Mar 21, 2012, 11:03 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
Stephen Strasburg will start Opening Day, with Gio Gonzalez starting the home opener.
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals could have handed the ball on Opening Day to any one of their top four starters, and few would have raised an eyebrow. Gio Gonzalez is a 16-game winner and All-Star. Edwin Jackson has pitched in the midsummer classic and the World Series. Jordan Zimmermann was this team's best starter last year.
But when it came to making their choice, manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty didn't agonize much at all. They knew Stephen Strasburg was the best choice.
Why? Allow McCatty to explain.
"Because I still have the lasting impression of seeing him in the past and that game in Miami when he struck out 10 [to end the 2011 season]," the pitching coach said. "The guy's a No. 1 starter. Gio's done great. All the guys are doing great. But Stephen is who he is. And I'mRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Prospects Cole, Rivero cut from big-league camp
- Desperate Braves sign Santana for $14 million
- The good, the bad and the ugly of Nats camp
- Zimmermann perfect against Sabathia, Yankees
- Fister could be ready for season's first week
- Zimmermann leads Nats against Yankees' Sabathia
- Injuries highlight the importance of rotation depth
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals
- Bryce Harper repping new eye black company
- Gonzalez faces Astros under the lights in Viera