NEW YORK -- Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was scratched from his scheduled start against the New York Mets on Thursday because of flu-like symptoms.
Tanner Roark took over as the starting pitcher for the finale of the opening three-game series. He had been slated to start Washington's home opener Friday against the Atlanta Braves.
Nationals manager Matt Williams said Zimmermann was being sent back to Washington ahead of the team and being given fluids. He said the pitcher, who went 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA last year, was feeling fine Wednesday but took ill after the game.
"He's running a fever. He was up all night throwing up," Williams said. "Evidently he's feeling pretty under the weather."
Roark, a 27-year-old right-hander, was 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in five starts and nine relief appearances as a rookie last year, striking out 40 and walking 11 in 53 2-3 innings. He was informed of the change in plans during a phone call Thursday morning from pitching coach Steve McCatty.
Williams hopes Taylor Jordan is ready to pitch Friday on short rest. While his last exhibition appearance was March 24, he threw a simulated outing this week and would be starting on short rest.
Washington's second option would be a series of relievers.
"If he's not ready to go tomorrow, then that's going to have to be our option," Williams said.
NOTES: RHP Doug Fister, sidelined by a strained muscle on the right side of his upper back, was scheduled to play catch. Fister can be activated April 7.