Screens blank at start of second game at Nationals Park

WASHINGTON -- Game 2 at Nationals Park got off to a bit of a rough start.

The gigantic, high-definition scoreboard beyond the outfield at the Washington Nationals' new $611 million stadium was only partially working in the first inning Monday night, with no ball-strike count and no scoreline. Just a much-much-larger-than-life photo of the batter.

The ribbon boards were out completely in the first inning, meaning the spectators there for the beginning of the game against the Florida Marlins -- the announced paid attendance was 20,487 in the 41,888-capacity stadium -- had no way of knowing what the score was.

The out-of-town scoreboard on the wall in right-center? That was blank, too.

"Ten years from now," Nationals president Stan Kasten said, "you're going to have nights when stuff like that happens."

Also odd: Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was invited to call out, "Washington, let's play ball!" before the first pitch, but the microphone didn't work. He was handed another mike -- and had no luck with that one, either.

Still, they did play ball, before a far smaller crowd than Game 1 at the new ballpark drew March 30. That opener, on a Sunday night, was a sellout of more than 39,000.

After that game, the Nationals played six games on the road before returning home Monday.

"I'm very happy with tonight's crowd," Kasten said. "I mean, with the weather what it is, on a Monday night for Florida, second game of the year, cold weather, against an NCAA championship game."

The scoreboards were finally up and running by the game's fifth batter, not quite 10 minutes after the first pitch.

But there still were apparent kinks, including the pitch speed meter that showed Nationals right-hander Tim Redding striking out Hanley Ramirez on a 58 mph fastball.