Results tagged ‘ Jordan Zimmermann ’

What to Watch for: 7.7.13

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San Diego Padres (40-48) vs. Washington Nationals (45-42)

LHP Robbie Erlin (1-1, 4.34) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (4-6, 2.24)

The Nationals earned their third consecutive win and second straight over the Padres Saturday, clinching a third season series in as many years. Washington sends Stephen Strasburg – the Major League ERA leader since May 11 at 1.29 (8 ER/56.0 IP) – to the mound in search of the three-game sweep.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. Werth RF

6. Rendon 2B

7. Moore 1B

8. Ramos C

9. Strasburg RHP

WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS

Bryce Harper became the youngest position player ever elected to start an All-Star Game and Jordan Zimmermann was named to the National League pitching staff for the 2013 Midsummer Classic in New York. Davey Johnson will also be participating as a member of the coaching staff, as will athletic trainer Lee Kuntz. Ian Desmond has been named as a Final Vote candidate, and can reach the game with the help of fan voting at nationals.com/vote.

SAFE AT HOME

Though he did not earn his 13th win of the season, All-Star Jordan Zimmermann extended his personal unbeaten streak at Nationals Park to 22 consecutive starts. The Nationals have won the last 14 games Zimmermann has started in D.C., with Jordan earning the win in 11 of them.

THE POWER OF 3

When scoring three or more runs this season, as they did in their 20th comeback win of the year on Saturday, the Nationals are 40-10 (.800). However, when plating two or fewer runs, Washington is just 5-32 (.135).

What to Watch for: 7.5.13

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San Diego Padres (40-47) vs. Washington Nationals (44-42)

RHP Jason Marquis (9-4, 3.74) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-3, 2.46)

The Nationals got their second 8-5 win in as many games in last night’s series opener against the Padres. Gio Gonzalez recovered from a rocky start to notch his third straight win, while Wilson Ramos drove in three more runs after racking up five RBI in his return from the Disabled List on Thursday. Washington sends Jordan Zimmermann to the mound today, in search of his National League-leading 13th win.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Werth RF

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

GREAT 8

By posting five- and three-RBI efforts in twin 8-5 victories the last 48 hours, Wilson Ramos became the fourth National (2005-present) to record as many as eight RBI in two consecutive team games, joining Josh Willingham (9, July 2009; 8, July 2009), Ryan Church (8, April 2006) and Vinny Castilla (8, April 2005). Ramos’ eight-RBI feat is impressive considering it required only eight at-bats.

THE POWER OF THREE

Stephen Strasburg (third, 2.24), Jordan Zimmermann (sixth, 2.46) and Gio Gonzalez (18th, 3.14) all rank among the NL’s top 20 in ERA this season. All three will face the Padres this weekend. Among teams with at least three qualified starters, the Strasburg-Zimmermann-Gonzalez triumvirate is baseball’s best as they have combined on a 2.62 ERA (97 ER/332.2 IP) this season.

WERTH THE WAIT

Thanks to a second consecutive three-hit game, Jayson Werth is now batting .311 (32-for-103) with 12 walks, six doubles, four home runs, 17 runs scored and 18 RBI in 28 games since returning from the DL (right hamstring) on June 4.

Grand Reopening

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If Monday night’s game seemed to you like a reprisal of Opening Night – albeit an improved one – you aren’t alone.

On a rainy day in The District, exactly three months after the first game of the Nationals promise-packed 2013 campaign, on the first official day of the second half of the season, the night began in eerily similar fashion. Instead of Opening Day starter Stephen Strasburg on the mound, it was de facto ace Jordan Zimmermann toeing the rubber, in search of his National League-leading 12th win. And after a scoreless top of the first inning, Washington came to bat with Bryce Harper once again hitting third in their lineup.

Harper took no time to reintroduce himself upon his return.

Harper took no time to reintroduce himself upon his return to the lineup.

After two outs, Harper stood in the box to face the opponent’s ace, took ball one, then rocketed a home run to put the Nationals in front.

However, that’s where the similarities stopped. Back in April, Harper was that game’s only offense, homering again in his second at-bat for the only other run of the game in a 2-0 victory. Monday night, the rest of the offense came alive. Not content to rest on their laurels, they scored 10 runs the night after plating 13 to match a franchise two-game record with 23 tallies, and the bullpen put the clamps on as the Milwaukee Brewers began to hit their way back into the game. And while they allowed five runs, Nationals pitchers offered up only a single base on balls, making Milwaukee earn their ultimately futile attempt to come back.

Even Harper’s home run reflected the change. Unlike his first Opening Day blast, a majestic shot to his pull field in right, this one required an adjustment, a patient, measured swing to drive the ball the other way. It wasn’t as pretty, but in many ways it was more impressive.

Perhaps there’s something to that. Last year’s Nationals nearly went wire-to-wire, riding their impressive young talent and a series of nail-biting wins to their first-ever division title. Now, a half-season into their attempted encore, with the targets primed, painted, edged, highlighted and lacquered on their backs, they seem to know that getting back to the top of the mountain will not be free and easy, but a daily grind.

Denard Span reached base and scored three times as the Nationals scored 10 runs.

Denard Span reached base and scored three times as the Nationals scored 10 runs.

“Everybody knows we’ve got some work to do,” said Nationals Manager Davey Johnson after the game, only willing to indulge in Harper’s momentous return for a short moment before refocusing on the larger task at hand.

Ian Desmond talks about it nearly every day. Fresh off a record-setting month at the plate and a 56-game errorless streak in the field, the shortstop turned in another mistake-free game, collecting another extra-base hit, another RBI.

Moved up to the two-hole in the lineup – less of an RBI spot than he is accustomed – Jayson Werth took advantage of his opportunities with runners in scoring position, driving home five runs for the first time since his All-Star campaign back in 2009.

“(Jayson) hitting second just causes more problems for the opposing manager,” said Johnson, who is finally sporting the kind of lineup he envisioned when pitchers and catchers reported to Florida back in February, what must seem like a lifetime ago.

Ultimately, 81 games deeper into the season, the feeling in the ballpark Monday night mirrored that on Opening Day, the optimism of what this team is capable of accomplishing palpable in the crowd. The main difference: now everyone knows it won’t be as easy as Harper sometimes makes it look.

Highlights: 7.1.13

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7.1.13 – Nationals 10, Brewers 5

Stat of the Game: Jordan Zimmermann matched his career high and the Major League lead with his 12th win of the season, also going 3-for-3 at the plate. The victory was Zimmermann’s 14th straight at home, setting a new franchise record.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Bryce Harper homered in his first at-bat after 31 games on the disabled list to give the Nationals an early 1-0 lead.

It Was Over When: Washington scored five times in the third en route to a second consecutive double-digit run total. In so doing, the Nationals matched a two-game franchise high by scoring 23 runs over their last two contests.

What to Watch for: 7.1.13

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Milwaukee Brewers (32-48) vs. Washington Nationals (41-40)

RHP Yovani Gallardo (6-7, 4.20) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (11-3, 2.28)

The Nationals return home following their largest offensive output of the season on Sunday, when they scored 13 runs to beat the Mets and take the road series in New York. Today, they get Bryce Harper back in the lineup after a 31-game absence, during which Washington went 15-16.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

BRYCE IS BACK

Bryce Harper was reinstated from the Disabled List today. With Harper in the starting lineup this season, Washington has played .581 ball (25-18). In four rehab contests (two with Double-A Harrisburg, two with Single-A Potomac) last week, Harper went 4-for-11 (.364) with three walks, a double, a triple, a homer, five runs scored and three RBI.

JUNE BOON

With three RBI in June’s finale at Citi Field, Ian Desmond set a Nationals (‘05-present) record for RBI in a single month with 28. Desmond bested the former mark of 27, set by Adam Dunn in May of 2009. With his ninth-inning blast, Desmond also established a Nationals (‘05-pres.) record for home runs in June with nine.

RECORD HIGHS

With their 13 runs on Sunday, the Nationals set a season high for scoring, easily besting their previous high of 10, set on April 15 at Miami. Every Nationals starting position player collected at least one hit and at least one RBI in the victory.

Jordan Zimmermann: Star Turn

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The video below is a supplemental bonus feature for the Jordan Zimmermann: Star Turn cover article in Issue 8 of Inside Pitch. For the full story, be sure to pick up a copy this homestand at the the ballpark.

IP8_Zimmermann_Medium

Halfway, Home

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Under gray skies, just across the highway from LaGuardia Airport – from which they would depart shortly after their Sunday series finale – the Washington Nationals obliterated the New York Mets, 13-2, reaching the official halfway point of the season with their 81st game of the 2013 campaign.

The 13 runs marked a season high, easily surpassing the previous high-water mark of 10, which they scored on April 15 at Miami. Four different players mashed home runs, with Adam LaRoche’s massive solo blast opening the scoring and Ian Desmond’s upper deck shot off the glass panels of the club down the left field line at Citi Field capping it. It was a game that reminded the Nationals, their opponent and everyone else in the league just what they are capable of, even if they haven’t shown it as consistently as they’d like through the season’s first half.

Gonzalez's May/June ERA (2.10) is more than a run lower than in his 21-win campaign in 2012 (3.25).

Gonzalez’s May/June ERA (2.10) is more than a run lower than in his 21-win campaign in 2012 (3.25).

Oh, and they get Bryce Harper back today.

Sitting just 10 games (6-4) into a stretch that will see them play 34 of 49 at home, Washington may be finally primed to make the run that seems to elude them after each big victory. They are 22-16 at home this season. They’re 25-19 when Harper plays. In their final 14 games before the All-Star Break, they will draw Milwaukee and San Diego at home, then Philadelphia and Miami on the road. Those opponents are a combined 140-185, all four residing below the .500 mark.

More important than all of that, the team as it has been comprised has won seven of its last 11 games, outscoring opponents 52-39 over that stretch. Desmond, who leads all Major League shortstops in extra-base hits, has six home runs in six different games during that time, the Nationals winning five of them. Plus, he’s coming off of a torrid month of June that saw him hit .306 (30-for-98) with a .988 OPS and 28 RBI, the most ever in a single month by a Nationals player.

Meanwhile, quietly, the pitching is looking more and more like last year, not even considering 11-game winner Jordan Zimmermann. Since May 1, Stephen Strasburg (1.93) and Gio Gonzalez (2.10) have carried the National League’s third and fourth-lowest ERAs. In the 22 games dating back to June 8, the bullpen has saved all seven of its opportunities, going 5-4 with a 2.12 ERA (17 ER/72.1 IP) and 67 strikeouts.

The first half has not gone the way that nearly anyone believed it would. But with the pieces starting to come together, the lineup and bullpen rounding into form, and the team finally running at nearly full strength, the prospects look bright for an exciting second half.

What to Watch for: 6.27.13

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Arizona Diamondbacks (41-36) vs. Washington Nationals (39-38)

LHP Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.28) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (4-6, 2.40) 

After getting another steady performance out of National League wins leader Jordan Zimmermann in last night’s 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks, the Nationals look for their first series sweep since blanking the Chicago White Sox back in April. Stephen Strasburg, whose current batting average against of .208 is a career best, will take the mound for the Nats tonight.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Moore LF

8. Solano C

9. Strasburg RHP

ZIMMERMANN WINS 13TH STRAIGHT D.C. DECISION

Jordan Zimmermann earned the win, his 13th straight positive home decision, as he became the National League’s first 11-game winner. After allowing two D-Backs runs in the first, Jordan’s final 6.0 innings of work included five 1-2-3 frames. With the 3-2 victory, Washington is now an NL-best 15-9 in one-run games.

ST. ANTHONY

In 18 games since being recalled by the Nationals on June 4, Anthony Rendon is 29-for-74 (.392) with three walks, nine doubles, a homer (game-winning blast in the 9th, June 15 at Cleveland) and 10 runs scored. With 35 hits in 99 career at-bats, Rendon has matched a franchise mark for most hits registered within a player’s first 100 major-league at-bats. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rendon has matched Coco Laboy’s franchise mark (35-for-100), which he set with the inaugural-season 1969 Expos. Rendon can claim the record with a hit in his next at-bat.

DOWN ON THE FARM

On Wednesday, Harrisburg right-hander Taylor Jordan was selected to participate in MLB’s 15th Futures Game on Sunday, July 14 at Citi Field. In 15 combined games/14 starts for Double-A Harrisburg and Single-A Potomac this season, Jordan is 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA (10 ER/90.1 IP) thanks to an ability to keep the ball in the yard (one homer allowed this season), a strong strikeout rate (7.2 per 9.0 innings) and a stingy walk rate (1.5 per 9.0 innings).

Leading By Example

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We often look for gregarious personalities in our leaders, people whose voices often capture our attention before anything else. Yet sometimes they’re really just the guys quietly going about their business.

The Nationals have found their leadership lately in the unlikely duo of rookie second baseman Anthony Rendon and pitcher Jordan Zimmermann. They have quietly carried the Nats this season as the likes of Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos recover from injuries.

Consider for a moment the numbers Rendon has posted in his first 26 big-league games. The rookie is sporting a .354 average, even accounting for his eight-game stint in April and May when he batted just .240. He was recalled on June 5, and since June 8he has accumulated 28 hits and a .400 average. That doesn’t just put him among the best of the league’s rookies. He’s batting as well as anyone in the majors in that time frame. No, seriously.

MLB Hit Leaders since 6/8

While Yasiel Puig has gotten all the attention, Anthony Rendon has quietly been among the best hitters in the game since early June.

While Yasiel Puig has gotten all the attention, Anthony Rendon has quietly been among the best hitters in the game since early June.

1. Yasiel Puig (LAD) 29

David Wright (NYM) 29

3. Anthony Rendon (WSH) 28

4. Mike Trout (LAA) 27

5. Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) 26

Jason Kipnis (CLE) 26

7. Brett Gardner (NYY) 25

Manny Machado (BAL) 25

Joe Mauer (MIN) 25

Buster Posey (SFG) 25

Michael Young (PHI) 25

Through his first 25 games, Rendon amassed 32 hits, more than any player to debut with the Nationals since 2005. He then proceeded to go 3-for-4 in last night’s 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks, just missing a home run on a towering shot to left field in his final at-bat.

Zimmermann’s impact has been less unexpected, but perhaps just as unheralded. The righty ace is silently leading the National League with 11 wins (sharing the Major League lead with Detroit’s Max Scherzer), having turned in another stellar outing last night. After giving up two runs on two hits in the first inning, he allowed just one more hit though the seventh inning, giving way to Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano to close out the final two innings.

With Harper set to return as early as Monday, and Ramos expected shortly thereafter, the Nationals are slowly building a winning foundation to build upon when they get those other crucial pieces back.

Highlights: 6.26.13

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6.26.13 – Nationals 3, Diamondbacks 2

Stat of the Game: Jordan Zimmermann won his National League-leading 11th game of the season with seven strong innings.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Anthony Rendon collected three more hits, raising his average to .354 for the season.

It Was Over When: Rafael Soriano stranded a pair of runners in the ninth for his second save in as many nights and 21st on the season.

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