Jordan Zimmermann named NL Player of the Week

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by Amanda Comak

After opening the month of June with 17 consecutive scoreless innings, Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday afternoon.

Washington Nationals v San Diego PadresZimmermann, 28, pitched back-to-back gems over the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres en route to earning his first NL Player of the Week honors. On the week, Zimmermann was 2-0, allowed just seven hits, walked one and struck out 16. He held opposing batters to a .121 batting average and 71 percent of the 216 pitches he threw were strikes. Both of his starts turned into shutouts for the team.

Tuesday, against the Phillies, Zimmermann spun eight scoreless innings on just 102 pitches, and scattered five hits. He walked one, struck out four and earned his fourth win of the season.

Zimmermann’s encore, however, was one of the best-pitched games in Nationals (2005-present) history.

Sunday afternoon at Petco Park, Zimmermann carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and finished with a two-hit shutout in the Nationals’ 6-0 victory.

In the sixth complete game and third shutout of his career, Zimmermann became only the second starter in Nationals history to strike out at least 12 batters and walk none in a complete game (also John Patterson, Aug. 4, 2005). He needed just 114 pitches to go the distance, and 83 of those pitches went for strikes. Zimmermann joined Patterson and Stephen Strasburg as the only pitchers in Nationals history to strike out at least 12 batters in a game.

According to the Bill James Game Score, one metric for measuring dominant pitching performances, Zimmermann’s outing ranked as the best in Nationals (2005-present) history with a score of 95.

All of this comes on the heels of a month of May that was very unlike Zimmermann, in which he posted a 5.06 ERA.

“The whole month of May, I was that guy,” Zimmermann said after the victory over the Padres. “Everyone was having good starts, and I was pitching terrible. I just wanted to pitch like everyone else. We’ve got a good thing going right now.”

Zimmermann, who was named the NL Pitcher of the Month in July 2012, is the seventh Nationals player to win an NL POTW award, and earns the ninth such honor for the organization.

Zimmermann joins 3B Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007), RHP Stephen Strasburg (June 7-13, 2010), OF Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), SS Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), UTIL Willie Harris (July 17-20, 2008), and 1B Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees.

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