USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Zimmermann shut out the Reds in his second complete game of the season.
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.