May 28, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) sits in the dugout during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
• Welcome To Marlins Park: The Washington Nationals swept three-straight from the Atlanta Braves this weekend, leaving the Nats 5-1 six games into the current nine-game road trip. The Nationals and Marlins started a three-game set this afternoon in Miami in the Nationals' first visit to the new Marlins Park, after which Washington will return home for six more with NL East opponents, three with the Braves and three with the visiting New York Mets. But first they had to beat the Fish. 26-year-old Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, coming off a 6.0-inning outing against the Phillies last week in which he gave up seven hits, two walks and one earned run in a win in Citizens Bank Park, was making his tenth start of the year today, but his first against Washington's divisional rivals from Florida. Zimmermann took the mound with the score 0-0 in the bottom of the first after the Nats failed to score off Marlins' right-hander Carlos Zambrano. A called strike three with a 95mph 1-2 fastball to Jose Reyes and a pop to second from Omar Infante got Zimmermann the first two outs in the bottom of the inning before Hanley Ramirez singled to right, but a grounder back to the mound off Giancarlo Stanton's bat ended a quick 13-pitch, 12-strike home half of the frame.
0-0 after one...
• Jordan "DIY" Zimmermann: The Nationals went down in order in the second. Jordan Zimmermann got a fly to right and a groundout to second baseman Danny Espinosa before giving up a second two-out single, this one by Marlins' catcher John Buck, who took a 2-1 slider through short. Ryan Zimmerman had a bad hop off the lip of the infield grass shoot by him on a grounder to third by Chris Coghlan, E:5, but the Nats' right-handed starter got the opposing pitcher to ground to second to end a 19-pitch inning in Marlins Park. After his second scoreless frame, Zimmermann picked up his bat and took a 2-2 curve from Carlos Zambrano deep to left field and out of the park! The Nats' right-hander's home run was the first of his career and it comes in his 97th career AB. 1-0 Nationals after two and a half.
• Zim and Zim(n): Ryan Zimmerman had a sharp grounder from Hanley Ramirez bounce off his glove to Ian Desmond at short, but Desmond's throw to first was high and pulled Adam LaRoche of the bag. What was ruled a two-out hit for Ramirez was the Marlins' third two-out hit in three innings, but a groundout to first off Giancarlo Stanton's bat ended Zimmermann's third scoreless frame. The 11-pitch inning had Zimmermann at 43 pitches, up 1-0 after three. Danny Espinosa went first-to-third on a two-out single by Rick Ankiel in the top of the fourth, but a Carlos Maldonado groundout to third ended the top of the inning with the score still 1-0 Nationals.
• Red Grooms vs Zim: Marlins' first baseman Logan Morrison got hold of a 94 mph 2-2 four-seamer from Jordan Zimmermann and sent a screaming liner out to right into the Marlins Park bleachers for LoMo's third home run of 2012 and a 1-1 tie. Zimmermann retired the next three Fish batters in order to keep it 1-1 after four with the Nats' right-handed starter at 58 pitches, 45 of them strikes. Steve Lombardozzi (2 for 3) and Bryce Harper (1 for 3) hit back-to-back line drive singles to center in the top of the fifth, and Ryan Zimmerman (1 for 3) crushed a 2-2 slider in the next at bat, sending a two-run double to left-center that scored Lombo and Harper to make it 3-1 Nats. (Note: Zimmerman's 9th double of the year was his third in the last four games.)
• Red Grooms Again: After being given another lead to work with, Jordan Zimmermann retired the Marlins in order in a quick 10-pitch bottom of the fifth, after which he was at 68 pitches on the afternoon. Carlos Zambrano needed just seven pitches to set the Nationals down in order in the top of the sixth, but he was up to 95 pitches after the Nationals' half of the frame. Hanley Ramirez was 3 for 3 on the day (and 6 for 13 vs Zimmermann in his career) after he took an 88 mph 2-2 slider to left for a leadoff single in the Marlins' sixth and after Zimmermann left a hanging 3-1 slider up for Giancarlo Stanton to crush it was a 3-3 game in Marlins Park. Just crushed. 11 HR's in May, 12 on the season for the Marlins' slugger. Logan Morrison followed with a double to right for the Marlins' third straight hit and the fourth-straight was a single to left by Bryan Petersen that put runners on first and third with no outs. Zimmermann got John Buck swinging with a filthy 0-2 slider for out no.1, but a sac fly to left by Chris Coghlan was deep enough for Logan Morrison to score from third and make it a 4-3 Marlins' lead after six. Zimmermann's 30-pitch inning has him up to 98 pitches and down a run...
• Zimmermann's Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's, 2 HR, 98 pitches, 75 strikes, 9/2 GO/FO.
• #LomboLobby: Roger "The Shark" Bernadina hit for Zimmermann in top of the seventh, or more accurately, walked in a nine-pitch at bat. Steve Lombardozzi followed with his third hit in four at bats, sending a line-drive single to left on a 2-2 splitter from Carlos Zambrano. It was the last pitch the Marlins' starter would throw as left-hander Dan Jennings replaced Zambrano with two on, no one out and Bryce Harper due up. Harper took a high 2-2 slider to work the count full and lined a full-count pitch to left field where Chris Coghlan made a sliding catch and strong throw in to hold the runners at first and third. Marlins' right-hander Edward Mujica then came on to face Ryan Zimmerman, and got a 6-4-3 inning-ending DP on the first pitch he threw. 4-3 Marlins in the seventh.
• No Rain, But Lightning: Henry "Lightning" Rodriguez took over in the bottom of the inning, giving up a bloop hit to center by Jose Reyes on which the speedy Marlins' infielder took second. Reyes took third on a grounder to third by Omar Infante, waiting until after Ryan Zimmerman threw to first to break for the bag. Hanley Ramirez fouled off a two full count pitches before sending a fly to shallow center on which Jose Reyes tagged up and broke for home, but Rick Ankiel couldn't get it out of his glove after he made the catch, so no play at the plate. 5-3 Marlins after seven. Edward Mujica came back out and threw a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth to keep the two-run lead in tact. Nats' right-hander Ryan Perry threw a quick 11-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth and Marlins' closer Heath Bell came out to pitch the ninth...
• Bell vs The Nats: Rick Ankiel worked the count full in the first at bat of the ninth before chasing a high fastball and missing. Swinging K. One down. Carlos Maldonado K'd swinging a mid-90's 1-2 heater four out no.2, and Corey Brown flies out to center to end it. 5-3 Marlins win. Bell gets the save. Zimmermann the loss.
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph ( - Doghouse's thoughts on the the Red Grooms' HR art piece):
Nationals now 29-19.