2005: The Nats' Honeymoon Year in Washington
The Nationals' inaugural season in Our Nation's Capital turned out better than even the brightest optimists could have imagined, sparking a mutual love affair between players and fans. The team had amazing success, rising to a commanding lead in the National League Eastern Division during a ten-game winning streak in June, before falling back in July. They finished the season at an even .500, 81-81, but it was still last place in the division. The 2.7 million total attendance at the Nats' home games exceeded their target by 300,000, and their 33,584 average attendance was more than 3 ½ times the attendance at Expos games in Montreal and San Juan in the previous year. This laid to rest doubts about baseball in Washington.
Click to see the full rotation (the closing pitcher is in parentheses), and click again to hide it.
| CF: Brad Wilkerson .248
|LF: Marlon Byrd .264
|RF: Jose Guillen * .283|
|SS: Cristian Guzman * .219||2B: Jose Vidro .275|
|3B: Vinny Castilla * .253||1B: Nick Johnson .289|
|Batting average for position players, ERA for pitchers.
Manager: Frank Robinson
|C: Brian Schneider .268||* (asterisk): new player|
- Apr. 4 -- Phillies 8, Nats 4. The Nationals' very first game; (I was there!) @
- Apr. 14 -- Nats 5, D-backs 3. The first home game; sold-out crowd.
- May 30 -- Nats 5, Braves 4. High drama, perfect weather. (I was there!)
- June 5 -- Nats 6, Marlins 3. Ryan Church homer helps Nats take first place.
- June 14 -- Nats 6, Angels 3. Frank Robinson complains about pine tar. @
- July 4 -- Mets 5, Nats 2. RFK nearly full, but loss begins big downturn.
- July 15 -- Brewers 4, Nats 3. Mike Stanton balks (?!) in 10th inning.
- Aug. 4 -- Nats 7, Dodgers 0. Grand slam by Wilkerson, 13 Ks by Patterson.
- Sept. 2 -- Phillies 7, Nats 1. Ryan Zimmerman's first ML hit. (I was there!)
- Sept. 17 -- Padres 8, Nats 5. 12 innings; Cordero blows 5-0 lead in 9th.
- Sept. 21 -- Giants 5, Nats 1. HR by Barry Bonds ends Nats' wild card hopes.
2005 memorable moments
"@" = away game
|Month||Wins||Losses||NL East place
SOURCE: My unofficial daily tabulations from MLB Gameday stats, Washington Post, and other newspapers.