The Nationals are making a switch in their rotation for Tuesday’s post-clinching game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Tom Gorzelanny will start in place of left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
The Phillies were planning to use the game as a bullpen game, throwing several relievers to cover the nine innings.
The Nationals’ reasons for removing Gonzalez from the start could be plentiful but the best guess right now is that they’re attempting to figure out how best to set things up so that their playoff rotation is fresh and ready to go this weekend.
Gonzalez last pitched on Thursday and Jordan Zimmermann, who would be slated to start Game 2, last pitched on Saturday. Both will need a tuneup at the very least before the open a series so they’re not pitching on nine or 10 days of rest.
If the Nationals are the No. 1 seed, they’d need Gonzalez and Zimmermann on Sunday and Monday. If they’re the No. 2 seed they’d go Saturday and Sunday.
After the festivities Monday night and with heavy rain in the forecast for Tuesday, perhaps the Nationals felt it best to keep Gonzalez off the field for at least one more day. For now, Gorzelanny will get the start and the Nationals will go from there.
We’ll know more when Davey Johnson addresses the media this afternoon.