Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Zimmermann’
Monday, May 20th, 2013
The Padres rapped out fifteen hits — which included three home runs — and San Diego went on to thrash the Washington Nationals at Petco Park on Sunday, 13-4. Washington’s attack against San Diego starter Andrew Cashner, on the other hand, was punchless: a scattering of ten hits, but few of them that did any real damage.
Washington had hoped to take the series, particularly given Saturday night’s tough one-run loss that victimized ace Jordan Zimmermann. “It was good to bounce back in beating Zimmermann, who is arguably the best pitcher in the National League right now,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “That was a big win last night.”
Black added: “Then to come back today against Haren, who’s a great competitor. We got to him early and got him there in the middle part of the game with a couple big swings. Good for our guys. It was a good win.” Haren’s outing breaks a solid streak for the veteran righty, who gave up seven runs on nine hits in just five innings.
“I made a bunch of mistakes in the first inning. I was able to keep it close for a while. You can’t keep letting balls over the plate to a professional lineup like that,” Haren said after his loss. “I was fighting myself out there with mechanics. I was working behind in the count too much. That’s a recipe for disaster.”
This was all good news, but only if you were a Padres’ fan. Stuck in mediocre, starter Andrew Cashner proved he belonged in the San Diego rotation with 6.2 innings of steady strikes, while the Friars received long bombs from a trio of little monks: Will Venable, Kyle Blanks and rookie second sacker Jedd Gyorko.
The Padres got on the board early, scoring three runs in the first inning off of Haren, then extended their lead by scoring four more off the righty in the fifth. The Washington bullpen wasn’t much better: the usually steady Ryan Matheus gave up five runs on four hits in a single inning to raise his ERA to 4.96.
“I just fell behind hitters,” Mattheus said of his outing. “I had to come back and make a pitch and they put good swings on the ball. It’s inexcusable to not come in the strike zone and leaving balls up.”
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Ace righty Jordan Zimmermann pitched 7.2 innings and notched his MLB league leading seventh win and third sacker Ryan Zimmerman drove in three Washington runs, as the Nationals topped the Dodgers in L.A., 6-2.
Zimmermann showed why he’s the ace of the staff and, as of now, the leading candidate for the N.L. Cy Young Award. While Zimmermann scattered nine hits, he was able to cut through the tough Los Angeles line-up, registering five strikeouts without walking a hitter.
“He just kept attacking the zone,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said after the D.C. victory “He was getting himself in good counts and it’s a good way to pitch, ahead in the count. He did a great job tonight of that.” As always, the key to Zimmermann’s success was his ability to throw strikes: 67 of them in a 101 pitching outing.
Washington’s league leading 7-1 fireballer was aided by a Washington parade that banged out ten hits, including a Ryan Zimmerman double in the 3rd that drove in two. “I’m starting to get back into the groove now. I’m starting to feel better at the plate,” Zimmerman said in his post-game comments.
The big news of the game was the 5th inning collision that Bryce Harper had with the Dodger Stadium wall in right field. Harper was tracking a ball off the bat of A.J. Ellis and collided with the wall, cutting his chin and slamming his shoulder. Harper walked from the field, but needed eleven stitches to close the gash on his face.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Jordan Zimmermann allowed seven hits over just seven innings to notch his league leading sixth win of the season, and Bryce Harper hit his tenth home run of the year, as Washington downed a potent Detroit team 3-1 at Nationals Park On Wednesday night.
Zimmermann was spectacular. “Jordan is fun to watch. He attacks guys. I think this year, he’s just smarter, more mature,” Tyler Clippard said of the Nats’ ace following the victory. “This year, more than any other year, he is throwing a lot more breaking balls for strikes.”
Zimmermann entered the game having pitched 17 shutout innings in his previous two starts, putting himself into the top ten in every major N.L. pitching category. The only time the Tigers were able to put together good at-bats against him was in the 3rd inning, when Torii Hunter doubled and Miguel Cabrera singled him home.
Nationals’ hitters, meanwhile, pumped out three runs against Tigers’ starter Anibal Sanchez. Denard Span tripled off of Sanchez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Harper in the bottom of the 3rd, Adam LaRoche scored in the 4th on a throwing error from Torii Hunter and Bryce Harper slammed a 427 foot home run to complete the scoring in the 5th.
Tyler Clippard came on in relief in the 8th inning and recorded his fifth hold, while closer Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth and recorded his 11th save. Washington has won three consecutive games and is now 18-15 on the year. The Nationals trail the Atlanta Braves, who won decisively in Cincinnati, by just two games in the National League East.
The Wisdom of Section 129 The PNC Seats: This was a rare opportunity, and a kind of betrayal. The CFG crew (here we are, in case you’ve forgotten) abandoned our regulars in Section 129 for a chance to sit in the PNC seats and “eat for free” — as it were. So we expected to be surrounded by Nationals fans. We should have known better . . .
The Tigers travel well, as was much in evidence at Nationals Park last night, and they were there in force in the PNC section. Tigers’ fans packed the third base boxes and were sprinkled throughout the ballpark, with Miguel Cabrera jerseys (#24) as much in evidence as Bryce Harper’s . . .
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Washington righthanded ace Jordan Zimmermann was brilliant once again, holding the Atlanta Braves to just two hits in eight innings, and pitching the Nationals to a much-needed victory in Atlanta, 2-0. Zimmermann struck out eight and allowed only one Atlanta runner past first base.
“We needed that one bad and he went out and pitched a blueprint game,” Washington manager Davey Johnson said following the Washington victory. “I thought he was one of the elites last year. We just didn’t give him a lot of run support.
This was Zimmermann’s third superb outing in a row: Zimmermann threw a one hit complete game in his previous outing against Cincinnati and before that had been nearly untouchable against both the Marlins and Mets. In the constellation of Nationals’ starters, it turns out that it’s Zimmermann — and not Stephen Strasburg or Gio Gonzalez — who’s the “stopper.”
“He’s obviously got everything working right now,” catcher Kurt Suzuki said of Zimmermann. “He’s pitching up in the zone, down in the zone, in and out, he’s really mixing it up with his breaking balls, he’s throwing breaking balls for strikes. He’s got it working. Even during the game, he keeps it loose. He’s really fun to work with.”
Washington got its two runs in the fourth inning, the result of a walk to Bryce Harper and a home run to Ian Desmond. Atlanta’s Paul Maholm took the loss and Washington closer Rafael Soriano notched his eighth save of the season.The victory broke Washington’s eight game losing streak to the Bravos.
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
On any other day Jordan Zimmermann’s one hit masterpiece of the Cincinnati Reds would have been the top story in baseball. But not yesterday. Instead, Zimmermann’s brilliant mastery of the Redlegs was quickly relegated to a distant second place — like a very pretty, but not beautiful, bridesmaid who stands at the alter waiting for someone to take notice.
Indeed, on a day of pitching brilliance, the Zimmermann outing placed a ho-hum second to Anibal Sanchez’s amazing performance in Detroit’s 10-0 pasting of the Braves. Sanchez’s outing made history, as the righty struck out 17 hitters in a single game, besting the 16 Ks registered by Detroit Hall of Famer Mickey Lolich.
There is little that Sanchez’s performance has in common with Zimmermann’s (Anibal threw Ks, Jordan threw grounders), except for this: Sanchez, like Zimmermann, is not the publicly acknowledged ace of his team’s staff — that would be Justin Verlander.
How good was Sanchez? The former Marlin (he was never better than 13-12 for them), struck out Dan Uggla four times, Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco three times each and struck out two batters in every inning except the fourth. Sanchez limited the Braves to five hits and no Detroit outfielder recorded a putout. And Sanchez didn’t even pitch the 9th.
But Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann wasn’t the only bridesmaid on Friday night. Out in Oakland, Baltimore southpaw starter Wei-Yin Chen two hit the White Elephants over eight innings to provide the Birds with their best pitching performance of the season. Prior to Chen, no Orioles pitcher had made it into the 8th inning — which should tell you something about the O’s starters.
On what might justifiably be called “the day of the pitcher,” Chen was just so-so, at least in comparison with Sanchez and Zimmermann. But Chen’s victory was a thing of beauty. He threw 12 fastballs in his first thirteen pitches, all of them four seamers and none of them faster than 92 mph. Chen is hittable, but no one seems able to hit him.
Least of all Oakland hitters: “He does a little something different each and every time,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of Chen’s outing. “But at the end of the day, he’s got a fastball that gets on you a little quicker than you think. He gets a lot of popups and fly balls.”
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
Washington pitchers limited the Cincinnati Reds to one hit for the second night in a row, as Jordan Zimmermann tossed a one hit shutout, the first of his career, and the Nationals snuffed out the Redlegs 1-0 on Friday night at Nationals Park. Zimmermann is now 4-1 on the season with a 2.00 ERA.
“He pitches his butt off every time he goes out there,” Bryce Harper said of Zimmermann’s epic victory. “He is a competitor, he uses his fastball really well and he throws a lot of strikes. You are going to get a great performance out of him every night.”
Zimmermann’s gem may be the best game pitched in Nationals’ history, equaling or perhaps surpassing Stephen Strasburg’s 14 strikeout rookie debut. Nats’ manager Davey Johnson called it the best pitched game that he’s witnessed since his time at Washington’s helm.
This was the second game in a row where Washington starters had authored a one hitter. On Thursday night Gio Gonzalez held the Reds to one hit through eight innings. It was the first time that Washington pitchers had pitched back-to-back one hitters since Aug. 10-11, 1917, when the Senators faced the White Sox in Washington.
The key for Zimmermann on Friday was throwing first pitch strikes and pitching-to-contact. “I had a really good slider tonight, and a good fastball to go with it,” Zimmermann said of his outing. “We knew [the Reds] swung early, and we wanted to throw first-pitch strikes and quality pitches, let them get themselves out, and let the defense work. That’s what we did tonight.”
Lost in the Zimmermann performance was the savvy outing put in by Reds’ starter Homer Bailey, who held the Nationals to a single run in seven innings. Bailey gave up a run in the 4th inning on a Bryce Harper triple and a Jayson Werth seeing-eye RBI single.
The Wisdom of Section 1-2-9: Washington fans are savvy enough to know that the Zimmermann-Bailey tilt on Friday was a marquee match-up of franchise aces. It was a game of ground-outs: Bailey got ten ground outs in eleven balls put in play, while Zimmermann got 12 . . .
How brilliant was Zimmermann? He took his best pitch (a 95 mph fastball) and threw it at one of the major league’s best fastball hitting teams, and consistently beat them. Zimmermann got Joey Votto out four times in the game and each time the payoff pitch was a fastball. And Joey Votto eats fastballs . . .
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
The Nationals fell to Dillon Gee and the New York Mets, 2-0 in New York — dropping two of three games in their series against their division rivals. The Nationals, a strong defensive team in 2012, committed three errors.
But the loss is most likely to be remembered for a Jayson Werth at bat in the 8th inning. Werth came to the plate with two on and nobody out, and the Mets pressing for the win. But Werth squandered the scoring opportunity, hitting into a double play on a 3-0 count.
The Nationals might have looked forward to facing Gee in their final New York weekend contest, particularly since the New York righty had been ineffective in the early going. But Gee pitched his best game of the year, giving up just three hits while striking out six in 5.2 innings of work.
“I’m just happy to finally contribute to a win,” a clearly happy Gee said following the game. “That’s the truth — we needed to step it up. It’s been really eating away at me the past few weeks, not going out there and doing my job.”
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann was not as effective as he was during his prior outing, when he pitched a complete game, but he gave his team a chance to win. Zimmermann pitched five complete, giving up just two hits and two runs. The big blow for New York came off the bat of John Buck, who stroked his 7th home run of the year in the second inning.
Nats’ skipper Davey Johnson was clearly irritated by the loss, and particularly by Jayson Werth’s swing on the 3-0 count in the 8th. It was the best chance the Nationals had of putting runs on the board. Johnson refused to comment on Werth’s at bat.
But while Johnson remained silent on the incident, Jayson Werth did not: “Looking back, I was trying to do too much, I was trying to win the game right there,” he said following the loss. “The situation got the best of me. It was probably one of the dumber things I’ve done on the field in a while.”
The Nationals return home today to begin a three game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, and hope to gain retribution for last year’s playoff loss. The Nationals will then face the Cincinnati Reds in a four game contest — a stretch of seven tough games against some of their strongest N.L. competition.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals and Cardinals are evenly matched. Both teams are 10-8 and both teams are having problems with their bullpen. Last night in Philadelphia, St. Louis got six-plus strong innings from starter Jake Westbrook before reliever Mitchell Boggs gave up four runs in the eighth . . .
The Cardinals don’t have the pitching the Nationals do (at least not on paper) but while their starting five is older it is also savvy. The likely end of Chris Carpenter’s career has vaulted Adam Wainwright into the first slot in the St. Louis rotation and he’s a gamer. Just two weeks ago he threw a complete game four hitter in Milwaukee . . .