The Washington Nationals have one of the most dominant starting pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. He just isn’t necessarily the first… or second guy most people would think of. But if Jordan Zimmermann continues to pitch the way he has through the first six weeks of the season, he’s going to have a lot of folks talking about him. His efficient seven innings led the Nats to their fourth win in five game with a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers, before 34,893 at Nationals Park.
Zimmermann (6-1, 1.59) was masterful yet again. The stoic right-hander went seven innings, allowing just one run on seven hits and two walks, striking out seven in the process. Only a couple of high-pitch count innings against a good offensive ballclub early kept him from completing more than the seven innings he did finish.
The Tigers (19-12) broke Zimmermann’s scoreless innings streak at 20, when they scratched out a run against the Nats righty in the third inning. Torii Hunter doubled to left with two outs, and MLB’s RBI leader Miguel Cabrera dumped a single to left to bring Hunter in.
The Nats (18-15) answered back in the bottom of the inning. Denard Span tripled to right field. After Ian Desmond lined out to first, Bryce Harper lofted a fly ball to left that brought Span home safely.
An error by Hunter helped the Nats to their second run. Adam LaRoche (2-for-3, run) led off the fourth with a single to right. After Tyler Moore K’d, Danny Espinosa singled to center, moving LaRoche up one base. Kurt Suzuki flied out to Hunter in right field, but Hunter’s throwing error allowed LaRoche to chug home all the way from second on the play.
Harper clobbered a homer to right, his 10th of the season, in the fifth to extend the Nats lead to 3-1.
Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth inning, despite walking two, and Rafael Soriano threw a perfect ninth for his 11th save of the campaign.
THE GOOD: Jordan Zimmermann. Early nomination for N.L. All-Star team.
THE BAD: Tyler Moore. 0-for-3 with two more strikeouts.
THE UGLY: Ryan Zimmerman. 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Doesn’t quite have his timing back yet.
THE STATS: 8 hits, no walks, 10 Ks. 1-for-5 with RISP, 4 LOB. E: LaRoche (2, fielding). DP: 2.
NEXT GAME: Thursday at 4:05 pm against the Tigers. (Dan Haren (3-3, 5.01) hosts Doug Fister (4-0, 2.48).