If Jordan Zimmermann wants to get that twentieth win for the 2013 season, the Nationals ought to give him the chance.
Zimmermann could pitch the last game of the season on Sunday. That would be pitching the last game of the season on four days rest, which is not a big deal because he doesn’t have to pitch again until spring training.
Either Gio Gonzalez or Stephen Strasburg could forego their last start to give Zimmermann the chance to go for twenty. Strasburg is fresher, but has been having minor arm trouble. It would not be the end of the world to shut him down now that the Nats will not make the playoffs.
My guess is that if team management asked Gio to take a seat to give Zimmermann the chance to go for twenty wins he would do so. Gonzales has proven himself a good teammate, and having hit the twenty win milestone last year he knows what that means to a pitcher’s career. He also knows after his results this year that twenty win seasons are not easy to achieve.
This is all up to Jordan Zimmermann and how he feels about the idea. But I think Davey Johnson ought to ask Jordan if he wants the chance to go for it and leave the decision up to Zimmermann.
Having Jordan pitch the last game of the season would give the Nationals veterans and regulars a reason to play their hearts out in the last game of the season. It would also be a reason to put the regulars on the field for Sunday’s game. After the flattening the Nats bats just got at the hands of the Cardinals, it would give them the opportunity to end the season on a high note.
So go on, Davey, ask J. Zimm if he wants the shot at twenty.