April 21, 2021

Washington Nationals Game 57 Review: Zimmermann pounded in 6-3 loss

Jordan Zimmermann had an uncharacteristically poor outing and the Washington Nationals fell to the Chicago Cubs 6-3, losing three of four to the Cubs at home over the weekend and eight of their last 10 games.

Zimmermann allowed four earned runs on a whopping 10 hits and two walks over five innings, striking out three. The Cubs two, three, five six and seven hitters all had multi-hit games while their cleanup hitter, Miguel Montero, walked twice.

The Cubs broke out first in the second inning. With one out, Chris Coghlan doubled, then came home on Starlin Castro’s single to left.

Washington (30-27) answered in the bottom half. Wilson Ramos reached on an error by Castro on a routine grounder, then Ian Desmond launched his fifth home run of the season on a 2-0 count.

Chicago tied it in the fourth. With one down, Chris Denorfia singled and went to second on Kyle Hendricks’ ground out. Denorfia scored on Jonathan Herrera’s single to right. It appeared Bryce Harper’s throw home beat Denorfia, but Ramos was late with the tag after a good slide by Denorfia.

The Cubs (30-25) got two more off Zimmermann in the fifth. Anthony Rizzo led off with a single and went to third on Kris Bryant’s double. Miguel Montero drew a four-pitch walk, and Coghlan singled to plate two. Zimmermann was able to escape without further damage, but put himself in a 4-2 hole.

Three consecutive one-out singles by Clint Robinson, Denard Span and Yunel Escobar in the bottom of the fifth cut the deficit to one. But Harper and Anthony Rendon both made outs to kill the rally.

Blake Treinen took over in the sixth, but provided no relief. He got the first two batter, but then Rizzo doubled and Bryant and Montero walked. With Coghlan batting, Treinen choked off a slider and bounced past Ramos to allow a run. They then walked Coghlan intentionally, but the move backfired as Castro singled to left to plate another run. Michael Taylor made a good throw to nab Montero at the plate to end the inning.

In the seventh, the Nats put two on with two outs for Harper after Dan Uggla came through with a pinch-hit single and Escobar’s third hit of the day, but Harper’s towering pop-up to left was pulled in by Coghlan for the final out of the inning.

HERO: Yunel Escobar was 3 for 4 in his return to the lineup after missing a couple of games with a sore wrist.

GOAT: As hittable as Jordan Zimmermann was, it has to go to Blake Treinen. The Nats were down when he entered, but it’s his job to keep it where it was. He got two outs, then lost the plate. He has talent, but still hasn’t learned the difference between control and command. Until he does, his inconsistency in the Nats bullpen will continue to everyone’s detriment.

NATS NOTES:

  • Blake Treinen was issued a wild pitch to allow a run in the sixth. Wilson Ramos tried to backhand the ball instead of blocking it with his body. On the replay, it appear the ball hit the foot of batter Chris Coghlan, and the ball popped past Ramos. A difficult play to be sure, but Ramos has a better chance of blocking it with his body regardless of what happened instead of trying to make the clean one-hand pick.
  • Ryan Zimmerman got a day off to rest his plantar fasciitis in the midst of an 8 for 59 skid.
  • Kris Bryant lined one down the right field line in the eighth off Casey Janssen. Bryce Harper went into the corner to make the play, but a combination of the sun and impending contact with the wall allowed the ball to fall safely. Harper took his time making the throw, and Bryant ended up at third with a triple.

NEXT GAME: Tuesday in New York against the Yankees. Max Scherzer (6-4, 1.85) faces Masahiro Tanaka (3-1, 2.76).

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

%d bloggers like this: