VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
NL East champs Nats rest Gonzalez, regulars

WASHINGTON (AP) - A day after clinching the NL East, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson rested most of his regular lineup - and saved left-hander Gio Gonzalez for Game 1 of the playoffs.

Advertisement
Gonzalez originally was slated to start Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, if the next-to-last game of the regular season still mattered for the division title.

But with that championship wrapped up Monday, Johnson decided to make sure Gonzalez, who is 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA, is fresh for Washington's NL division series opener.

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94) will pitch Game 2. Johnson will wait to decide whether to use right-hander Edwin Jackson or left-hander Ross Detwiler in Game 3.

The Nationals still don't know which team they'll face to begin the postseason or which day they'll open play. It could be Saturday (in which case Gonzalez would only have had three days' rest had he pitched Tuesday against Philadelphia) or Sunday.

``I know that they have high hopes for me, and it's one of those things where you take it as an honor. They've got something planned for me, and I want to go out there and try to show this team that I'm going to go out there and try to do the best I can,'' Gonzalez said. ``I want to get enough rest, but not too much.''

Another lefty, reliever Tom Gorzelanny, was picked by Johnson to start Tuesday's game instead and was expected to go about three or four innings before turning it over to other members of the bullpen. A marker-on-paper sign hanging in Gorzelanny's locker in the Nationals Park clubhouse before the game read: ``Game (hash)161 is my game!''

Center fielder Bryce Harper and first baseman Adam LaRoche were the only everyday players in Tuesday's starting lineup, with Johnson opting to sit third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, right fielder Jayson Werth, left fielder Michael Morse, shortstop Ian Desmond, second baseman Danny Espinosa and catcher Kurt Suzuki.

Not necessarily the best way to try to earn the top seeding for the playoffs for a Nationals club that entered Tuesday with the same best-in-baseball record (96-64) as the NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds.

``I'm rewarding the guys that have been grinding through a tough schedule. ... Set back, gather your thoughts, we'll get back up tomorrow, and go from there,'' Johnson said. ``Listen, I have all the confidence in the world in the guys I've got out there. Those guys have been regulars.''

Among the members of the makeshift lineup was Mark DeRosa, getting his first start at shortstop since Sept. 2, 2006, when he was with the Texas Rangers. It's the sixth position he's played this season for Washington.

NOTE: Harper was chosen NL Rookie of the Month for September. He led the majors with 26 runs while slugging .651 with 69 total bases, including seven homers, seven doubles, three triples and 14 RBIs. Harper also won the monthly honor in May.

---

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Angels sign All-Star Cozart from Reds
Astros agree with RHP Rondon on deal
Indians reach agreement with Upton Jr.
Rockies fortify bullpen by finalizing deals
Phillies add 1B Santana with $60M deal
Padres acquire SS Galvis from Phillies
Rose's defamation suit gets dismissed
Lary, winner of 21 games in 1956, dies
Raines rejoins White Sox as ambassador
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2017 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 2230
Stephen Nover + 1583
ASA + 1333
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1971
Stephen Nover + 1351
Vince Akins + 1017
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 1322
Kyle Hunter + 719
Joe Nelson + 682
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 513
ASA + 290
Kevin Rogers + 159
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1356
Scott Rickenbach + 941
Stephen Nover + 724
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1720
Dave Cokin + 1514
ASA + 1049
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership