BOSTON — Hello from sunny Boston where the Nationals will play for just the second time in their brief history.
Interleague play begins in earnest tonight as the Nationals visit Fenway Park at the start of a 15-game American League East swing that will take them through Boston, Toronto and Baltimore, and bring Tampa Bay and New York to Nationals Park. It’s another tough stretch for the Nationals, who just completed a 14-game National League East portion of the schedule.
But from the sound of things the Nationals were mostly looking forward to this weekend’s three-game series at Fenway.
A few have played there before — Ryan Zimmerman came in 2006 with the Nationals, Gio Gonzalez has pitched there plenty with the Oakland A’s — but for plenty more this will be their first time in the historic ballpark.
Probably no better place, then, for Stephen Strasburg to open the series. After pitching in Wrigley Field on Opening Day (and tossing seven innings of one-run ball) Strasburg will take the mound at another “old ballpark” Friday night. And it certainly seems like the city of Boston is excited for the show.
Several Boston media outlets wrote stories about the Nationals (and Strasburg and Bryce Harper, etc.) and their impending arrival. The Boston Globe featured the Nationals’ quicker-than-expected rise to the top of the division. WEEI.com wrote about the Red Sox admiration for Strasburg and Harper, including insight from former No. 1 overall selection Adrian Gonzalez, who admits even he can’t relate to the two phenoms meteoric rises and talents.
And there was plenty more buzz about Strasburg this morning at Logan Airport — including a few Nationals fans wearing their gear on my flight.
There are obviously mixed feelings about Interleague play on the whole (especially considering the unbalanced nature of the schedule because of it) but the exposure it brings to fans who get to see teams they, most likely, would otherwise have no knowledge of is definitely a good thing.
More from the park later.