|Washington (3-0) «||2||0||1||0||0||0||3||0||x||6||9||0|
Now should come more of a test: a visit to the reigning NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds starting Friday.
In Washington's 6-1 victory over Miami in the finale Thursday - the combined series score was 11-1 - Jayson Werth tacked on a three-run homer, Ryan Zimmerman's three hits included a two-run double, Bryce Harper had two more hits, and right-hander Jordan Zimmermann went six innings.
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All were part of the core that won a majors-best 98 games in 2012 and is expected to be in the thick of things this season.
"The window's definitely open for us right now, and hopefully it'll stay open for a long time," Werth said. "But you've got to jump through that window at some point."
His homer in the seventh off reliever Mike Dunn is a sign that his broken left wrist of last season is gaining strength.
"I think you guys are a little bit more worried about my wrist than anybody else," Werth said. "I feel pretty confident in where I'm at."
Harper had another eventful day, collecting two hits for the third consecutive game, getting thrown out trying to steal third with cleanup hitter Zimmerman at the plate, and taking an elbow to the chin (or, as manager Davey Johnson put it, his "coconut") while scoring a run.
"Didn't really hurt too bad," Harper said. "Just was seeing if it was bleeding at the plate. Feels fine, though."
Zimmermann (1-0) followed sterling outings by Nationals starters Stephen Strasburg (seven scoreless innings Monday) and Gio Gonzalez (six scoreless innings Wednesday) by giving up only one run despite allowing eight hits. The Marlins got at least one runner on in every inning against Zimmermann.
"Obviously," Johnson noted, "Zim didn't have his greatest stuff."
Still, it was enough to make sure, in Zimmermann's words, that the Nationals would have "a little momentum going to Cincinnati."
At least Miami finally scored, ending a 19-inning run drought in the second Thursday on Justin Ruggiano's first-pitch homer to right off Zimmermann. The St. Louis Cardinals began the 1943 season with 26 scoreless innings against Cincinnati, the post-1900 major league record, according to STATS LLC.
"It's three games. I don't think anyone here is really panicking," Ruggiano said.
The Marlins have a payroll that's under $45 million this season after trading away several top players, including Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez. And yet this isn't exactly a new problem. Last season, they batted .244 - the worst average in franchise history - and scored 3.8 runs per game - their fewest since a 3.6 average in 1993, their expansion year.
"Definitely happy with the way we swung the bats today," said rookie manager
Miami's pitching was solid this series, and Wade LeBlanc (0-1) limited Washington to three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in five innings.
But Werth doubled his team's offensive output with one swing. The Nationals' transformation from a 100-loss club in 2008 and 2009 to a popular World Series has been quick, too.
"We've gone from an up-and-coming team to a (division) championship team," Werth said, "in a very short period of time."
|Jayson Werth watches his three-run homer leave the park as the Nationals complete a season-opening sweep. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Juan Pierre, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.182|
|Placido Polanco, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.182|
|Giancarlo Stanton, RF||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.111|
|Greg Dobbs, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.167|
|Justin Ruggiano, CF||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.250|
|Rob Brantly, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.286|
|Donovan Solano, 2B||3||0||2||0||1||0||1||.333|
|Adeiny Hechavarria, SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.200|
|Wade LeBlanc, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||4||.000|
|a- Austin Kearns, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Jon Rauch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Dunn, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Steve Cishek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Chris Coghlan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for LeBlanc in the 6th|
|b-flied out for Cishek in the 9th|
|HR - Justin Ruggiano (1, Zimmermann)|
|RBI - Justin Ruggiano (1)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Wade LeBlanc (1, Throwing), Giancarlo Stanton (1, Throwing)|
|Wade LeBlanc (L,0-1)||5||5||3||2||2||5||0||3.60|
|WP - Mike Dunn (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wade LeBlanc 93-58, Jon Rauch 16-13, Mike Dunn 21-13, Steve Cishek 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade LeBlanc 4-5, Jon Rauch 3-1, Steve Cishek 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Wade LeBlanc 21, Jon Rauch 6, Mike Dunn 5, Steve Cishek 3|
|Denard Span, CF||3||2||1||0||1||0||0||.333|
|Jayson Werth, RF||4||2||2||3||0||1||1||.167|
|Bryce Harper, LF||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.500|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||3||0||3||2||1||0||0||.500|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
|Ian Desmond, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.100|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.000|
|Wilson Ramos, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.400|
|Jordan Zimmermann, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.000|
|Henry Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Stephen Lombardozzi, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tyler Clippard, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Stammen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Rodriguez in the 7th|
|2B - Ryan Zimmerman (1, LeBlanc)|
|HR - Jayson Werth (1, Dunn)|
|SH - Stephen Lombardozzi (1)|
|RBI - Jayson Werth 3 (3), Bryce Harper (3), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (3)|
|CS - Bryce Harper (1, 3rd base by LeBlanc/Brantly)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Desmond-LaRoche, Desmond-LaRoche|
|Jordan Zimmermann (W,1-0)||6||8||1||1||2||1||1||1.50|
|Henry Rodriguez (H,1)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 89-60, Henry Rodriguez 12-7, Tyler Clippard 9-7, Craig Stammen 11-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 11-5, Henry Rodriguez 1-1, Craig Stammen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 27, Henry Rodriguez 3, Tyler Clippard 3, Craig Stammen 3|
|Attendance - 25123|
|Game Time - 2:34|
|Temperature - 47|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper|