Tuesday, April 9

Opening Night: Nationals open 2022 season against Mets

The Washington Nationals take on the New York Mets for their first regular season game of 2022. Here’s what you need to know for opening day.

It is opening day for DC baseball fans, but a rainy forecast pushes back the start of the Washington Nationals’ first game of the 2022 regular season against the New York Mets Thursday at Nationals Park.

Here’s what you need to know.

Start time changed

The game, originally slated to begin at 4:05 pm, was bumped by a few hours to 7:05 pm as scattered thunderstorms look increasingly likely, with rain and temperatures in the mid- to upper 50s. There is a chance of heavier downpours and thunderstorms in the afternoon.

“All of our focus is paying attention to forecasts and making sure that when the game does start, we’re out there in the field; its safe and its playable,” said John Turner, the Nationals’ director of field operations.

All tickets and parking passes for the 4:05 pm start will be honored for the 7:05 pm game.

Nationals Park will open its gates to fans at 5 pm, said Jonathan Stahl, the Nationals’ vice president of experience and hospitality.

Barring a postponement, fans should bring warm clothing and a small umbrella. Those not interested in going out in bad weather can watch the game on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

Despite the rain, Turner told WTOP the field is designed for drainage.

“The tarp is out. That is out there to protect the infield clay. That will 100% be fine. … The main purpose of that tarp is just to protect the clay underneath. … There’s been no rain on that clay surface. So by game time tonight, we should be fine,” Turner said.

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Nationals’ Opening Day:

starting pitchers

Left-hander Patrick Corbin gets the start on the mound for Washington. Since having a career year in 2019, the 32-year-old has struggled in each of the last two seasons, amassing a combined 11-23 record with an ERA of 5.82. However, manager Dave Martinez said he’s seen a different pitcher during spring training.

Right-hander Tylkor Megill will get the start for New York. I have finished the 2021 season with a 4-6 record in 18 starts with an ERA of 4.52.

Getting into the ball park

Entering Nats Park should be faster this season as new metal detectors will allow fans to walk right through the gates and head to the turnstiles to scan their tickets without the need of clearing out their pockets.

This year, fans are only permitted to bring in see-through and clear bags. Diaper bags and medical bags will be the exception, but you will have to go through the ADA-Family Lane, along the center field gate and your bag will be inspected the old way. Small, non-clear clutch bags that measure 5 inches by 7 inches or smaller are allowed. Read more on the bag policy.


Fans going to the game may notice that one of Navy Yard’s popular sports bars might not have their “streamery” open for pregame action. The owner of Walters, Jeremy Gifford, said DC’s Department of Transportation told him its street traffic was not compliant, and that “due to public safety and traffic safety,” the restaurant couldn’t use it on game days.

Inside the ballpark, food options are going local this year with several options that fans haven’t had before. Area favorites you’ll find on the menu this year include Rockland’s BBQ, Hard Times Chili, Duke’s Grocery and Roaming Rooster.

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Cash will not be accepted this year at Nationals Park to help keep lines moving faster. Last year, almost 40% of all food and beverage orders were done through ordering on the Ballpark Mobile App. This year, team officials hope to expand the app’s usage so fans won’t have to wait long, if at all.

The team is encouraging visitors to Nationals Park to use the Ballpark Mobile App when ordering food and drink. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)


What should you expect from this year’s Nationals? WTOP’s Sports Team discusses expectations for this year’s younger roster and more in this week’s edition of the DC Sports Huddle, which is available to listen before a ball is pitched at Nats Park.

And check out the WTOP Sports Team’s predictions for this season in the video below.

WTOP’s John Domen and Jack Pointer contributed to this report.


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