A little more than three hours before his first home game as the Nationals manager, Matt Williams wasn’t totally certain who would be pitching for his team.
Jordan Zimmermann, a 19-game winner, was penciled in to make his first start of the season. Zimmermann was scratched from Thursday’s expected start in New York with flu-like symptoms and sent home ahead of the team.
Williams said Friday morning that Zimmermann’s fever broke late Thursday and the pitcher felt “100 times better” than he did Thursday. But he wanted to see how Zimmermann felt after going through his pre-game routine before sending him out to face the Braves.
“He said he’s good to go, but we have to evaluate him this morning and make sure. He’s scheduled to pitch, that could change,” Williams said. “I’m sure he’ll get heated up a little bit and see how he reacts to that before he goes out to warm up, certainly.”
If Zimmermann were to be scratched again, Williams said he’d likely call on Craig Stammen to make the start. Stammen was converted to the bullpen two seasons ago, but he made 36 starts for the Nats over two seasons earlier in his career.
“We’ve all had the flu,” Williams said. “You feel fine waking up the morning, sometimes it gets worse as it gets later in the day especially if you have any activity. We have to monitor him.”
Zimmermann’s status will be updated when more is known about his health and if he will make the start.
Here are the lineups for Friday’s game, leaving Zimmermann in for now.
Jason Heyward, 9
B.J. Upton, 8
Freddie Freeman, 5
Chris Johnson, 5