Jesus Flores homered and Jonny Gomes drove in two runs with a clutch single to left to lead the Washington Nationals over the Cincinnati Reds, 3-1 at Nationals Park on Thursday. The Flores homer was his first since May of 2009, while the Gomes hit came against his former team. “Against the Reds or not against the Reds, it would bring a smile to my face,” Gomes said.
The Flores-Gomes tandem helped righty starter Jordan Zimmermann to his eighth win of the season. Zimmermann, who will apparently be shut down after his next start (or the one after), did not have his best stuff, but gutted out an impressive 5.2 innings while giving up six hits. Zimmermann’s ERA now stands at 3.11 — and his 2011 campaign has to be considered a success, which sets him up as a major contributor (and likely #2 starter) in 2012.
Gomes two run single in the sixth was the difference in the game, but Zimmermann’s outing was saved by a quartet of Nationals’ relievers. Ryan Mattheus, Henry Rodriguez, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen threw a combined 3.1 innings, while giving up just two hits. Clippard notched his 32nd hold, while Storen added his 33rd save. Storen continued to build on his steady reputation — if he wasn’t before, he must now be considered to be one of the best closers in the game.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: It seems like old news now, but it’s good to note, if just for the record. Former Nats’ veteran righty Jason Marquis was supposed to provide another needed starter to help the Diamondbacks overcome the Giants in the N.L. West, but he’s out for the season with a fractured leg . . . the Marquis injury (as we remember) came against the Mets, after the former Nats’ starter had two rocky outings with his new club . . .
Now it appears, that other semi-big name for the Nationals at the trade deadline, Denard Span, continues to suffer the effects of a concussion that has sidelined him for much of the 2011 campaign. Span had returned to the Twins’ line-up, but yesterday he was put back on the disabled list after suffering from migraines. Which is only to say — sometimes it’s the trades you don’t make that matter. If Mike Rizzo had pulled the trigger on a Span trade, the needed centerfielder would have been spending time on the D.L. in D.C. . . . and the Nationals would have been without one of their key (Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard) bullpen arms . . .