Manager Ned Yost took a light-hearted approach.
"Tomorrow's a day game and Banny's going to be locked in," Yost said merrily. "We've got that going for us."
Indeed, Bannister has that ballyhooed daytime record of 20-8 with a 3.97 ERA and this game will start in the late afternoon. On the night shift, Bannister is 16-35 with a 5.43 ERA.
After losing his second consecutive start last Friday night at Atlanta, Bannister unburdened himself saying he was "gun shy," had "zero confidence" and it was a "traumatic experience." That all carried over from an 11-run drubbing in his previous start at Cincinnati.
Yost doubts Bannister will continue to be affected against the Nationals.
"We come and start anew today," Yost said. "And if you want to carry baggage with you, you're going to have problems. But we'll find out. I don't think Banny is going to be affected by it. Banny hasn't gotten this far by carrying baggage with him over a long period of time."