clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Washington Nationals' starters vs Atlanta: Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg face Braves

New, 6 comments

It was reportedly going to be Max Scherzer in the season opener with Gio Gonzalez to follow in the second game of the Washington Nationals' two-game set with the Atlanta Braves, but Dusty Baker said today it will be Stephen Strasburg in Game 2 of 162.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dusty Baker made a somewhat surprising announcement before this afternoon's game with the Minnesota Twins when he was asked about the Washington Nationals' starting rotation for the first few games of the season.

The initial plan was reportedly to have Max Scherzer to start the season opener against Atlanta on Monday with left-hander Gio Gonzalez taking the ball in the second of two with the Braves.

Scherzer's still starting on Monday, but Stephen Strasburg, who was supposed to get the home opener, is now going in Game 2 of 162.

"Right now, it's Scherzer, Strasburg in Atlanta," Baker explained this morning, "and then it's going to roll around and then with the off days and the extra day in there -- [pitching coach] Mike [Maddux] has it all programmed out and after the first go-round or go-around and a half, then it will be the way we want.

"But right now we've got Scherzer and Strasburg in Atlanta. We changed it around."

The change, Baker explained, was, at least in part, due to the rain which caused the cancellation of a number of games late in Grapefruit League action.

"It was a product of the rain and also a product of how we wanted to break them up and stuff," Baker said.

"And so, during the course of the year it can still change. It depends on who maybe needs to skip a turn or who is ailing some, or off days or rainouts, this is just how we envision it to start."

So that means... what exactly for the starters after Scherzer and Strasburg?

"Gio is in the bullpen, first, he and [Joe] Ross in Atlanta, and then we're going to determine if we're using them or not. We'll let you know."

So who gets the home opener next Thursday against the Miami Marlins? Gio Gonzalez? Joe Ross? Tanner Roark?

We'll see...