Washington Nationals News: Max Scherzer To Start Opening Day
By Ricky Keeler
Two weeks from today, the Washington Nationals will take the field at Nats Park against the New York Mets. The big question this offseason was which one of the Nationals pitchers in their great rotation would get the honor of taking the mound on Opening Day. Today, before the Nationals take on the Yankees at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, manager Matt Williams made his decision to give the ball to Max Scherzer.
It will be the first Opening Day start in Scherzer’s career, which isn’t a surprise when you consider most of the Tigers Opening Day starts in the past went to Justin Verlander. In January, the Nationals were able to sign the 30-year old right-hander to a seven-year, $210 million contract.
This spring, Scherzer has shown some good stuff in his four starts. Over that stretch, he has pitched to a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings of work. He has given up three runs and struck out 14 batters to just one walk. In his last start against the Houston Astros on Friday, he went five innings, gave up one run on three hits, and struck out six.
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So, who will Max Scherzer go up against in this matchup with the New York Mets? According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, that pitcher will be Bartolo Colon, who will be pitching on Opening Day for the seventh time in his career.
Depending on the health of Stephen Strasburg, the first series of the season should be a good one in terms of pitching matchups. It is not official, but you could see the other two matchups consisting of Jacob deGrom vs. Zimmermann and Matt Harvey vs. Strasburg, a rematch of last year’s Opening Day at Citi Field between the two teams.
Strasburg had been the starter for the Nats over the last three Opening Days, but the move to go with Scherzer this year could be an indication that more of these type of starts are in his future.
It was a tough decision for Matt Williams, but a decision that he really couldn’t go wrong with because Washington has built up, on paper, a very talented rotation. It will be Scherzer’s first appearance ever at Nats Park, but the 2013 Cy Young Award winner seems to be the right way to get the 2015 season off to a strong start.
Next: Stephen Strasburg Tests Out The Ankle