The Nationals have an annual tradition for the Fourth of July to play their game at 11am. I tend to like this idea because it means you get early baseball and still have the rest of the day if you want to get some barbecue and watch fireworks later in the day. Or, if you’re like me, you simply enjoy being able to watch baseball a few hours after waking up.
Of course, anybody who has been following the Nationals this year knows that Dusty Baker likes to give some of his starters the day off during a day game. That’s especially the case when you’re starting at 11 instead of the traditional matinee at 1:30 pm. So, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon will be getting the day off today.
Combine this with all the injuries that the Nationals have had this season and it means only two Opening Day starters will actually be on the field today — Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy. It will therefore be very interesting to see if Joe Ross is able to get the huge amount of run support that he’s been used to receiving this season.
No matter what happens, I hope everyone enjoys their Fourth of July!!