Tom Gorzelanny will make his start of the season, having not pitched an actual game, spring training or regular season, in 15 days. Manager Jim Riggleman said Gorzelanny will not pitch more than six innings tonight, owing to his layoff, barring a stunningly efficient performance.
Gorzelanny is the Nationals fifth starter, but by one advanced measure he actually had the best 2010 season of any Nationals starter. Gorzelanny had a 3.92 FIP last year, the lowest among any of the five 2011 Nationals starters. (FIP uses a formula to measure how a pitcher performed independent of his defense, adjusted to represent an ERA.)
Facing a left-handed starter (Chris Capuano) for the first this year, the Nationals will try to win the series, pull ahead of the Mets in the standings and guarantee at least a .500 road trip on their first road trip. Talk about the game right here.