Friday, April 26, 2013

Instant analysis: Nats 1, Reds 0

USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Zimmermann shut out the Reds in his second complete game of the season.
Game in a nutshell: Who needs offense when you can pitch like this? The Nationals fell back into their slumping ways at the plate, but it didn't matter with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound. The right-hander completely overwhelmed the Reds lineup, tossing a complete-game, 1-hit shutout in one of the most dominant performances of his life and in Nationals history. Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth combined to produce the only run of the night, with Harper tripling and Werth singling off Homer Bailey in the bottom of the fourth. Zimmermann took over from there, carving up the Cincinnati lineup on only 91 pitches. In the process, he notched the first shutout of his career and his second complete-game victory this month. Winners of two in a row after dropping four in a row, the Nationals (12-11) are back over .500.

Hitting highlight: The way Zimmermann was pitching, the Nationals didn't need much offense. Good thing, because they didn't get much. The one big hit of the game led to their one and only run, courtesy they're best hitter through the season's first four weeks: Harper. Despite falling behind 0-2 in the count in the bottom of the fourth, the 20-year-old battled his way back to a full count, then roped Bailey's 3-2 fastball into the right-field corner for a triple. That gives Harper 14 extra-base hits in 22 games played this season, a hefty rate indeed. The Nats managed to take advantage of that one-out three-bagger, with Werth delivering an RBI single past a drawn-in Reds infield, bringing Harper home with what proved to be the only run scored all night.

Pitching highlight: What can you say about Zimmermann? He was absolutely brilliant, both dominant and efficient. He retired the side in six of his nine innings using 10 or fewer pitches. He dialed it up to 96 mph to strike out Joey Votto. He broke out an 86 mph slider to strike out Jack Hannahan with a man on and two out in the eighth. He shook off a comebacker off his left arm to retire the next batter he faced on the very next pitch. He was everything you could possibly want a starting pitcher to be, against a formidable Cincinnati lineup, nonetheless. Zimmermann is now 4-1 on the young season, with a pair of complete-game victories, and he's truly establishing himself as the most reliable starter on the Nationals staff.

Key stat: The last time the Reds were held to one hit in consecutive games: July 5-6, 1900, vs. Brooklyn.

Up next: Game 3 of this four-game series will see Dan Haren looking to continue his upward trend and avenge his disastrous season debut against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Right-hander Mike Leake starts for Cincinnati in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. game, which will be televised on Fox.

86 comments:

peric said...

Damn Rizzo should have moved heaven and earth to extend JZimmnn this past offseason!

waddu eye no said...

good lord!

gyfng!!!

Joe Seamhead said...

At the park. No voice left. Relax! We got this.

peric said...

Detwiler and Zim the two reliable starters. Homegrown is the way to go.

alexva said...

you won't see a better pitchers duel than that

sorry Homer

Steady Eddie said...

Peric -- It takes two to tango. Every reason to think JZimm wanted to show off his stuff in another season before signing the contract that was going to define the core of his career. Can't fault him for that, but it makes Rizzo's (or anyone in that position) room for maneuver vanishingly small.

peric said...

I have to say that was the best pitching performance in Nationals history!

And he can only get better ... and he really is "the horse" nothing seems to faze the guy injury whatever.

This is why I was hoping against hope that Rizzo would extend and sign him long-term. They need this guy.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JZim receives 1 run in support in his last 2 games. Tonight all he needed was the 1.

I have to say that was the best pitching performance in Nationals history! I am in awe of what I have seen the last 3 nights because as I said 2 days ago I thought Stephen Strasburg was amazing other than that 1st inning hiccup.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, I posted again and thanks for quoting me.

peric said...

Can't fault him for that, but it makes Rizzo's (or anyone in that position) room for maneuver vanishingly small.

If you take the risk on guys like Haren, LaRoche, Werth, and last season, Jackson ... you should definitely take the big plunge for JZimmnn ...

... and that may not be Rizzo it might be ownership. This would be their call. Right now they are probably kicking themselves.

Steady Eddie said...

The stuff our guys have brought the past two nights is what we'll need to catch and pass the Barves(who are losing to the Tigers 10-0). Our old nemesis Anibal Sanchez as just punched out a Tigers record 17 batters in 8 innings (120 pitches, so he's done).

peric said...

Oh and the other "Zimmerman"

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Stras-Gio-JZim-Det

These guys are bringing it.

peric said...

That's really the Braves only weakness and the Nat's huge advantage: starting pitching. The offense (other than Harper) will not be good this season ... Davey is going to favor LaRoche because he asked for him ... Werth and other declining veterans over the young players.

It'll cost him another year at the helm but its his choic.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady Eddie, I really think Stras had "no hit" stuff on Wednesday and was very unlucky. Okay, there were 3 hard hit balls all game but he gave up no runs after the 1st inning.

Gio was the best he has been his tenure in DC.

JZim put in the best performance in Nationals history. Next best game I saw was EJax last year vs the Reds where he gave up 1 run in the first and I think no hit them after that. Pedro Astacio was close to a no hitter but the performance overall wasn't as crisp.

Doc said...

I like Mark's stat about the Reds that said that it has been 113 years since they were 1-hit two games in a row. That was before the ball was made 'hitter friendly'. Even more impressive for Nats' pitchers, Gio and RZim.

The Reds' broadcasters first had it only back to 1984, and then corrected it towards the end of the game.

Cross your fingers, sports'fans---Haren is pitching tomorrow, and it would be nice if the 1 hitter rule continued, but me thinks not.

RZim had no-hit stuff all the way through!!!!

Theophilus T. S. said...

91 pitches -- I'm not sure it's possible to pitch a better game. (Unfortunately it's reminiscent of the game Jackson pitched early last year which had me convinced the Nats had really found something good. I don't wanna go there, really.)

peric said...

Ryan Perry pitched well tonight. He and Rosenbaum are looking pretty good ... plus Nate Karns in Harrisburg. The Nats do have starting depth in the minors.

MicheleS said...

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO! JORDAN!

Gonat said...

I was at the Ramos rehab and watching on my computer with my buddies Slingshot program.

Got to listen to the last few innings with Charlie and Dave.

Brilliant performance!

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
WOOOOOO HOOOOOO! JORDAN!

April 26, 2013 9:38 PM
___________________________

There's Michele!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc, RZim or JZim?

I will be watching this game again.

Who thinks Span was playing a few steps deeper tonight with JZim as a contact pitcher? Span played his one ball he had to go back to the wall on very nicely.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I can't remember the batter but he threw a high slider to K a batter which was an awesome pitch.

Doc said...

Correctomundo, Ghost! JZim it is!

The game was Zimmming by me!!!

natsfan1a said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Was I supposed to untuck? Because I was so enthralled by the game that I neglected to do so. Also, I would have posted sooner, but I was trapped in the basement baseball viewing lair with a snuggly kitty in my lap.

Secret wasian man said...

Reds with 2 hits in 2 nights. Lets go 3 for 3

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

natsfan1a, thanks for reminding me. I partial tucked. Just untucked!

Steady Eddie said...

Ghost --- agree that the core four starters are back, and the pen is mostly back (well, with the starters, back enough) for the team to have some confidence being in this toughest part of our schedule. These guys implicitly egg each other on by their performances, and I have no doubt that they'll all feed on each others' competitive examples. (And Haren just needs to keep the damn ball down and make it through the sixth.).

Very cool and relaxed jazz playing in the Nats' clubhouse -- this team's tude is back.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The Barfs were blanked 10-0. All those people thinking Maholm was going to be consistently good all year, nuh uh.

peric said...

Reds with 2 hits in 2 nights. Lets go 3 for 3

Haren? I think you're pushing it. But Det versus the Reds on Sunday? He'll want to keep up with Gio and JZimmnn just like last season.

3 out of 4 would be good enough before the Braves series. They'll probably be sold out or close to sold out all four games.

natsfan1a said...

Julie was a good sport about the Gatorade. She's 2 for 2. :-)

Steady Eddie said...

Also -- so much for that silly WaPo story about the Friday night "curse". Leave it to JZimm and the feenom to put that one to rest.

MLB tonight is properly calling it the best pitchingperformanceof the night, and interviewing the Bulldog now.

JaneB said...

Oh, Jordan Jordan Jordan! You da man!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I said 5-2 so I was not as goodas last night.

I woul love to see Haren do well tomorrow.

timeless46 said...

Here's to Julie going 3 for 3. Admittedly, I am an optimist, but I' betting tomorrow will be Haren's best start of the year.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Was Dan Haren taking notes? Haren has become a contact pitcher and if the defense (one misplay) plays great behind him I think Dan will show us a really good performance.

peric said...

I said 5-2 so I was not as goodas last night.

I think that would be like asking for Adam LaRoche to finish April strong. I don't think it'll happen unfortunately.

peric said...

This is not an offense that can come back from behind as did last year's on more than one occasion. Haren isn't a good pitcher to have with that kind of offense.

Candide said...

We got a couple of nice day-of-game tickets. Cunegonde kept score the whole game (I helped her with the few difficult things - pinch runner, pinch hitter for Bailey...) and we were amazed to see hundreds of people leaving the park at the end of the 8th. Probably the greatest-pitched game you've ever seen, still desperately close at the end of 8, and you're leaving??? What is WRONG with you people???

/rant

Julie Alexandria was wearing banana-yellow shoes with 8-inch spike heels. No wonder she got the brunt of the Gatorade shower - she couldn't move with her heels dug 3" into the turf.

Great evening at the park. Even that bum Espinosa got a hit.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc said...
Correctomundo, Ghost! JZim it is!

The game was Zimmming by me!!!

April 26, 2013 9:50 PM


I remember in 2009 when JZim was looking so great as a Rookie that RZim said in an interview about himself that he was "the other Zimmerman".

On July 31st last year, Sports Illustrated added JZIm to their Cy Young watch list but by mid-August Jordan had a couple mediocre outings and fell off.

I fell in love with this kid in Viera in 2009. He has been in Strasburg's shadow ever since and who knows, maybe that's a good thing.

natsfan1a said...

I think you owe Cunegonde, Candide. She picked a good night to go to a ballgame. :-) I don't get people leaving early, either.

peric said...

I fell in love with this kid in Viera in 2009. He has been in Strasburg's shadow ever since and who knows, maybe that's a good thing.

Probably is ... of course Stras wouldn't mind being in JZimmnn's shadow. The only guy who truly likes the front and center is Gio.

I think that USO tour did wonders for Det and Stammen. Kind of gave them a true notion of what the real world is like ... maybe they tend now to take things less seriously and are grateful, humbled while relaxed and having fun as they pitch in their games.

Rizzo seems to be good at picking and paying players who are in the decline ... he's better with young talent it seems. He did sign Matt Stares. I refuse to think that way about 28 year old RZim as I still firmly believe he has the best bat in the organization. And yes I am watching Harper.

NCNatsie said...

For years, I've read and heard smart baseball players aver that players are at their best in their contract year.

So maybe we don't get this game if Jordan's contract had been extended last year. Maybe it's a case of Rizzo going all out to win the big magilla in '13, no matter how much it costs in terms of the future.

peric said...

Probably the greatest-pitched game you've ever seen, still desperately close at the end of 8, and you're leaving??? What is WRONG with you people???

That won't happen in Atlanta. Just ask dargregmag.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Candide, people leave before the 7th inning stretch. Those are the people who take their photos for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, IMs, to let everyone know where they are at. They arrive late and leave early.

All hot teams have those types of fans except probably StL.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NCNatsie, not to worry, JZim actually has 2 years beyond this year under team control.

peric said...

So maybe we don't get this game if Jordan's contract had been extended last year.

That IS NOT Jordan Zimmerman. There is a good reason why Rizzo fought Bowden and his cronies to draft him in the 2nd round. Rizzo knew this guy was what he wanted. And it has less to do with his physical skills as it does with his attitude.

Sorry NCNatsie you might be able to say that about just about any other player but NOT this guy.

Doc said...

Ghost, now if Haren can trade places with ALR and become the 'contact pitcher' and ALR can become the 'contact hitter' we'll be all set for a 10 game run.

Glad to hear about Maholm and the Braveless. The Braves are a good team, but their SP's including Maholm are over-rated.

I gotta check out that 10-0 score!!! Yippee

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

All hot teams have those types of fans except probably StL.

Nor Miami. They leave right after they buy their tickets, there.

Nick said...

According to Bill James Game Score, the only better Nats-pitched game since 2005 was Patterson's shutout vs. LA on August 4, 2005. 13 Ks, 4 H, 116 pitches. Pedro Astacio pitched an 89-pitch, 5 K game in 2006 that matched J-Zim's score.

Patterson 8-4-05: 92
Zimmermann 4-26-13: 88
Astacio 8-15-06: 88

One of the best pitched games in Nationals history, to be sure.

Doc said...

Ghost, P.S. on Zimmming with JZim.

JZIM is A BULLDOG!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND ALSO THE BULLDOG OF THE STAFF!!!!!!!!!!!

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

Ghost, now if Haren can trade places with ALR and become the 'contact pitcher' and ALR can become the 'contact hitter' we'll be all set for a 10 game run.

Great strategy, Doc, I want to borrow it. "McCatty's 'Bat to contact' school."

Whynat said...

There's more than one way to be a fan.

Jordan reminded me of Seaver

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc, that's a great idea!

I liked Maholm but I also said he would hit that big bump in the road and he hit a pothole tonight and lost a tire! He just wasn't as good as that 0 ERA he had.

He is a mid-3.50 ERA type of guy and maybe slightly better as his career shows and using trends he has been on a line of improvement.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc said...
Ghost, P.S. on Zimmming with JZim.

JZIM is A BULLDOG!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND ALSO THE BULLDOG OF THE STAFF!!!!!!!!!!!

April 26, 2013 10:25 PM


I think that's Davey's nickname for him. It's a good one. Of course RZim calls him that and RZim has that cute bulldog as a pet so I think he means that in a loving way.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Nick said...
According to Bill James Game Score, the only better Nats-pitched game since 2005 was Patterson's shutout vs. LA on August 4, 2005. 13 Ks, 4 H, 116 pitches. Pedro Astacio pitched an 89-pitch, 5 K game in 2006 that matched J-Zim's score.

Patterson 8-4-05: 92
Zimmermann 4-26-13: 88
Astacio 8-15-06: 88

One of the best pitched games in Nationals history, to be sure.

April 26, 2013 10:24 PM


Patterson the Texan was an Ace to be. Such a shame but I believe an out is an out and like McCatty says "Strikeouts are Bullsh!t"!

Patterson gives up 4 hits and Bill James gives him extra credit for K's. Patterson's was more exciting I would agree but this game was mastery.

Candide said...

natsfan1a said...I don't get people leaving early, either.

And it was FRIDAY NIGHT!!! What, y'all have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow to go to work?

Only people I could excuse would be the hothothot 20-something ladies wearing sleeveless blouses and miniskirts a few rows away from us, but you have to wonder what the hell they were thinking (assuming any thought processes at all were at work in their heads), beyond, "Don't I look hothothot like this?"

I hear L.A. is the worst for early departures, which is just one more on a long list of reasons I daily give thanks I don't live in California.

Alphabet Soup Erik said...

Zimmermann looking a lot like Matt Cain. Bad luck early in career and tables really turned for him. Great game!!!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Speaking of JZim and JPat, who did they both face in those great games:

César Izturis

I would say those Dodgers that JPat beat weren't as good as this Reds team. Just sayin'.

peric said...

LaRoche may be on the verge of an Adam Dunn ChiSox - like decline. He ought to be batting eight at this point.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Peric, I don't see it with ALR. I think his back is barking and he needs a rest for more than a day.

peric said...

Only people I could excuse would be the hothothot 20-something ladies wearing sleeveless blouses and miniskirts a few rows away from us, but you have to wonder what the hell they were thinking (assuming any thought processes at all were at work in their heads), beyond, "Don't I look hothothot like this?"

I would hazard wealthy, young major league baseball players:
two words: Tyler Moore.

Gonat said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Speaking of JZim and JPat, who did they both face in those great games:

César Izturis

April 26, 2013 10:43 PM
________________________________

That's some cool trivia and 8 years apart! I am going to Tweet that and take all the credit! ;)

peric said...

LaRoche is almost a sure GIDP batting 5th. Either way he needs to be hitting in front of the pitcher if they won't send him to the DL. If they don't send him to the DL, like Harper, Werth (remember last season? Harper's slump? Remember how everyone wanted to send him to AAA? And I was telling them that was all a part of the process to be patient?) they will just keep throwing LaRoche out there no matter what when he really should be doing that with Anthony Rendon and Tyler Moore. Just as with Harper last season.

peric said...

Right now LaRoche looks like Pudge in his final season toward the end of the year ... and I believe Pudge was in better shape physically but even though he didn't strike out he did ground into those DP's.

peric said...

Hmm when I looked no one had added "getting Pattersoned" to that list on the NIDO site.

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

It's there. Line 16 in the glossary worksheet.

EmDash said...

It's somewhat appropriate that, on the night of the best performance of his career, Jordan Zimmermann may be overshadowed by Anibal Sanchez's 17 strikeouts against the Braves. Pretty good representation of his under-the-radar career to date.

Gonat said...

peric said...
Right now LaRoche looks like Pudge in his final season toward the end of the year ... and I believe Pudge was in better shape physically but even though he didn't strike out he did ground into those DP's.

April 26, 2013 10:57 PM
_________________________________

Please say it ain't so. He started in a slump and then got a little hot and now is looking so overmatched he's hurting the team. Plus his defense isn't where it should be.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

EmDash, again, it's the fascination with the strikeouts and 17 is a Tigers record. JZim gave up weak contact almost the entire night and I'm positive he could have struck out more if that was his goal but his goal is to get quick outs and pitch to weak contact. He struck out a few and in the end threw a 1 hitter.

Anibal had a great night without a doubt. I didn't see him pitch and I'm partial so I say JZim for sure had the better night!

peric said...

I'm positive he could have struck out more if that was his goal but his goal is to get quick outs and pitch to weak contact.

Definitely. He was pushing the 97 mph envelope again.

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

Bulldogs don't nibble.

skidge said...

Going to my first game of the year tomorrow! Sending good thoughts to Haren. And I won't leave early...

NatsJack in Florida said...

Skidge......look me up near the scoreboard pavillion area before the game.

Scott Margenau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsLady said...

It was great! When JZ came up to bat in the bottom of the 8th with Espy on 1st and 1 run lead--a moment that could NOT happen with the DH--he got a standing O.

Big ALR fan here, supporter of the signing. He doesn't look good.

Lombo has no arm, but he did fine other than that, made a good catch on the foul ball. Davey is between a rock and a hard place for 3B. Either Rendon and risk mistakes, Lombo with his weak arm, or Tracy who is slow as molasses. We need RZ back and we need him at 3B. Tyler Moore can handle 1B, or if necessary put ALR on the DL and bring up Marrero (or Owings).

Scott Margenau said...

I like Julie, she seems very affable and speaks well. Def super cute too. Hmmmm

A lot of people go to nats games and wiz games as a "warm up" for a night out...so they bail to get to their dinners/clubs etc. it happens. The hard cores will take over later in the season as we make our move. Last year was unreal, I was there for the clinch. Great times....

NatsLady said...

peric, I don't agree. Davey can see what we see, and he is not going to let ALR get in the way of winning games. I bet we see Tyler Moore in there tomorrow, and maybe even Rendon and Solano so he can use the first team for Detwiler on Sunday. I could almost feel sorry for Haren if that happens...

Scott Margenau said...

Lombo isn't desi espi cannon arm but he throws fine....it's new to him and he did a great job thurs. Lomo is a gamer and if we win anything he and Moore will be vital.

Section 222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
Big ALR fan here, supporter of the signing. He doesn't look good.


I don't buy the "slow start" stuff. I think he's hurt. Get him well and he will contribute. LaRoche has been too consistent over his career to be this bad so I'm not buying Peric's decline of ability theory.

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

The guy won the silver slugger last season--that doesn't fall off the table on its own for no reason--and being six months older is not a reason.

Eric said...

Incredible game to catch live. I'm usually very loosey-goosey when I'm at the park, but around the 7th inning, I started to get stressed out. But, Zinn was just unspeakably amazing. What an incredible outing to behold. Additionally, we were in right-center, exactly inline with the spot where Harper's helmet came off during his triple. That, too, was fantastic to witness live!

"The last time the Reds were held to one hit in consecutive games: July 5-6, 1900, vs. Brooklyn."

DAMN! Zimmermann is quickly becoming my favorite National ;).

natsfan1a said...

Indeed.

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

Bulldogs don't nibble.
April 26, 2013 11:29 PM

John Anthony said...

GREAT POST ! ...

Post a Comment