WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 18: Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals throws to a Cincinnati Reds batter during the third inning at Nationals Park on August 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
• Nats Park Top 5:
5. Jordan Zimmermann Appreciation Society: Jordan Zimmermann's got one, maybe two starts left this season after tonight in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery in 2009. Zimmermann's 24th outing of 2011 begins after a thirty-seven minute rain delay, in a dark Nats Park, and it starts with a walk to Cincinnati's leadoff batter Brandon Phillips, who's stranded three outs later when Zimmermann completes a 16-pitch scoreless first. Reds' starter Bronson Arroyo gives up a leadoff walk too, this one to Ian Desmond, but Cincy backstop Ryan Hanigan catches Desmond trying to steal second and one pitch later Rick Ankiel flies to right in front of Ryan Zimmerman, who does the same. 14-pitch first for Arroyo, 0-0 after one. Jordan Zimmermann gives up a two-out double in the second before completing a scoreless frame, but a 24-pitch second has him at 40 pitches after two...
4. Duel: One and two-out singles in the third by Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, respectively, off Jordan Zimmermann stretch the Nats' right-hander out to 14 pitches in the inning but amount to nothing, and Zimmermann's at 54 total through three scoreless frames. Zimmermann's opposite field single in the Nats' third is only the second hit off Arroyo tonight, and two outs later the Nats' starter's stranded at first and headed back to the mound for the top of the fourth. Zimmermann hits Miguel Cairo and gives up a one-out hit-and-run single by the Reds' catcher Ryan Hanigan. Cairo takes third on Hanigan's grounder through second, but a grounder back to the mound off Paul Janish's bat is deflected by Zimmermann to Ian Desmond behind second, who steps on the bag, and throws to first to complete a 1-6-3 inning-ending DP. No score in the fourth. Zimmermann up to 69 pitches.
3. WWJD?: Brandon Phillips drops a bloop single to center in in front of a charging Rick Ankiel, but one out later he's still at first when Jordan Zimmermann gives up a fly to the left field by Joey Votto that Jonny Gomes track into the corner and catches before he collides with the wall. Fearless play by Gomes, who grounds out to short to start the Nats' fifth. Arroyo's rolling but he runs into the Jesus. Jesus Flores crushes a 1-2 sinker up in the zone and sends it sailing out to left field into the visitor's bullpen. GONE! Flores' first HR since May 5, 2009 (off the D-Backs' Yusmeiro Petit) puts the Nats' up by 1-0 after five innings in Nats Park.
2. Fireworks Rescue: Jordan Zimmermann's issues a two-out walk to Drew Stubbs and gives up a single to Ryan Hanigan that puts runners on the corners with two down and ends Zimmermann's night after 5.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER (so far), 2 BB, 1K, 102 pitches, 64 strikes, 6/6 GO/FO. Ryan Mattheus throws a 93 mph 2-2 fastball by Paul Janish inside for a swinging K, two-stranded and 0 ER on the Nats' starter. 1-0 Nats after five and a half. Michael Morse takes a two-out walk in the Nats' sixth, and two batters later after Werth and Espinosa follow with singles, Jonny Gomes drives two runs in with a line drive to left. Morse scores easily and Werth beats a throw home by Dave Sappelt. 3-0 Nats after six innings.
1. E6, WP, PB: Ryan Mattheus is pulled from the game after attempting a few warm-up pitches before the top of the seventh, (shoulder tightness, day-to-day), so Henry Rodriguez has to get warm in a hurry. The Nats' flamethrowing right-hander gets a grounder to short off Fred Lewis' bat, but Desmond rushes and comes up empty worrying about the speedy pinch hitter. A wild pitch by Rodriguez and a passed ball that goes off Jesus Flores' mitt to the backstop move Lewis to third and he scores on an RBI groundout by Brandon Phillips, but Rodriguez gets serious and strikes Dave Sappelt and Joey Votto out on six pitches, three each, to end the Reds' seventh with the score 3-1 Nats.
0. Lightning to Clipp To Storen: The Nats load the bases with one down in the seventh on three walks by three different Reds' pitchers, but Michael Morse steps in against Cincinnati right-hander Nick Masset and sends the first pitch he sees out to Paul Janish at short, Brandon Phillips at second and on to Votto at first for the rally-and-inning-ending DP. Still 3-1 Nats. Tyler Clippard sets the Reds down in order in the seventh, striking out Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs around a pop-out to second by Miguel Cairo.
-1. STOREN WARNING: The Nats fail to score in the bottom of the frame, so Drew Storen's out trying to protect a two-run lead. Ryan Hanigan fights for a single in a seven-pitch at bat. Pinch hitter Yonder Alonso takes a 1-2 slider for a called strike three. Ramon Hernandez flies to deep left, but defensive replacement Brian Bixler makes a diving play on the track. Two down. Brandon Phillips goes down 1-2, but shoots a two-out single by first. 2 on, 2 out. Dave Sappelt pops out to short left to end it. Desmond with the catch. Storen with save no. 33. Nats win, 3-1 final.
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• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON.
Nationals now 59-63.