Once the Washington Nationals had their game against the Cincinnati Reds rained out on Wednesday night, the big question was how manager Matt Williams would align his rotation for this weekend’s series against the Orioles. Gio Gonzalez got the start last night and Jordan Zimmermann will pitch tonight’s game (7:15 PM ET, FOX).
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Today. Williams made it official that Nats’ ace, Max Scherzer, will be starting tomorrow afternoon against the Orioles (1:35 PM ET, MASN2 + WUSA9) against Wei-Yin Chen, which means that the 30-year-old right-hander will not pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati:
While Scherzer was one of the favorites to start the All-Star Game for the National League, this move makes sense for both Scherzer and the Nats. The Nationals’ prized offseason acquisition will get a chance to enjoy the festivities of the All-Star Game, but also get the rest that he needs. Keep in mind that Scherzer has pitched into the ninth inning in three of his last four starts.
By sitting out the All-Star Game, Scherzer puts himself in a situation to get a start against the Dodgers next weekend at Nats Park. While Williams has not made the rotation official for that big series, you have to think Scherzer is going to find his way into one of those games.
In his first season in the Nation’s Capital, Scherzer has dominated the National League. He is 9-7 with a 2.12 ERA, leads the league in innings pitched and WHIP, is second in strikeouts, and has one no-hitter . He has a won the pitcher of the month award in the NL each of the last two months.
With Scherzer not pitching in the All-Star Game, Nats fans sure hope that Giants’ manager and NL manager Bruce Bochy will make the decision to replace him with another Nationals’ pitcher who has been very good in late inning situations this season. Closer Drew Storen is 25-for-27 in saves and has a 1.97 ERA this season:
Even though he will not pitch on Tuesday, this is the third All-Star Game that Scherzer has been selected to. He had pitched for the American League each of the last two seasons when he was with the Tigers, including getting the start against Matt Harvey in the 2013 Midsummer Classic at Citi Field.