Game 1 in the new stadium

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Hello from New York, where the Nationals begin a three-game series with the Mets tonight. The Mets, of course, broke in brand new Citi Field a few weeks back, and most of the Nats’ players give the place a thumbs-up, save for a few quirks (the orange line distinguishing home runs from balls off the outfield wall rises and falls like the New York skyline, and the two bullpens are virtually on top of each other because of the Mets’ decision to sell seats inside the right field wall to a few recession-immune fans).

The place feels bigger than Shea Stadium, even though it only holds 42,000 fans. It also seems like it’s going to be a pitcher’s park, too — the center field wall is 408 feet from home plate and has a 15-foot wall, while it’s 415 to the bullpens in left center.

Manny Acta said the Nationals came out a little early this afternoon, took some extra swings and threw a few balls off the wall, just to see how the park will play. “We had the guys see how the ball will bounce, that kind of stuff,” Acta said. “That’s what you do when you come to a new place.”

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

Nationals:

Hernandez 2B

Johnson 1B

Zimmerman 3B

Dunn LF

Dukes CF

Kearns RF

Flores C

Gonzalez SS

Olsen P

 

Mets:

Reyes SS

Castillo 2B

Beltran CF

Delgado 1B

Wright 3B

Sheffield RF

Tatis LF

Castro C

Santana P

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