Jim Riggleman wants to send a message to his players that the season isn't over yet. What better way to do that than to maximize the efficiency of your pitching ace?
The manager announced today that Stephen Strasburg will start the first game for the Nationals after they return from the All-Star break on July 16.
Nationals Daily News has the details on Riggleman's decision:
According to Riggleman, the decision to send send Strasburg out right away was designed to send a message to his players that the team's priority was still winning every day, not necessarily to keep Strasburg on the field longer.
"If we don't send out our best right on their early, like the first two days, then we're sending the wrong message to our ballclub," Riggleman said. "We want to win, our players want to win. I think we need to send a message that we're going to try to finish up strong here this weekend... and open up as strong as we can after the break."
The Nationals are going for broke. Well, at least until Strasburg hits 160 innings.