MLB announced master 2011 schedule today. Nats 2011 Schedule highlights below.
A major change for 2011 is that OPENING DAY IS ON A THURSDAY! MLB wants the regular season to end on a Wednesday and during the month of September so that the playoffs can start on the weekend. Therefore, baseball starts a little earlier next season.
Another change is that the interleague play isn't limited to a division. If it was on the normal rotation, the Nationals would play the four teams of the AL West in 2011. The Nats are currently scheduled to play only two of the AL West and one in AL Central. The Nationals will travel to LA Angels and Chicago White Sox and host the Seattle Mariners in June. So no Oakland A's or Texas Rangers next season. The Seattle Mariners have visited Washington once before, however, it was to play the Nationals at RFK in 2005. The Nats played at Angels Stadium once, in 2005. The Nats played the AL Central in 2010 and since there are five teams in that division, did not play the Twins. Instead of playing the Twins in 2011, the Nats will travel to Chicago to play the White Sox again. Wonder if President Obama will travel for that game.
The Nationals host their home opener and last home regular season game against NL East rival Atlanta Braves. Home opener is Thursday, March 31. Last home game is Sunday, September 25. Nats finish the regular season on the road in Miami for a three game series facing Florida Marlins September 26-28.
- The Nats are in Florida for Mother's Day, May 8, 2011.
- Memorial Day - Monday, May, 30 v. Phillies (Weekend May 27-29 host Padres)
- Father's Day - Sunday, June 19 vs. Baltimore Orioles
- Independence Day - Monday, July 4th v. Cubs (four game series July 4-7)
- Labor Day - Monday, September 5 v. Dodgers (middle of 10 game homestand)
- Nats travel to Baltimore - May 20-22
- Nats host Orioles - June 17-19
- Nats host Seattle Mariners - June 21-23
- Nats travel to Chicago White Sox - June 24-26 (Nats hosted White Sox in 2010)
- Nats travel to Los Angeles Angels - June 27-29
- Cubs v. Red Sox at Fenway for the first time since 1918, May 20-22.
- Cardinals v. Orioles for first time ever in Baltimore. June 28-30
- 82nd All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoeniz, Arizona on July 12
Travel Suggestions (Support the Nats on the road!):
- NY METS, 4/8-10: Weekend trip to New York City to see CitiField in 3rd season
- PITTSBURGH, 4/22-24: Nats usually play Pirates in late summer, but if you haven't been to PNC Park before, we highly recommend the trip. Easy drive from DC
- BALTIMORE, 5/20-22: Battle of the Beltways right up the street and Camden Yards is a must visit ballpark.
- WEST COAST, 6/2-12: Long 11 game road trip on west coast--Phoenix, Giants and Padres
- CHICAGO, 6/24-26: Weekend trip to south side of Chi-town. If you can stay a few more days. The Giants play at Wrigley Field June 28-30.
- ATLANTA, 7/15-17: Quick flight from DC to Turner Field.
- LOS ANGELES, 7/22-24: Plan a vacation around that weekend so you can check off Dodger Stadium on your list of ballparks to visit.
- DENVER, 8/4-7: Four game series at Coors Field. Great time of year to be in the Rocky Mountains.
- PHILADELPHIA, 8/12-14: Philly is only two hours north of Washington and Citizens Bank Park is a nice ballpark. Fans are another story and travel at your own risk. I've done it decked out in full Nats gear, however, there are not so happy stories out there of attending Phillies games.
- CINCINNATI, 8/26-28: Long drive or short flight from Washington. Travel to where it all began.....Cincinnati Reds (Red Stockings) were the very first professional baseball team.
- FLORIDA, 9/26-28: Nats finish the regular season on the road in Miami for a three game series facing Florida Marlins September 26-28 so the Nationals will be playing at the last games at Sun Life Stadium. The Marlins new stadium will open in 2012.
Let the travel planning begin.....