So their bullpen was an Opening Day flop.
But the Marlins had to relish what they saw from starter Edinson Volquez, who worked out of a couple of jams and went five scoreless before turning the ball over to the bullpen.
Volquez, who was lifted after totaling 82 pitches, felt he could have stayed in longer.
“I felt strong after the fifth inning,” Volquez said. “I felt like I could’ve pitched more, maybe one or two innings. But I don’t make any decisions. I’m just another player here, and whatever they decide to do I’m good with it.”
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The Nationals put the first two batters aboard in the first. But Volquez worked out of it in grand fashion, striking out Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman.
“I think I felt a little strong in the first inning,” Volquez said. “But I was able to make pitches in that inning to get out of there.”
Volquez, a career .082 hitter, even contributed at the plate with a couple of singles.
“That’s one of those lucky days,” Volquez said. “Sometime you don’t even know how you hit the ball as a pitcher. I just got lucky today.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Tyler Moore didn’t spend a day in the majors last season because of a leg injury. Healthy again, Moore is out to show with the Marlins that he can contribute for them off the bench.
“I wanted to come out and prove I could still play,” Moore said.
Moore, a 30-year-old non-roster spring invite, was the last player picked to the Marlins’ 25-man roster, filling the void created when Martin Prado was placed on the disabled list.
Moore had spent four seasons with the Nationals before signing with Atlanta in 2016. But he was limited to only 120 plate appearances in 29 games, all coming in the minors because of an early season leg injury in which he tore a knee tendon that forced him to miss 4 1/2 months.
“It was frustrating to be hurt for that long a period of time,” he said.
A first baseman/outfielder, it’s conceivable that Moore could platoon with Justin Bour at first base. But manager Don Mattingly is sticking with his plans to give Bour every chance to succeed against left-handed pitching and will use Moore off the bench.
Relievers Kyle Barraclough and Nick Wittgren were the only two Marlins to experience their first Opening Day in the majors on Monday.
▪ The Marlins have chosen Livan Hernandez and Charles Johnson to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at their home opener next week. Hernandez and Johnson were members of the 1997 Marlins team that won the World Series 20 years ago.
▪ Tuesday: Off day.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (14-8, 3.76 in 2016) at Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (16-10, 2.83 in ’16), 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park.