List of Washington Nationals Opening Day starting pitchers

For the Opening Day starting pitchers before 2005, see List of Montreal Expos Opening Day starting pitchers.
Liván Hernández, who has made a total of four Opening Day starts for the Expos/Nationals franchise.

The Washington Nationals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Washington, D.C.. They play in the National League East division. The team was known as the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 2004. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season,[1] though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.[2] The Nationals have used five different Opening Day starting pitchers in their nine seasons. The five starters have a combined Opening Day record of 1 win, 6 losses and 3 no decisions.[3][4][5] No decisions are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game, or if the starting pitcher does not pitch at least five innings with the lead. The overall Opening Day record of the team is 46.

Liván Hernández and Stephen Strasburg share the team record for most Opening Day starts with three. Hernández has a record of 03. He also pitched one Opening Day start for the Montreal Expos, in which he received a no-decision. Hernández is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Expos and the Nationals.[3] Strasburg has a record of 10 with two no decisions.

As the Washington Nationals, the team played their home games at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium from 2005 to 2007; their only home opener there was a 92 loss in 2007 by starter John Patterson.[3] Nationals Park is the team's current field, and it was the site of the team's 2008 season opener, with starting pitcher Odalis Pérez on the mound in a game that the Nationals won 32 over the visiting Atlanta Braves.[6]


Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Nationals season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision for starter; Nationals won game
ND (L) No decision for starter; Nationals lost game
Game score with Nationals runs listed first
Location Stadium in bold for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Nationals


Stephen Strasburg has made three Opening Day starts for the Nationals.
John Lannan, the 2009 and 2010 Opening Day starter
Season Pitcher Decision Final
Opponent Location Attendance Ref(s)[3]
2005 Hernández, LivánLiván Hernández L 48 Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park 44,080 [7]
2006 Hernández, LivánLiván Hernández (2) L 23 New York Mets Shea Stadium 54,371 [8]
2007 Patterson, JohnJohn Patterson L 29 Florida Marlins Robert F. Kennedy Stadium 40,389 [9][10]
2008 Pérez, OdalisOdalis Pérez ND (W) 32 Atlanta Braves Nationals Park 39,389 [6][11]
2009 Lannan, JohnJohn Lannan L 612 Florida Marlins Dolphin Stadium 34,323 [4]
2010 Lannan, JohnJohn Lannan (2)L 111 Philadelphia Phillies Nationals Park 41,290 [5]
2011 Hernández, LivánLiván Hernández (3) L 02 Atlanta Braves Nationals Park 39,055 [12]
2012 Strasburg, StephenStephen Strasburg ND (W) 21 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 41,176 [13]
2013 Strasburg, StephenStephen Strasburg (2) W 20 Miami Marlins Nationals Park 45,274 [14]
2014 Strasburg, StephenStephen Strasburg (3) ND (W) 97 New York Mets CitiField 42,442 [15]
2015 Scherzer, MaxMax Scherzer (1) L 13 New York Mets Nationals Park 42,295 [16]
2016 Scherzer, MaxMax Scherzer (2) ND (W) 43 Atlanta Braves Turner Field


  1. Bastian, Jordan (March 22, 2010). "Marcum tapped for Jays' Opening Day". Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  2. Dilbeck, Steve (February 24, 2014). "Dodgers may not start Clayton Kershaw in Sydney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Washington Nationals Opening Day Starters and Results, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  4. 1 2 "Florida 12, Washington 6". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
  5. 1 2 "MLB Gameday: Philadelphia Phillies 11, Washington Nationals 1". Major League Baseball. April 5, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  6. 1 2 Antonen, Mel. "Nationals open new field with 3-2 win", USA Today, March 31, 2008. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  7. Apr 4, 2005, Nationals at Phillies Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  8. Apr 3, 2006, Nationals at Mets Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  9. Apr 2, 2007, Marlins at Nationals Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  10. Ladson, Bill. "Patterson struggles as Nationals fall",, April 2, 2007. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  11. Mar 30, 2008, Braves at Nationals Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  12. "Thursday, March 31, 2011 1:05 pm, Nationals Park".
  13. "April 5, 2012 Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs Play by Play and Box Score -". Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  14. "April 1, 2013 Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Play by Play and Box Score -". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  15. "Washington 9, NY Mets 7". Yahoo!. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  16. "NY Mets 3, Washington 1". Retrieved 6 April 2015.

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