It was the game many Washington Nationals fans circled on their calendar before the season began, the day prized prospect Jordan Zimmerman would make his Major League debut as the teams 5th starter.
Maybe now the team can finally get their season started with.The 22 year old pitched six strong innings scattering six hits and only allowed two earned runs, both coming off a mistake pitch in the rain to Matt Diaz which resulted in a two run homer.
Aside from that one gaff, Zimmerman looked better than any Nationals starter had all season. He threw 51/72 pitches for strikes, only walked one batter (while pitching in basically awful conditions and after warming up twice), and his fastball just looked plain nasty.
Rob Dibble densely proclaimed it “The best start to a career he’s ever seen.”
Stupid…but not outrageous. Most importantly Zimmermann showed he could pitch in tough spots and had more than just good stuff. Nats fans need something to get excited about and this should be it. Zimmermann will of course have his troubles but he will also make an impact on this team and barring a meltdown should compete for a top rotation spot next season.
In other news Hanrahan ‘earned’ a save. Although saves are marked by their high pressure situations and pitching at midnight in front of literally only a few dozen fans isn’t really pressure. But it might be what the guy needed. He had some control problems, only throwing 7/15 pitches for strikes, which is a pretty lousy sign. Relief pitchers need to get ahead in the count, they only have a few chances to get batters out and if they’re behind in the count, then they have to be just about perfect to get them out.