Span was back in Washington’s lineup Sunday afternoon, leading off and starting in center field. His return prompted the Nationals to reassign Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse.
Entering Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies, Strasburg had allowed 19 hits in 10 2/3 innings. He had not lived up to expectations so far this season. Then again, consider what those expectations have become.
The Wizards’ Game 1 win in Toronto is a step, but no series-winning guarantee. Teams that win Game 1 on the road are 68-56 (.548) all time. They also lose Game 2 almost all the time: 9-95 (.234).
Holtby returned to practice with the Capitals on Saturday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum, approximately 16 hours after he was forced to miss their playoff victory over the Islanders with an illness.
Veteran Paul Pierce had residents of Toronto wound up even before tip-off Saturday. By the end of Game 1, he had silenced them with a game-high 20 points and a Wizards road win to open the series.
Following this season, the Islanders will move roughly 30 miles west to Barclays Center and abandon the facility they’ve called home since their inception in 1972. This playoff run, then, has become special to the team.
Nene had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and the Wizards beat the Raptors, 93-86, on Saturday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Span completed a workout at Nationals Park without issue and is expected to be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning.
Despite a mammoth home run by Bryce Harper in the fifth inning, Washington lost to Philadelphia, 5-3.
Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri used an expletive Saturday talking about Wizards forward Paul Pierce when addressing fans before the Raptors playoff opener.
The goaltender the Capitals had come to rely on this year was replaced by a relative stranger — Grubauer, a 23-year-old German who was fully expecting to battle for the Calder Cup.
Fighting past an early two-goal deficit, Grubauer turned away 18 of 21 shots, helping the Capitals knot the first-round playoff series against the Islanders with a 4-3 victory.