Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams said there was only one difficult decision to make when he put together the lineup for last night's series finale with the Braves in Atlanta's Turner Field.
"I didn't want to use anybody," Williams said in explaining his decision to sit all of the Nats' regulars. "We had to make a choice of if we played [Scott Hairston] or not, but we knew that there would be a situation potentially for him to come in and pinch hit and be in the role that he generally is in, so we decided to go that way."
Steven Souza, Michael Taylor, Sandy Leon, Danny Espinosa, Jeff Kobernus and Nate Schierholtz all started with Blake Treinen on the mound against the Braves. Williams said after the 3-1 loss that things would be back to normal when the Nats got to Miami.
"We'll have to see everybody's health tomorrow," he explained, "how they're feeling after today and reevaluate when we get to the ballpark tomorrow, but it was good to give those guys a day off, they needed one bad."
The only everyday player not in the lineup for the Nationals' series opener with the Marlins tonight is Adam LaRoche, who's sitting with Kevin Frandsen getting the start at first base:
Gio Gonzalez is on the mound in Miami tonight, facing the Marlins for the just the second time this season.
In his one previous outing vs the Fish this season, the Hialeah, FL-born lefty threw six scoreless in his second 2014 start back on April 8th in a 5-0 Nats' win in the nation's capital.
The 28-year-old southpaw is coming off a less-than-stellar outing against the New York Mets last time out in NY in which he gave up six hits and four runs, three earned in a 4-3 loss.
BTW: If you're a friend of Gio Gonzalez's, as the Washington Post's James Wagner pointed out today, you can get a good deal on tickets from the Marlins:
Oddly enough, tonight will be only Gio Gonzalez's 2nd career start in hometown of Miami. He first pitched here on 7/14/12 & hasn't since.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) September 18, 2014
Which means the Marlins are still doing this: http://t.co/LtdwHrIGHQ— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) September 18, 2014
Game Time: 7:10 PM from Miami.