow climb up the standings with a third- place finish in 2011. And though that 80-81 record wasn't much to write home about, it did show that the Nats were headed in the right direction.

Not too much was expected out of Washington in 2012, a campaign that figured to serve as seasoning for the returning Stephen Strasburg from Tommy John surgery and rookie Bryce Harper, a pair of No. 1 overall picks from 2009 and '10 respectively charged with leading the franchise into a successful future.

It ended up being much more as Strasburg was dominant until being shut down due to an innings limit and Harper won the NL Rookie of the Year award. Gio Gonzalez led all of baseball with 21 wins in his first season with the Nationals and Tyler Clippard saved the bullpen, while Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond all provided pop at the plate to help Harper.

The result was an 18-win improvement and the franchise's first trip to the playoffs since the Montreal Expos advanced to the NLCS in the 1981 split season. Washington's 98-64 record was also the best in baseball, but it failed to get out of the NLDS, falling in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals after failing to hold leads of 6-0 and 7-5 in the series-deciding contest.

Strasburg will be on the hill Monday, as he begins the season unrestricted.

"Harper hit .270 last year. He had a rough stretch. And through all that (shutdown) thing at the end, Stras had some rough starts. I look at them to weather the bad times they went through last year. That's why we're very optimistic about this year," manager Davey Johnson said.

That brief taste of success left the Nats wanting more. They were able to get Johnson, winner of the NL Manager of the Year award, to return for the 2013 season before the 70-year-old moves into a consultant role next year and were big players in free agency.

Washington hit each aspect, adding center fielder Denard Span, right-handed starter Dan Haren and closer Rafael Soriano to form one of the deeper teams in the league and also brought back first baseman Adam LaRoche to fill out the meat of the order.

While the Nats are the odds-on favorites to repeat as NL East champions, not much is expected from a Miami team that underwent a complete overhaul this offseason.

Marlins fans had seen radical moves at the end of a season before, but those usually came after a World Series title, not after a year in which they were favored to make the playoffs and ultimately disappointed, going 68-83.

Miami stunned the baseball world with a shocking 12-player trade on Nov. 19 that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, starter Josh Johnson, outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for a collection of mostly young prospects and a removal of around $160 million in salary off the books.

It also came after the Marlins had previously dealt Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez and Gaby Sanchez during the 2012 regular season.

Owner Jeffrey Loria, who had already gotten taxpayers to finance a large part of the new stadium, became public enemy No. 1, but his defense cry has been that a high payroll didn't work so it was time for another youth movement.

The moves made this winter certainly didn't bring much excitement unless the likes of Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco and Jon Rauch get your blood flowing.

First-year manager Mike Redmond may have his work cut out for him, as he takes over for Ozzie Guillen, who was fired after a tumultuous first season to say the least with the Marlins.

"It's a new start. It's a clean slate," Redmond said. "I think it's going to be an easy sell. The sell is the opportunity. There has been so much change and guys are so young. This reminds me a lot of '98, when I got to the big leagues. It was a great opportunity for us. Sure, there were good days and bad days, but we all went through it together. When we won the World Series in 2003, it was so satisfying with all that we had gone through."

One of the few Marlins fans will recognize from last year's club will be on the mound, as righty Ricky Nolasco makes his second Opening Day start. Nolasco, whose 76 big league wins are more than the rest of the Marlins' projected rotation combined (67), was 12-13 last season with a 4.48 ERA.

"He's the leader on that staff," Redmond said of his ace. "I know he's excited about it. He has that experience. He knows how to pitch. He knows the league."

The Marlins and Nationals split 18 head-to-head games last year.

04/01 10:24:46 ET

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
1:05pm Today
STL
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
WAS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
DET
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
LOS
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
SFG
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
SEA
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
COL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
OAK
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
PIT
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
Final
POR 94
DAL 75
7:00pm Tonight
IND
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRK
PHO
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Thursday
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
Final
DRAK 50
BRAD 52
Final
LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
Final
UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
Final
UCD 61
UCR 59
 
Final
ARST 67
STAN 62
Final
WASU 59
UTAH 67
12:00pm Today
MVSU
ARKPB
 
12:00pm Today
CSOU
LONG
 
1:05pm Today
WICHS
SILL
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
 
6:00pm Tonight
HIGH
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCG
SAMF
 
6:00pm Tonight
ELON
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
BGU
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
CLMB
 
7:00pm Tonight
PRIN
CORN
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
ILLCH
 
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
TOL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NIOWA
BRAD
 
7:30pm Tonight
MURST
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
HARV
YALE
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
 
8:30pm Tonight
CITA
FUR
 
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
 
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
 
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
 
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
 
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
Final
ARI 3
VAN 2
Final
LOS 4
MON 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT