Rotation shuffle aligns front-end starters vs. Mets

by Jacob Emert | MLB.com

WASHINGTON — With 5 1/2 game separating the Nationals and Mets in the Nationals League East and six head-to-head meetings remaining, manager Matt Williams shuffled his starting rotation to produce the most favorable matchups going forward.

When the Mets come to D.C. on September 7-9, they will face Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg.

Scherzer earned a $210 million contract before the start of the season to lead the Nationals’ staff in 2015 and the coming years. Scherzer will also face the Cardinals – owners of the best record in baseball – when the Nationals head to St. Louis next Monday.

Williams didn’t go in-depth about the decision, but he was blunt in admitting the idea was to get his best pitchers against the two best teams on the Nationals’ remaining schedule.

“Yes,” Williams said. “Yeah. Line him up against those two. It gives him opportunity to pitch against both those clubs.”

Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.98) and Joe Ross (4-5, 3.56) will finish up the current series against the Padres on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

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