Yes, it's absurd to say the second game of the season is a big test. But for the Nationals, it will tell us a lot to see how they react to their bludgeoning on opening day. In particular, it will tell us whether Mike Rizzo's (over)emphasis on high-character veteran clubhouse guys has any value.
Jason Marquis is pitching. Ivan Rodriguez will catch. Ian Desmond will be the only non-veteran on the field. This is the kind of game that the new, poised, professional Nationals are supposed show up with short memories and compete.
Now, I'm obviously no big fan of this approach, but I do recognize that the Nationals have had problems over the last two years shaking off tough losses--especially at the beginning of the year. Last year, they opened 5-16 in April. The year before that, they opened 8-17. And whether it was Joel Hanrahan or Felipe Lopez or Paul LoDuca, you didn't have to wait very long to see guys either throwing in the towel or pushing the panic button.
Some veteran stability could certainly help solve that problem. Will it? We'll start to find out tonight.