3 Lessons Learned from Marlins-Nationals Opening Series

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IApril 5, 2013

3 Lessons Learned from Marlins-Nationals Opening Series

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    After an exciting opening series in D.C., the Washington Nationals have provided some things for the rest of the league to take note of if they hadn't already.

    A few thoughts that were believed to be true before the season began have been reinforced, while some new lessons and ideas were formulated from the Nats three game sweep of the Miami Marlins.

    The pitching for the Nationals did not disappoint in the series, allowing just one run in three games.

3. The Pitching Is as Dominant as Advertised

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    The Nationals, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez held up to their side of the bargain in the opening series of the season.

    Strasburg, Gonzalez and the bullpen combined to shut out the Marlins over the first two games of the series. Despite the Marlins being an overall weak lineup, aside from Giancarlo Stanton, it was still an impressive feat.

    It is the first time since the 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks that a team has started the season with back-to-back shutouts.

2. Bryce Harper's Rookie Season Was Not a Fluke

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    First two at-bats of the year and two towering home runs for Harper. Not a bad way to start a sophomore season.

    While it does not tell us that Harper is going to go on to win the MVP or be the best player in baseball, it does allow us to see that no stage is too big for Harper. It was after all, his first Opening Day at the major league level and he handled it with ease.

    Harper is hitting .500 through the first three games of the year.

1. This Team Could Be That Much Better with Morse

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    The Nationals elected to keep Adam LaRoche for two more years and trade Michael Morse over the offseason. Despite the positive reception of the trade, it is valid to think of what this team could be with Morse still in the lineup.

    Morse has wasted no time in his new home with the Seattle Mariners, hitting four home runs in his first three games.

    It might not be thought of much now, but should this team fall short again, the cohesion that Morse brought to this team might be missed.