Game #146 features a shuffling of the starters

We mentioned yesterday that based on the current rotation and the Monday day-off that Tanner Roark was due to pitch last night and instead Max Scherzer got the start. Roark pitched last Thursday and he wasn’t particularly sharp giving up runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings and departed after the 6th inning at a 100 pitch count.

Max Scherzer pitched the night after Roark against the Phillies on Friday night, and the pitching rotation set-up for Gio Gonzalez on Tuesday, Roark last night, and Max Scherzer tonight with Edwin Jackson tomorrow followed by Stephen Strasburg. We will seed-out (below) the probable pitchers going forward. Somewhere in the future, AJ Cole could also spot-start for the Nats, and Dusty Baker could once again re-seed the rotation.

We also never found an explanation for the change in the rotation to move Roark back in any of the media reports from either manager Dusty Baker or GM Mike Rizzo.  JD commented in a post that the rotation order change was most likely to set-up the post-season rotation. That’s entirely possible with 16 games remaining, but it still looks odd. The regular season schedule ends on Sunday, October 1st and the first NLDS game is Friday October 6th.

Right now the current rotation order is set as:

  1. Max Scherzer
  2. Tanner Roark
  3. Edwin Jackson
  4. Stephen Strasburg
  5. Gio Gonzalez

The playoff order could be:

  1. Max Scherzer
  2. Stephen Strasburg
  3. Gio Gonzalez
  4. Tanner Roark or Edwin Jackson

The way it looks now if we fast forward with no other changes, the starters for the rest of the season would seed as follows:

Sept 14 Roark, Sept 15 Jackson, Sept 16 Cole, Sept 17 Strasburg, Sept 18 day-off, Sept 19 Gio, Sept 20 Scherzer, Sept 21 Roark, Sept 22 Jackson, Sept 23 Strasburg, Sept 24 Gio, Sept 25 Scherzer, Sept 26 Roark,  Sept 27 Jackson, Sept 28 Strasburg, Sept 29 Gio, Sept 30 Scherzer, October 1 Roark

That gives Roark a total of four more starts and everyone else has three remaining starts in the regular season although this can easily change as mentioned AJ Cole could be inserted again or a starter could be skipped.

So here we are on Thursday as the Washington Nationals try to avoid getting swept by the Atlanta Braves tonight. As mentioned, Tanner Roark goes for the Nats and faces the Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:   Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports – Southeast, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM®  Sirius 205 XM 186 (Internet 869)

Line-ups subject to change (without notice):

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