In addition to announcing that he’s going to go with co-closers for the time being, Nationals manager Davey Johnson also announced his plans for the starting rotation through the next handful of days.
We already knew that Chien-Ming Wang will start Sunday against the Brewers, and Johnson had two options for who would start Monday’s series finale against Milwaukee due to the doubleheader played Wednesday.
Zimmermann has pitched much better on normal rest than when he’s an extra day or two in between starts this season, so the decision makes sense in that regard. It does, however, leave Lannan pitching against a team which has given him trouble over his career.
Lannan is 2-12 with a 5.79 ERA in 17 career starts against the Phillies, and he’s had major issues at Citizens Bank Park, going 1-5 with a 7.06 ERA in seven outings.
If Johnson sticks with his current rotation alignment, Edwin Jackson would be in line to throw Wednesday in Philadelphia, but Johnson is considering pushing Jackson back in order to have three left-handers throw against the Phillies.
The Phillies are batting .243 against left-handed starters this season, as compared to .264 when they face righty starters.
When it comes to the rotation alignment, Johnson says he’s thinking strictly of the pitchers and the teams that they’ll be opposing. Johnson hasn’t started maneuvering things in order to line up his postseason rotation just yet, especially since he can adjust his rotation down the stretch if the Nationals happen to lock up the division title early.