|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
Having Jordan Zimmermann on the mound tonight against the Rockies certainly helps the cause. The right-hander is looking to become only the third pitcher in the majors to reach the 10-win mark this season, joining Adam Wainwright and Max Scherzer, but he'll have to put forth a better outing than he did last time in Cleveland when he blew an early 5-0 lead.
Roy Oswalt makes his 2013 debut, having signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies and built his arm back up to shape. There's really no way to know how the 35-year-old will look tonight, given the fact he hasn't appeared in a major-league game since last fall with the Rangers (when he wasn't very good).
I'll be starting the game thread tonight, but then I have to head over to Bethesda for tonight's episode of The Baseball Show, so Chase will take over in-stream. Check back for plenty of updates...
COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 183
Weather: Mostly clear, 78 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
LF Steve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
CF Tyler Colvin
2B D.J. LeMahieu
LF Carlos Gonzalez
RF Michael Cuddyer
3B Nolan Arenado
1B Todd Helton
C Yorvit Torrealba
SS Jonathan Herrera
RHP Roy Oswalt
HP Joe West (cc)
1B Sam Holbrook
2B Andy Fletcher
3B Rob Drake
7:06 p.m. — We are underway as Jordan Zimmermann fires strike one to Tyler Colvin. Beautiful, 75-degree night for baseball as the crowd files in.
7:15 p.m. — Wow, what a first inning for Zimmermann. Yes, he gave up two singles, but get this: He threw 15 pitches in total, all 15 of them strikes. Not sure I've ever seen anybody do that. Obviously his command is on tonight.
7:25 p.m. — Impressive stuff from Roy Oswalt in his first MLB inning of the season. His fastball sat at 92-94 mph and he struck out both Denard Span (albeit on a pitch well outside) and Adam LaRoche. Anthony Rendon with yet another base hit. The kid continues to shine on the big stage. Scoreless after one.
7:27 p.m. — By the way, if you missed it, here's my 1-on-1 TV interview with Bryce Harper from earlier this afternoon on CSN. Bryce talked about how his rehab is going, what he worried about when he visited Dr. James Andrews and how he'll determine when he returns from the DL.
7:32 p.m. — Two innings down and Zimmermann has hit a rough spot. He's only thrown 25 of 28 pitches for strikes. Terrible command from Jordan. I mean, really, THREE balls? Come on!
7:38 p.m. — Ian Desmond with a home run. I think we've seen that before. Not too long ago, either. This one obviously didn't mean as much as last night's, but it gives the Nats a 1-0 lead nonetheless. That's Desmond's 11th homer of the season, only one behind Bryce Harper for the team lead now.
7:45 p.m. — Three innings down, here's Zimmermann's updated pitch count: 38 pitches, 33 strikes. Unreal.
7:55 p.m. — Good stuff from Oswalt, who has looked sharp through his first three innings (aside from the Desmond homer). We really had no idea what to expect from the veteran in this outing, but I have to say he looks like he's still got it. 1-0 Nats after three, and I'm heading up to Bethesda for tonight's Baseball Show on CSN. Chase, here are the keys to the car. Remember to stay under the speed limit!
8:21 p.m. -- The Nats got another run across in the bottom of the fourth with some timely, two-out hitting. LaRoche led off the frame with a single before Werth and Desmond struck out. Lombardozzi was then able to foul off several pitches before joining LaRoche on base with a single. Suzuki batted LaRoche in with a single that barely left the infield. He hit a grounder to the left side that found room between Herrera and Arenado who both dived, but missed. Oswalt has allowed two runs through four with 78 total pitches (54 strikes).
8:29 p.m. -- Another efficient inning of work for Jordan Zimmermann who needed just 14 pitches to get through another frame. He is at 63 through five innings with no signs of slowing down.
8:44 p.m. -- The Nats padded their lead in the fifth with two more runs across. Span started the inning with a double to right-center and Rendon followed with a single. Both runners were knocked home by a LaRoche triple that bounced through the gap in right field. LaRoche is now tied for second on the Nats this season with two triples. Zimmermann will now take over to start the sixth.
8:51 p.m. -- Another quick inning for Zimmermann who is absolutely carving up the Rockies tonight. He has retired 14 straight batters and has thrown only 72 pitches (56 strikes) overall.
9:05 p.m. -- It's now 5-0 Nats after Zimmermann helped his cause with an RBI. Lombardozzi led the inning off with a double and reached third on a wild pitch by Rockies' reliever Adam Ottavino. Zimmermann then hit a long fly ball to center to bring home Lombo and open the game up even more.
9:16 p.m. -- Zimmermann finally made it kind of interesting by allowing two hits, both with two outs, in the top of the seventh. But he then got out of the frame by getting Torrealba to ground out to Zim at third. Jordan has thrown 89 pitches (69) through seven. We'll see if he can go the distance.
9:26 p.m. -- The Nats couldn't get much going in the bottom of the seventh. LaRoche reached with a one-out single, but went nowhere after a Werth strikeout and a Desmond pop up. Werth has a golden sombrero with four strikeouts tonight, by the way.
9:40 p.m. -- Zimmermann finally found himself in some trouble in the eighth inning after walking Josh Rutledge with one out. The next batter, Tyler Colvin, then grounded to Rendon who made a throwing error looking for the forceout at second. Rutledge went to third and was then brought home by a LeMahieu single to center field. No earned runs for Zimmermann, but the 23 pitches he threw probably means that's it for him tonight.
9:49 p.m. -- Nothing going for the Nats in the bottom of the eighth, but Chris Marrero pinch-hit for Zimmermann so it will be Rafael Soriano for the ninth. Still 5-1 Nats.
9:57 p.m. -- 1-2-3 for Soriano as the Nats move to 36-36 on the year. 5-1 your final score.