News & Politics

Nationals Opening Day Is Tuesday: For Real This Time

Opening day of the Washington Nationals' 2020 season. Photograph by Evy Mages

The Washington Nationals will play the Atlanta Braves at home on Tuesday night after positive Covid tests derailed last week’s planned Opening Day and the team’s planned series with the New York Mets. Tuesday’s game will be the first time since October 2019—the World Series—that fans can see the team play in person at Nats Park. The DC government will allow up to 5,000 fans at each home game. Season-ticket holders have priority for ticket sales, and the secondary market for tickets appears to be robust.

Several Nationals players tested positive for exposure to the coronavirus last week, as did a staffer. The team says it hasn’t seen any new positive tests since last week and that all “eligible personnel” will be available for Tuesday night. Max Scherzer is scheduled to take the mound for the 4:05 game, but with 11 players in isolation (because they tested positive) or quarantine (after contact tracing), the team will have to rely on players called up from its minor-league Fredericksburg Nationals to fill out the lineup. MLB has not announced the dates for the rescheduled Mets games.

Many experts expect the team to finish the new season with a middling record, though the 2019 season opened with much speculation about how the Nationals would fare without Bryce Harper. As we know, that turned out just fine.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.