It was a Sunday that made the Curly W fans remember why they love this game. The sun was shining, the bats were cracking, and the future was on the mound. Eight runs crossed home before the sixth inning, and the Nationals pulled out their fourth victory of the season over the Mets yesterday afternoon, 8-1.
Jordan Zimmermann did something that no one else in the majors has been able to do yet this season, shut up the Mets powerful offense. It’s a line-up that going into this series boasted six above .300 hitters. It hosts Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo, who are currently batting number one and two in the national league, respectively. It has the fastest man in baseball, Jose Reyes, and a perennial MVP candidate, David Wright. But it didn’t have an answer for Zimmermann.
In only his second career start the 22-year-old looked like the staffs ace. His fastball was painting the corners and his curveball made some of the Mets veteran hitters look bad. Through 5.1 innings pitched the righty scattered six hits and only allowed one earned run. In fact, if it weren’t for Brian Gorman’s microscopic strike zone for the youngster, we may have seen him pitch into the seventh.
Jay-Z still remains imperfect of course. He walked the first batter of the game, Jose Reyes, which is an immediate recipe for disaster. From 2006-2008 the shortstop has scored an average 118 runs, and stole an average of 66 bases on top of the Mets line up. It’s the lynchpin in which the entire clubs line up is built around, Reyes gets on base, and he runs as fast as he can, good luck defense. This gaff of course led to the Mets only run following an event as rare as aurora borealis, a Carlos Delgado triple.
Zimmermann’s control continued to falter. Gorman’s strikezone seemed purposefully small, as if to teach the young stud a lesson of humility, but that wasn’t the reason he only threw 62 strikes out of 103 pitches. Whether or not he would have been in position to throw those balls had those missed corner calls gone the right way is unclear, but the young gun is just going to have to get that much better.
Save us Jesus
One truth has been held evident in Washington since 2007, when Jesus Flores hits, the Nationals play winning baseball. The 24-year-old catcher is arguably one of the more underrated younger catchers in the game. As we can see with him gunning down several runners this series, he can field his position, but he also has the bat few catchers’ posses.
On Sunday he put the Nats on his back, going ¾ with a homer, three RBI, two runs and a walk. This made him 5/8 on the series with two bombs. Flores is now bating .327/.393/.490 on the year, and perhaps his hot streak can infuse the team to earn a few more wins.
We will look more into Flores in a post later today.