The Nationals have scratched Gio Gonzalez from his final regular season start tonight after clinching the NL East title last night.
Washington is still fighting Cincinnati for the No. 1 seed, but manager Davey Johnson has decided that resting Gonzalez for a Game 1 start in the NLDS is more important. Tom Gorzelanny will take his place against the Phillies.
Making a 33rd start also could have helped Gonzalez’s case for the Cy Young award, but instead he’ll finish two-thirds of an inning short of cracking 200 innings for the third straight season and ends the year 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: