Nationals’ rookie Jordan Zimmermann took the mound tonight to try and extend a rare feeling for the club, the feeling of a winning streak.
The young hurler did not disappoint, as for the second consecutive start he excelled, this time pitching five innings, allowing only one earned run, and put the Nats in strong position to win their third game in a row.
Zimmermann left the mound in the sixth inning with the score tied 1-1, putting the game in the hands of the Nationals bullpen. A month ago this would all but be a death sentence for the clubs chances of winning, but for a Nats bullpen that is in the midst of a major turnaround, this was a chance to prove itself.
The bullpen didn’t disappoint. They reformed motley crew combined to pitch 5.1 innings of shut out ball, allowing only two hits and two walks. They did something that a month ago was unthinkable; they gave the Nats offense a chance.
The ninth inning came and went, and still the two clubs were tied. Then the Nats gave the fans in attendance another scoreless inning of free baseball until finally the top of the order came up in the 11th.
Cristian Guzman started it off with a single. Then patience loaded the bases as Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman walked. Then Adam Dunn became a hero for the first time in a Nationals uniform as he singled to right, scoring Guzman and giving the Nationals their third win in a row, 2-1.
Despite the teams great pitching, and clutch hitting, the Nats play left much to be desired Friday night.
Anderson Hernandez, Cristian Guzman, and Adan Dunn all committed errors. It’s not often that a team wins a one run, extra inning game when it commits 3 errors. The Nats got lucky in this department.
The team also didn’t capitalize on little things. They left 5 runners in scoring position, that’s five more runs they could have scored. The team also continues to be too adventurous on the base paths. Willie Harris got caught stealing today, a trend for the Nationals that will hurt them in the long run.