Play ball! The 2022 Nationals season opener against the Mets finally begins after a rain delay

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

Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) salutes teammates on the first baseline before an opening day baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After rain pushed back the start time, the Washington Nationals’ first game of the 2022 regular season against the New York Mets finally got underway more than four hours later on Thursday at Nationals Park.

Loyal fans waited for hours in the rain in what WTOP reporters on the ground described as a “celebration” that baseball is back in DC.

And for fans who braved the delays and rainy weather to the end of the game, Trains have been suspended between Congress Heights and the Navy Yard for a police investigation. Shuttle buses were provided for those traveling south of Navy Yard.

Start time changed – again

The game was due to start at 7:05 p.m. after a three-hour delay due to bad weather, but was postponed again. At 6:15 p.m. — less than an hour before game tentative start time — the official Nats Twitter account tweeted an announcement for a second delay, followed by a new time of 8:20 p.m. on Thursday.

WTOP’s Sarah Jacobs reported that fans were a little disappointed with the rain but kept their umbrellas handy.

“It’s an American tradition, we’re pretty big baseball fans and haven’t been able to do anything like this in a couple of years,” said Darren, who attended the Nats game with his family from Kensington, Maryland. “It’s great to bring them out.”

Two fans, who are part of a group of four who have attended each opening day, said the tradition is a bond of friendship. They always plan ahead to be off work on opening day, they said.

Nationals Park opened its gates to fans after 5 p.m., said Jonathan Stahl, Nationals vice president of experience and hospitality. All tickets and parking permits for the original start time were redeemed at the rescheduled game.

“Our whole focus is on taking forecasts and making sure that when the game starts, we’re out there on the field, it’s safe and playable,” Nationals director of field operations John Turner said earlier Thursday.

Those who don’t want to go out in inclement weather can watch the game on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

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

National Opening Day:

start pitchers

Left-hander Patrick Corbin gets the start on the mound for Washington. Since his 2019 career year, the 32-year-old has struggled in each of the last two seasons, posting a combined 11-23 record with a 5.82 ERA. However, manager Dave Martinez said he was seen another pitcher at spring training.

Right-hander Tylor Megill gets the start for New York. He finished the 2021 season with a 4-6 record in 18 starts with a 4.52 ERA.

Entering the ballpark

Entering Nats Park should be faster than this season new metal detectors allows fans to go straight through the gates and go to the turnstiles to scan their tickets without having to empty their bags.

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


Fans who have come to the game may notice this one of Navy Yard’s popular sports bars may not have their stratery open for pre-game action. Walters owner Jeremy Gifford said the DC Department of Transportation told him the restaurant was non-compliant and that the restaurant could not use it “due to public safety and traffic safety concerns” on game days.

There are several new dining options at the ballpark this year are local, with some options that fans didn’t have before. Local favorites you’ll find on the menu this year include Rockland’s BBQ, Hard Times Chili, Duke’s Grocery and Roaming Rooster.

Cash will not be accepted at Nationals Park this year to allow for faster queues. Last year nearly 40% of all food and drink orders were placed through ordering Baseball Mobile App. This year, team officials hope to expand use of the app so fans won’t have to wait long, if at all.

Sign with QR code for mobile ordering
The team encourages Nationals Park visitors to use the Ballpark Mobile App when ordering food and beverages. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)


What can you expect from this year’s Nationals? The WTOP Sports Team discusses expectations for this year’s junior roster and more in this article Weekly edition of the DC Sports Huddle, which is available to listen to before a ball is thrown at Nats Park.

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

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

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