NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the New York Mets during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Stephen Strasburg gave up two runs on four hits, striking out 13 in 6.0 IP. Gio Gonzalez gave up two runs on three hits, striking out five in 6.1 IP. Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore quoted Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche yesterday in an article entitled, "Nationals vs. Red Sox: Gio Gonzalez, Nationals don’t let up", explaining that he's heard the same thing all year from batters who manage to reach first base against the Washington Nationals' starters. "'Guys get down to first,'" the 32-year-old first baseman told the WaPost reporter, "'and say there’s absolutely no break in this rotation. And it can be a miserable feeling.'" It doesn't get much easier against the Nats' no.3.
When Davey Johnson was asked after Saturday afternoon's game about what it must be like for opposing hitters having to face Strasburg and Gonzalez in consecutive starts, the Nats' 69-year-old skipper added that, "It's no picnic tomorrow with [Jordan] Zimmermann, or any of our starters. That's why we are where we're at, because they've done a great job to this point." Zimmermann's coming off a six-inning outing against New York in which the 25-year-old right-hander gave up two runs on five hits in what ended up a 7-6 extra innings win over the Mets. Both runs Zimmermann surrendered that day came on home runs in his final inning of work. He's now allowed four home runs in his last two starts after having allowed five total over his first nine starts this season.
Zimmermann will be pitching in Fenway Park for the first time this afternoon as he makes his 12th start of 2012. He's only faced the Red Sox once before, back in 2010 when the then-23-year-old '07 2nd Round pick held the Sox to one run on five hits in seven innings pitched over which he threw a career-high 109 pitches.
The Nationals and Zimmermann will have to win this one without Bryce Harper, however, who's sitting for the first time since being called up to the majors back on April 28th. Here's today's starting lineup for the series finale with the Sox:
Today's lineup: Espinosa, 2b; Nady, rf; Zim, 3b; Morse, dh; LaRoche, 1b; Desmond, ss; Moore, lf; Flores, c; Bernadina, cf; Zimmermann, p— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 10, 2012