|USA Today Sports Images|
Hitting highlight: Yes, the five-run fourth inning (in which the Nationals sent 10 men to the plate) was mighty impressive. But so, too, was Ian Desmond's solo blast in the bottom of the second. It traveled 448 feet, the longest home run by a Nationals player this season according to ESPN's Hit Tracker. Now the really amazing part: That homer made Desmond 10-for-12 in his career against Lincecum. His 2.166 OPS is the highest for any player who has received at least 12 at-bats against Lincecum in his career. That's not too shabby.
Pitching highlight: This won't go down as Zimmermann's best start of the year by any stretch of the imagination, but it should go down as an impressive effort by the right-hander, who looked to be in serious trouble early but battled back and churned out seven innings of 1-run ball. When he departed the mound in the fourth, Zimmermann had already thrown 82 pitches and didn't appear to have much left in him. But then the Nationals handed him a five-run lead and he responded with three shutdown innings on 30 total pitches. That's what a good pitcher does in that situation, and surprisingly Zimmermann has struggled in those situations in the past. This time, he delivered when he needed to, and because of it he now leads the NL with 14 wins.
Key stat: Since the All-Star break, the Nats are now 10-2 against teams with losing records and 1-11 against teams with winning records.
Up next: The series (and the homestand) concludes with a 4:05 p.m. game on Thursday. Dan Haren looks to continue his midseason surge against right-hander Ryan Vogelsong.