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Nats announce Zimmermann as today’s starter

Apr 4, 2014, 9:37 AM EDT

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[Updated 10:57 p.m.]

The Nationals have listed Jordan Zimmermann as their starting pitcher for today’s home opener against the Braves.

Zimmermann, who was scratched from yesterday’s start in New York with a nasty stomach virus, came home early and was hopeful of pitching this game. It appears his condition has improved enough to take the mound this afternoon.

Manager Matt Williams said Zimmermann broke his fever late Thursday night, and should be good to go for the start. He will warm up and see how he feels later in the morning. If he does not feel well, Craig Stammen will take his place.

“He said that he feels good, 100 times better today than he felt yesterday,” Williams said. “He said he’s good to go and we’ll have to evaluate him this morning and make sure. As of now we’re just going to see how he is. He’s scheduled to pitch, but that could change. We’ll figure out how he’s feeling right now. 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.”

Had Zimmermann not been available, Nationals manager Matt Williams would have faced a significant dilemma. Tanner Roark, today’s originally scheduled starter, pitched six innings yesterday to beat the Mets. Ross Detwiler, a potential emergency starter given his history, pitched two innings in relief of Roark, making him unavailable.

No. 5 starter Taylor Jordan threw a simulated game Tuesday, putting him in line for Sunday’s start but eliminating him from the conversation today. It’s an unusual situation no matter the time, but especially just three games into a season.

It is what it is, that’s the beauty of baseball. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. These guys are human and they do get sick. If we have to do that, we have to do it. We have no choice. Hopefully that’s not a question today. We’ll see how he feels.”

Here’s the full starting lineup against Atlanta right-hander David Hale, just announced by the Nationals…

CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

You probably noticed Harper is back batting sixth. Williams was asked again about that choice and explained it as a temporary move.

It doesn’t mean anything when Bryce hits sixth. It doesn’t mean he’s not a fantastic player. He was hitting second yesterday,” Williams said. “Bryce’s timing is a tick off right now. We put him in the two-hole yesterday and I think his swing is coming. He hit a couple of balls hard the times he was up yesterday. At any point during the course of a season, Bryce could get hot. Today’s opportunity for him is multiple men in scoring position.”

  1. unterp - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    go Nats…

  2. Nats128 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    I love it!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Way to go Nats128. You suggested this week’s ago and yes the switcheroo I believe. was all a clever ruse to setup this series vs Braves while also optimizing the Mets series.

      Once Detwiler pitched yesterday The Sting had been exposed. I like it! Braves fans are already whining.

      • stoatva - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Whatever the true circumstances were, getting in their heads cannot be a bad thing.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Agreed. It worked yesterday against the Mets. Bonus.

      • Section 222 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        Not buying that in the least, as discussed on the last thread. But hey, it’s great that JZnn is recovered enough to go.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        2’s Rizzo is the master of illusion. Believe what you want to! Go Nats!!!!

      • sjm308 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        So now this is a deep plot, led by Rizzo?

        Give it a break people – He was sick, got better and will go today

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Ok, sjm. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. Deception is a big part of the game.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        The Braves fans were whining long before this, and they’ll continue long after. Fans can be a whiny lot. But if this worked, I say, try it against the Phillies fans, too, WTH.

        I doubt it gets into the Braves players heads.

      • Nats128 - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Barves whine whine chop whine.

      • natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Yesterday a DC-area friend mentioned to my husband that he had just recovered from a 24-hour stomach virus. He also said that it was going around at his workplace. This revelation was not occasioned by a Nats-related discussion. I’m just saying. I don’t buy the conspiracy theory, but I will say this: GO, Z’NN! GO, NATS!!

      • natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        Eh, they already vomit on each other. I’m thinking it would not daunt them.

        “But if this worked, I say, try it against the Phillies fans, too, WTH.”

  3. unterp - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    and yeaaa, Zimnn!

  4. Nattering Nat - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Opening Day–best day of the year!

  5. Jeff G - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    A “stomach virus” that lines up our best pitcher to pitch our home opener against the dreaded Barves. Whatever works. Go Nats.

  6. wearenationals - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    On our way to the Park GYFNG!!!

  7. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Hope he’s recovered enough to bring his “A” game!

    In any case, our pen is solid; if Zinn is off or tires early, I have faith in Stammen to do for Zinn what he did for Stras last year.

    Go Nats!!!

  8. Hiram Hover - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Was he really sick? Was it a fake to fool the Barves?

    Don’t know. Don’t care. Go Nats!

  9. janebeard - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    I couldn’t sleep at all last night. We are getting in the car in ten minutes — way too early but I’ll be happier down there. GYFNG, in case I can’t add it to the game thread before we leave (and wifi down there is awful).

  10. Section 222 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Good news. If JZnn can go 5 today, we’ll be in good shape. But as everyone has said, we can’t rely on late comebacks in this series. Need to get some runs early.

    On the Gio replay issue raised in the last thread, my understanding is that if the call is correct (not overturned) then whereever the runners end up is where they end up. The weird play in the Cards vs. Reds game yesterday involving Billy Hamilton and Jay Bruce is an example of that. The ump correctly called that the ball had not been caught. The Cards players were confused and didn’t advance, but that was their own fault. The players have to rely on the call on the field and act accordingly. But if the call is reversed, the umps decide where to place the runners. So yesterday, the Mets outfielders didn’t have to hustle once the umps called it a home run. If the home run call had been reversed on replay, Gio gets a double.

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      Why’s that? Isn’t the Mets’ failure to play the ball in quickly the same as the Cards’ baserunners failing to advance? Or, are you saying the baserunner has to return to where he was when the incorrect call was made?

      • David Proctor - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        I’d guess because if it’s ruled a home run on the field, you can’t fault the players for not getting it back in. The play is over.

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        Makes sense, but I still would want to see the Nats hustle the ball to the infield to hold the runner and/or tag him out, then let the managers and umps work it out.

      • Section 222 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        The ump called a homer for Gio, so the Mets players didn’t have to hustle. The ump called “no catch” on the Cards’ batter’s fly ball (can’t remember who it was), so the Cards runners were entitled to advance and should have. That’s the difference.

      • DaveB - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        In the particular case of Gio’s HR, I think the outfielder stopped before the umpire’s call (because he clearly saw that it was a HR). I think on the replay overturn, the umpires will only try to place the runners to where they would have been after the bad call by the umpire, so in this case, if the CF (and then the ump) happened to both be wrong, Gio probably would have been given at least third base as it looked like he was already at least close to 2nd at the time of the call, and the CF was still a ways from the ball.

  11. Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    The best play in the Cards-Reds game was Matt Adams getting pwned by the fan on a foul ball. (some images mildly NSFW). Not that I condone fan interference–can’t stand that–but this guy was totally within his rights.

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Awesome clip!

  12. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    OT:

    Hey 308!

    I got tix to Tuesday night’s game with the family (except for Wonkling, who’s away), and we are in Section . . . . 308!

    I entered in in NIDO, but I see that you’re not at that game?

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Is anyone gonna be there tomorrow who wants a Steal Your Nats sticker? If so, I’ll bring a stack of ‘em….maybe I will either way!

      sjm and 222, I think it’s just you two so far that have (re)requested one…anyone else out there, speak up soon!

      • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Yes, I would love to have one! (Actually: two, one for my son). But my first game is Tuesday . . . .

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        2 it is!

        Is there anyone who will be there tomorrow who you know you will see on Tues?

        Also, I’m gonna repost below because this was supposed to be a general post, not a reply to yours…d’oh!

      • unkyd59 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Erik! I am positively with child, to have a Steal Your Nats sticker!!! Mentioned it, last year. Unfortunately, I have no plans to attend, at this point (budgetarially incompatible). I’m sure a game or two will drop into my lap, but no telling when… If I could send you a SASE, and you could send one over I’d be tickled pink, fer sure… I have a yahoo.com email (championjclark@) let me know where to send the envelope…. Thanks!!!

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        E-mail sent, unkyd…no need for a SASE (love to see that term here ;) ).

      • annapmagistra - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Eric, I’ll be there tomorrow (137, HH11). I’d like one, although I don’t know what they are! Where will you be?

        I will be wearing my Latin EAMUS NATIONALES T-shirt but might need a sweater!

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        annapmagistra, it’s a sticker of this: Steal Your Nats. It’s about 6″ in diameter, although it’s on a square sticker, so you’ll need to cut it out if you don’t want the white corners.

        All – I’ll be there with my wife and three friends, Section 104 Row Y Seats 16 – 20.

        It might be easiest of folks just swing by, otherwise I might end up roaming the stadium…that cool with everyone?

      • Section 222 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        Eric, I might end up at the game tomorrow night. If you post your cell number on our BBS, I’ll delete it once I’ve seen it.

        http://prettyfrickenbueno.wordpress.com/whos-going/his-her-ni-bbs/

  13. sjm308 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    More thoughts on the “ruse”

    I hate to disagree with the likes of Gonat and Ghost but do you really think the Braves are shook up by Zimmerman starting today instead of Roark. Their fans might be (just like ours would be screaming over something they have no real knowledge of) but the Braves are not. They have faced Zimmermann for years, they have a book on him and probably less of a book on Roark & Jordan. I doubt if they had a team meeting this morning to “regroup” now that the Nationals pulled a fast one on them. Its 162 games, players will get hurt, sick or have family issues and miss games. Like was said yesterday, the Nationals had no reason to play coy – just announce that they felt Zimm would be more important starting against the Braves. Its silly to play conspiracy theories in a season that lasts 6 months. Its just one more game.

    Go Nats

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Here’s where I stand on the issue:

      If he *was* sick, I find it hard to believe he’s any better than 80% well today. So, I hope it was a ruse, although I agree a ruse wouldn’t accomplish much, if anything.

      Ultimately, though, this falls under my rules of suspended belief: I have no way of knowing one way or the other, so it’s immaterial to me.

    • masterfishkeeper - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      I do wonder if the Braves started Harang in their third game, so they could use Hale, who the Nats really have not seen, today. Of course, Harang, against all reasonable expectations, was brilliant Wednesday, or at least had brilliant results.

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      I completely agree. The Braves have *five* — count ‘em — *five* of their starters not available for play right now (two gone for the year, two on DL, and the newly signed one who’s still in the minors trying to gain stamina), dealing with the Upton brothers who, together, are 2-for-23 — and are starting a guy who has a grand total of two MLB starts, lifetime, under his belt.

      Those are of way more concern than who the Nats are throwing at them.

      (In addition, the last time JZ pitched against the Braves, he lasted 4 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 walks. Think the Braves are scared of that?!)

      • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        And finally: as someone else noted: MW could have just simply said “we decided to send JZ back home so he can start the home opener.”

    • Section 222 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      I don’t hate to disagree with them. Do it all the time, when they are wrong. :-)

    • Brookstoor - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      But sjm, if there was no ruse then that means no one can get credit for being a clairvoyant genius in a prior thread!

      I’m glad it’s Znn going today though, after his great spring it’s time to turn him loose. Go DC, beat ATL.

  14. Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Is anyone gonna be there tomorrow who wants a Steal Your Nats sticker? If so, I’ll bring a stack of ‘em….maybe I will either way!

    sjm (1), 222 (1), and wonk (2), I think it’s just you three so far that have (re)requested one…anyone else out there, speak up soon!

    • sjm308 - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Eric
      I will come to you but if you want I am in 308 rowE
      Thanks again

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Sounds good…this is tomorrow we’re talking, right? I seem to recall you mentioned that you’re going today?

  15. stoatva - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Harvey Haddix once pitched a pretty good game while he was sick.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1155946/

    • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Perhaps greatest pitching effort ever. Ever.

      And it happened on the day my sister was born (not that I remember, I had just turned two myself)

  16. theucane - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Zimmermann and Strasburg were both in the hunt to pitch opening day. Williams was able to allow both to pitch an opening day of sorts.

  17. philipd763 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Good news, no need to burn out the bullpen in the first game of the series.

  18. rmoore446 - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    So who pitches Saturday night? I have tickets to the game and am curious, although I will be happy to be at my first regular game of the season (I did attend two Spring games) regardless the starter.

    • theucane - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Strasburg.

      • rmoore446 - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        That works for me!

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Stras!

      • adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:06 AM

        Does anybody know why they are switching Stras and Jordan (who will pitch Sunday)?

      • Steady Eddie - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        They’re just keeping Stras on normal rest.

  19. adcwonk - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Wonk’s Friday Tidbits

    Emilio Bonifacio has already tied his 2013 WAR, and has more WAR than he did in 2012

    The Braves’ 1-0 victory against the Brewers on Tuesday at Miller Park was their first 1-0 win in Milwaukee since 1964. When they were the home team (Milwaukee Braves).

    Tigers: Two games, two walkoff wins by players they acquired in the offseason

  20. DaveB - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Some folks here think it was a big “ruse” to trick the Braves into preparing for the wrong pitcher … others think it was exactly as stated, with JZ making an almost miraculous recovery from a “nasty” disease … my guess is somewhere in the middle. I think after the 1st two wins against the Mets, MW probably decided that JZ would be more valuable against the Braves, but didn’t want to rub it into the nose of the Mets by announcing something that would sound like he didn’t think they were good enough to warrant more than a rookie pitcher.

    • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      I was thinking along the same lines, that if it were a rubber match or getting-swept prevention yesterday, Zinn would never have gotten “sick” and would’ve pitched. I almost posted something along those lines.

      But, I kept coming back to the thought that Williams won’t be taking his boot off any opponent’s neck unless he’s forced to (e.g., by illness or other unforeseeables).

      Who knows, though.

  21. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    we won yesterday and have one of our best starting tonight so complaints from me. go Nats!!!

  22. annapmagistra - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    I should know this, but please post the link to who’s going to be at the games! Many thanks.

  23. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    wait, why are we playing at 1 PM? for some reason, it was at 7 PM.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Another clever ruse to confuse the Braves.
      (wringing hands and chuckling menacingly…)

      • Eric - Apr 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        lmao!

      • Faraz Shaikh - Apr 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        hmm, makes sense.

  24. JW - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Jordan Zimmermann will pitch when his jaw is wired shut. He’ll pitch when he’s been up all night throwing up. But don’t ask him to pitch when his jaw is wired shut AND he’s been throwing up all night.

    • veejh - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      ha!

    • Steady Eddie - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      JW, TMI.

  25. veejh - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    This 1st Braves series is huge. A statement series, no doubt. Go Nats!

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ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
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WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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