Why Gio Gonzalez is starting on Sunday


(Pat Sullivan/AP)

Johnson said he considered holding back Gonzalez another day so he could face the left-handed heavy Atlanta Braves on Monday. But he opted against it. And here’s why: He decided to give the extra day of rest to Jordan Zimmermann and his stiff right shoulder, which has not been an issue. Gonzalez still gets five days of rest before his start.

Zimmermann is scheduled to pitch on five days rest on Monday against the Braves, the first time he will have faced them this season, and Stephen Strasburg will take the mound on Tuesday. Detwiler, who stifled the Braves for seven innings on July 22, will pitch the final game of the series on Wednesday.

“[Zimmermann] is no slouch and I don’t care if he’s pitching against all left-handers,” Johnson said.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.

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