WASHINGTON, D.C -- On Monday afternoon, the Nationals opened the 2017 season at home against the Miami Marlins.
Much of the roster from the 2016 N.L. East championship roster remains, but batting second was Adam Eaton, who the team acquired from the White Sox this offseason.
Eaton is a versatile outfielder with a strong bat and is a quality outfielder. We learned a bit more about Eaton early on in the game, and Nationals fans -- primarily ones in the 21-40 age range -- will love him.
When Eaton made his way to the batter's box for the first time in a Nationals' uniform, the PA system hit the iconic 1990's R&B hit "No Diggity" by Blackstreet played.
Walk-up music is one of the most important elements of player preparation and entertainment. While it's not exactly "Eye of the Tiger" or "Final Countdown" there are not many 90's era songs better than "No Diggity."
You can try to find better ones but you will ultimately fail. It's that good, and so is Adam Eaton.
If you've understandably been caught up with the Capitals and Wizards in their respective playoff series, you might not be aware of just how hot Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is right now. Fresh off a three-game sweep of the rival Mets in New York, Harper was named National League Player of the Week.
For the whole week, Harper hit .550 (11-for-20) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and 10 runs scored.
He is now leading all of baseball in batting average (.400), he's tied for second in homers (7), and he's alone in second in RBI (20). He's also amassed a blistering 1.340 OPS through the team's first 18 games.
Harper's biggest game of the past week came in Atlanta when he went yard twice, with his second homer being a grand slam. He finished the game 4-for-4 with two homers, one double, five RBI, one walk and four runs scored.
With Harper's injuries from last season behind him (even though he won't completely admit to being hurt), the Nationals' right fielder is back to, or even better than, his 2015 form that ended with his first career MVP award. During that season Harper took home player of the week honors three times.
The Nationals as a team have the best record in baseball at 13-5, and already have a three-game lead in the NL East.
DENVER (AP) -- Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run homer in the seventh, Colorado's lights-out bullpen threw three-plus scoreless innings and the Colorado Rockies beat Washington 8-4 on Monday night, ending the Nationals' seven-game winning streak.
Trailing 4-3, Blackmon lined a hanging slider from lefty Enny Romero (1-1) into the right-field stands. It was Blackmon's sixth homer of the season and followed a pinch-hit double from Pat Valaika -- his first hit of the season.
The Rockies' relievers came through once again after starter Tyler Anderson wore down. Carlos Estevez (2-0) got four outs and Adam Ottavino threw an effective eighth. Greg Holland pitched the ninth in a non-save situation after the Rockies added three insurance runs in the eighth. He got pinch-hitter Bryce Harper to ground out to end the game.
The Rockies' bullpen is now 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA, which is tops in the NL.