Liván Hernández, who made one Opening Day start for the Expos franchise.
Liván Hernández, who made one Opening Day start for the Expos franchise.

The Montreal Expos were a former Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 to 2004. The team relocated to Washington, D.C. after the 2004 season and became the Washington Nationals. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honour, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season,[1] though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.[2] The Expos used 19 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 36 seasons. The 19 starters had a combined Opening Day record of 9 wins, 15 losses (9–15) and 12 no decisions. No decisions are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game, or if the starting pitcher does not pitch at least five innings with the lead. The overall Opening Day franchise record is 12–24.

Steve Rogers holds the team record for most Opening Day starts with nine, and has an Opening Day record of 2–4, with three no-decisions. All of Rogers's Opening Day starts were on the road. Liván Hernández is the only pitcher to have made Opening Day starts for both the Expos (in 2004) and Nationals (2005, 2006, and 2011).[3]

For their first 19 Opening Day games, early season cold weather kept the Expos on the road. In 1988, the availability of Olympic Stadium and its retractable roof allowed the team to have its first Opening Day home game, in which Dennis Martínez was the starting pitcher.[4] The Expos never played on Opening Day in Jarry Park Stadium, their home from 1969 to 1976. Olympic Stadium, their home from 1977 to 2004, hosted six Opening Day games; five Expos starters accumulated a record of 0–3 (and three no-decisions).

The franchise's only playoff experience was in the strike-shortened 1981 season. In a special format created for that season, the Expos were the second-half champion, with a 30–23 record. The team won the NL Division Series to become Eastern Division champions, winning three games to two over Philadelphia Phillies who had been the first-half champion with a 34–21 record.[5] In 1981, Opening Day pitcher Steve Rogers faced Phillies ace Steve Carlton and won the first game of the series by a score of 3–1.[6] The Expos then lost the NL Championship Series to the first-half Western Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers three games to two on a ninth-inning home run in Game 5 by Rick Monday.[7]

Key

Olympic Stadium, home to the Expos from 1977–2004, hosted six Opening Day games.
Olympic Stadium, home to the Expos from 1977–2004, hosted six Opening Day games.
Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Expos season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision for starter; Expos won game
ND (L) No decision for starter; Expos lost game
Final
Score
Game score with Expos runs listed first
Location Stadium in bold for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Expos
* Advanced to the NLCS

Pitchers

Javier Vázquez, the 2001 and 2002 Opening Day starter
Javier Vázquez, the 2001 and 2002 Opening Day starter
Tony Armas, Jr., the 2003 Opening Day starter
Tony Armas, Jr., the 2003 Opening Day starter
Season Pitcher Decision Final
score
Opponent Location Attendance Ref(s)[3]
1969 Mudcat Grant ND (W) 11–10 New York Mets Shea Stadium 44,541 [8]
1970 Joe Sparma L 1–5 Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field 30,124 [9]
1971 Carl Morton L 2–4 New York Mets Shea Stadium 26,062 [10]
1972 Bill Stoneman W 3–2 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium 7,808 [11]
1973 Mike Torrez L 2–3 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 40,273 [12]
1974 Steve Renko ND (W) 12–8 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 40,434 [13]
1975 Dave McNally W 8–4 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium 31,769 [14]
1976 Steve Rogers L 2–3 New York Mets Shea Stadium 17,013 [15]
1977 Steve Rogers (2) ND (W) 4–3 Philadelphia Phillies Veterans Stadium 43,367 [16]
1978 Steve Rogers (3) L 1–3 New York Mets Shea Stadium 11,376 [17]
1979 Steve Rogers (4) ND (W) 3–2 (10 innings) Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 36,141 [18]
1980 Steve Rogers (5) L 3–6 Philadelphia Phillies Veterans Stadium 48,460 [19]
1981* Steve Rogers (6) ND (W) 6–5 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 40,332 [20]
1982 Steve Rogers (7) W 2–0 Philadelphia Phillies Veterans Stadium 7,795 [21]
1983 Steve Rogers (8) W 3–0 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 4,802 [22]
1984 Charlie Lea W 4–2 Houston Astros Astrodome 28,105 [23]
1985 Steve Rogers (9) L 1–4 Cincinnati Reds Cinergy Field 52,971 [24]
1986 Bryn Smith L 0–6 Atlanta Braves Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 37,858 [25]
1987 Floyd Youmans L 5–11 Cincinnati Reds Cinergy Field 55,166 [26]
1988 Dennis Martínez L 6–10 New York Mets Olympic Stadium 55,413 [4][27]
1989 Dennis Martínez (2) ND (W) 6–5 Pittsburgh Pirates Olympic Stadium 35,154 [28]
1990 Dennis Martínez (3) ND (L) 5–6 (11 innings) St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium 48,752 [29]
1991 Dennis Martínez (4) W 7–0 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 54,274 [30]
1992 Dennis Martínez (5) L 0–2 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 48,800 [31]
1993 Dennis Martínez (6) L 1–2 Cincinnati Reds Cinergy Field 55,456 [32]
1994 Jeff Fassero ND (L) 5–6 (12 innings) Houston Astros Astrodome 43,440 [33]
1995 Jeff Fassero (2) W 6–2 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 34,841 [34]
1996dagger Jeff Fassero (3) L 1–4 Cincinnati Reds Cinergy Field 53,136 [35]
1997 Jim Bullinger ND (W) 2–1 St. Louis Cardinals Olympic Stadium 33,437 [36]
1998 Carlos Pérez L 0–4 Pittsburgh Pirates Olympic Stadium 31,200 [37]
1999 Dustin Hermanson W 9–2 Pittsburgh Pirates Three Rivers Stadium 43,405 [38]
2000 Dustin Hermanson (2) L 4–10 Los Angeles Dodgers Olympic Stadium 51,249 [39]
2001 Javier Vázquez ND (W) 5–4 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field 38,466 [40]
2002 Javier Vázquez (2) ND (W) 7–6 Florida Marlins Olympic Stadium 34,351 [41]
2003 Tony Armas Jr. W 10–2 Atlanta Braves Turner Field 40,258 [42]
2004 Liván Hernández ND (L) 3–4 Florida Marlins Dolphin Stadium 55,315 [43]

dagger The scheduled Opening Day starter for April 1, 1996, was Pedro Martínez. Due to the death of umpire John McSherry, the game was postponed. Jeff Fassero then started the April 2 makeup game.[44]

References

  1. ^ Bastian, Jordan (March 22, 2010). "Marcum tapped for Jays' Opening Day". MLB.com. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  2. ^ Dilbeck, Steve (February 24, 2014). "Dodgers may not start Clayton Kershaw in Sydney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Washington Nationals Opening Day Starters and Results, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Durso, Joseph. "Unlike '87, Gooden Will Open Season", The New York Times, April 4, 1988. Accessed October 7, 2008. "Because of the cold spring weather, the Expos have customarily spent the first couple of weeks of the season on the road ever since they joined the National League 19 years ago. But Olympic Stadium now has its retractable fabric roof in place, and the Expos at last have the luxury of opening at home."
  5. ^ Durso, Joseph. "EXPOS OUST PHILLIES, 3-0", The New York Times, October 12, 1981. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  6. ^ 1981 NL Division Series, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  7. ^ 1981 Montreal Expos, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  8. ^ Apr 8, 1969, Expos at Mets Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  9. ^ Apr 6, 1970, Expos at Reds Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  10. ^ Apr 6, 1971, Expos at Mets Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  11. ^ Apr 15, 1972, Expos at Cardinals Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  12. ^ Apr 6, 1973, Expos at Cubs Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  13. ^ Apr 10, 1974, Expos at Pirates Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  14. ^ Apr 7, 1975, Expos at Cardinals Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  15. ^ Apr 9, 1976, Expos at Mets Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  16. ^ Apr 9, 1977, Expos at Phillies Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  17. ^ Apr 7, 1978, Expos at Mets Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  18. ^ Apr 6, 1979, Expos at Pirates Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  19. ^ Apr 11, 1980, Expos at Phillies Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  20. ^ Apr 9, 1981, Expos at Pirates Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  21. ^ Apr 9, 1982, Expos at Phillies Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  22. ^ Apr 6, 1983, Expos at Cubs Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  23. ^ Apr 3, 1984, Expos at Astros Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  24. ^ Apr 8, 1985, Expos at Reds Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  25. ^ Apr 8, 1986, Expos at Braves Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  26. ^ Apr 6, 1987, Expos at Reds Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  27. ^ Apr 4, 1988, Mets at Expos Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  28. ^ Apr 4, 1989, Pirates at Expos Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  29. ^ Apr 9, 1990, Expos at Cardinals Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  30. ^ Apr 8, 1991, Expos at Pirates Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  31. ^ Apr 6, 1992, Expos at Pirates Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  32. ^ Apr 5, 1993, Expos at Reds Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  33. ^ Apr 4, 1994, Expos at Astros Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  34. ^ Apr 26, 1995, Expos at Pirates Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  35. ^ Apr 2, 1996, Expos at Reds Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  36. ^ Apr 1, 1997, Cardinals at Expos Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  37. ^ Apr 1, 1998, Pirates at Expos Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  38. ^ Apr 5, 1999, Expos at Pirates Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  39. ^ Apr 3, 2000, Dodgers at Expos Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  40. ^ Apr 2, 2001, Expos at Cubs Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  41. ^ Apr 2, 2002, Marlins at Expos Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  42. ^ Mar 31, 2003, Expos at Braves Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  43. ^ Apr 6, 2004, Expos at Marlins Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  44. ^ "Reds Notebook". The Orlando Sentinel. April 2, 1996. p. 31. Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via newspapers.com.