2008: "Welcome home" to the new stadium
Nationals Park had a storybook Opening Day on March 31, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a memorable walk-off home run. The Nats soon fell into a nine-game losing streak, however. Even though infielders Nick Johnson and Cristian Guzman returned to the lineup, the team roster was depleted by further injuries in April and May. Dmitri Young had diabetes-related weight problems, and did not play much. Things went from bad to worse in July, when the Nats only won five games, setting a team record. After a brief upsurge in early August, the Nationals endured their longest losing streak yet, 12 games. Later in the month they rebounded again, but lost nine of their last ten games. Not a good way to begin the new era in Nationals Park.
|CF: Lastings Milledge * .268|
|LF: Willie Harris * .251
Wily Mo Peña *
|RF: Austin Kearns .217
Elijah Dukes *
|SS: Cristian Guzman .316||2B: Felipe Lopez .234|
|3B: Ryan Zimmerman .283||1B: Aaron Boone * .241
|Batting average for position players, ERA for pitchers.
Manager: Manny Acta
|C: Jesus Flores * .256
Wil Nieves *
|* (asterisk): new player|
- Mar. 30 - Zimmerman 9th inn. HR inaugurates new stadium; WSH 3, ATL 2.
- Apr. 25 - Wil Nieves 9th inning HR; WSH 5, CHC 3.
- Apr. 22 - John Smoltz gets 3000th strikeout, but Nats beat Braves, 6-0. @
- May 15 - Diving catch by LF Willie Harris saves 1-0 win over the Mets. @
- May 24 -- Brewers spoil nice day in D.C., winning 5-2. (I was there!)
- June 5 - Elijah Dukes 2-run HR in 10th inn.; WSH 10, STL 9.
- June 20 - Elijah Dukes 5 for 6: HR, GW RBI in 14th inning; WSH 4, TEX 3.
- June 29 - Ronnie Belliard 2-run HR in 12th inning; WSH 3, BAL 2.
- Aug. 2 -- Nats come back from 6-2 deficit, beat Reds 10-6. (I was there!)
- Aug. 28 -- C. Guzman hits for cycle, E. Dukes two HRs; WSH 11, LAD 2.
- Aug. 30 -- Elijah Dukes walked, GW RBI in 10th inn.; WSH 9, ATL 8.
- Sept. 6 -- E. Dukes two HRs, R. Langerhans HR in 11th; WSH 8, ATL 5. @
- Sept. 19 -- Bullpen collapse: Padres score 5 in 14th inning; SD 11, WSH 6.
2008 memorable moments
"@" = away game
|Month||Wins||Losses||NL East place
SOURCE: My unofficial daily tabulations from MLB Gameday stats, Washington Post, and other newspapers.