Manager Matt Williams said opening day in Washington, D.C., is just as special - or even more so - because it is the team’s home opener in front of Nationals fans.
Monday in New York was the season opener, of course, and Williams said because the team played so well in a series sweep, it makes today even more distinctive for the players.
“It is probably even more magnified because you have already played and you have experienced that road atmosphere,” Williams said. “Today is a nice thing for the guys. They get a chance to come home to their home park. They played well. They are excited about it. They feel it even more today. I think they will be ready. I think the city is excited about it. Baseball (is) back for this year.”
Williams said the players feel good about today because they did their work in New York. He was impressed with several facets in their three comeback wins.
“Just their fight,” Williams said. “We had some hiccups early in games, but they came back and continued to press and continued to have good at-bats. That was good. I liked that a lot. I liked their approach was middle of the diamond. We hit some homers, but we also drove some runs in with guys hitting the ball the other way. Overall, it was good. I liked the way they went about it.”
With this being his first week as a major league manager, Williams has been offered advice from players he has worked with or maanger he has played for in the past. He has taken that advice and help with enthusiasm, and he knows he can rely on those people to help him throughout is initial campaign with the Nationals.
“There are a number of folks that I talk to,” Williams said. “There are a number of folks that have offered their help. (Former Padres and Giants manager) Roger Craig reached out and said. “If you need anything, give me a holler. Of course, there are things in the game that you wonder about. Was this right, or was it wrong? You usually worry about those things when you don’t win the game.
“There are folks that have made themselves available to me that I can call at any time. That is special. Everyone needs that from time to time. Those calls will become more frequent as we get deeper into the season. Everyone has been very supportive.”