|Photo by USA Today|
With about four more starts to go before the All-Star Game on July 16, Jordan Zimmermann’s teammates have little doubt over whether the right-hander deserves to be on the National League roster.
Shortstop Ian Desmond took it even one step further after the Nationals’ 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
“I think he should probably start the game,” Desmond said. “He’s pitched unbelievable all year long, and if I were the manager that’s the horse I’d want.”
“Who else?” said Denard Span when asked if Zimmermann should start for the National League. “I’m not sure what the other starters numbers are. I can think of (Cardinals pitcher) Shelby Miller and a couple other guys, but you know you got to at least put him in the conversation."
“I mean every time he’s gone out there, he’s thrown the ball well, maybe except for once or twice. But other than that he’s gone at least seven innings and had quality starts, so I think his name should be in the conversation.”
Adam LaRoche, who led the Nationals’ offensive effort with three hits and two RBI in Thursday's win, echoed his teammates’ sentiments.
“Oh absolutely. Yeah, no question,” LaRoche said.
“He’s had, I don’t know, maybe two rough outings. Other than that, he’s absolutely dominated. So it’d be good to see him in it, yeah.”
Zimmermann went eight innings strong against the Rockies to earn his tenth win, giving up six hits and one unearned run while striking out nine Rockies’ hitters. Zimmermann is now tied for the National League lead for wins with Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals. The Nats' right-hander is now 6-0 at home with a microscopic 1.06 ERA.
Among National League starters, Zimmermann ranks third in innings pitched (107 2/3), fifth in ERA (2.26), second in WHIP (0.93), and first in complete games (3).
Despite his outstanding numbers, Zimmermann faces tough competition with Wainwright, Clayton Kershaw, Patrick Corbin, Cliff Lee, and New York’s own Matt Harvey all having legitimate claims to start to the All-Star Game.
But with the possibility of his first All-Star selection coming in the near future, is the 27-year-old preoccupied with what would be an incredible accomplishment?
“No, not really,” Zimmermann said. “I'm just trying to take it one game at a time, one day at a time, and hopefully we can get on a winning streak.”
Whether Zimmermann takes the mound at Citi Field to start for the National League on July 16 remains to be seen, but with each masterful performance his case is growing stronger.