WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19: Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on September 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
• Zimmermann vs LA: Before he made his 30th start of 2012 in game one of two today, Jordan Zimmermann hadn't faced the Los Angeles Dodgers since May 7, 2009 when the then-22-year-old '08 2nd Round pick pitched in Dodgers Stadium in the fourth start of his major league career. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are the only Dodgers who were in the lineup then that were again this afternoon in the nation's capital. Zimmermann walked Orlando Hudson with one down in the first in front of Andre Ethier that day in 2009, only to have the LA outfielder single and eventually score on a grand slam by Matt Kemp that got the Dodgers out to a 4-0 lead in what ended up an 11-9 Nats' win. Zimmermann walked Mark Ellis in front of Ethier in the top of the first today, but got a 4-6-3 DP out of the Dodgers' right fielder and a swinging K out of Matt Kemp with an 0-2 heater that ended a 16-pitch frame.
With two down in the Nats' first, Ryan Zimmerman singled off Aaron Harang on a 3-2 fastball from LA's 6'7'' right-hander, but Adam LaRoche flew out to left to end a 20-pitch first by the 34-year-old, 11-year veteran.
• Small Axe: Adrian Gonzalez clobbered a first-pitch fastball from Zimmermann for a leadoff double (no.45) to start the Dodgers' second. A broken-bat groundout by Hanley Ramirez moved Gonzalez up 90 ft to third. Shane Victorino took a one-out walk to put runners on the corners for LA 3B Luis Cruz, but the infielder popped up behind home for out no.2 before Zimmermann hit catcher A.J. Ellis with a 1-2 fastball to load the bases for Aaron Harang, who rolled into a force at second to end a 21-pitch inning by the Nats' right-handed starter. Michael Morse sent a low liner back up the middle on a 1-1 slider from the Dodgers' starter. One out later, Danny Espinosa sent Morse from first-to-third™ with a bloop single to right and Kurt Suzuki brought him in with a sac fly for a 1-0 Nationals' lead.
• Zim's 32nd Double: Jordan Zimmermann got Mark Ellis looking with a 2-2 fastball on the eighth pitch of the Dodgers' infielder's leadoff at bat in the third. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp hit back-to-back one-out singles to left, Ethier on an 0-2 fastball and Kemp on a 2-0 slider. Zimmermann dropped an 0-2 backdoor bender in on Adrian Gonzalez for out no.2 and K no.3 of the afternoon, but a bloop single to right by Hanley Ramirez brought the tying run around in the form of Andre Ethier. A 24-pitch 3rd has Zimmermann at 61 pitches overall. Ryan Zimmerman was 2 for 2 today after he doubled to right with two down for his 32nd two-base hit of 2012. Adam LaRoche was walked intentionally in front of Michael Morse and Harang got the Nats' slugger looking to end the third. Still 1-1.
• Zimmermann Working: Bryce Harper sprinted in to catch a pop to center by LA catcher A.J. Ellis after Luis Cruz doubled to left-center to start the Dodgers' fourth. Cruz moved up on a groundout to second by Aaron Harang but was stranded there when Mark Ellis popped to center to end a 15-pitch frame with Zimmermann at 76 pitches overall after 4.0 IP. Still tied at 1-1. Danny Espinosa was 2 for 2 today after he bunted his way on with one down in the Nats' fourth. Kurt Suzuki moved Espinosa up with a single through short in the next at bat. Jordan Zimmermann successfully bunted both runners over, but Jayson Werth flew to right to end the fourth. 1-1 in D.C.
• #RUNHARP!!!: Danny Espinosa showed off his range, sprinted to his left for a grounder by Ethier and made a sliding stop and a spinning throw to first for out no.1 of the fifth. Ryan Zimmerman dove on a sharp grounder to third by Matt Kemp and threw to first for out no.2 and Jordan Zimmermann popped Adrian Gonzalez up to end a 14-pitch frame at 90 pitches total. Still 1-1 in D.C. Bryce Harper was thinking triple out of the box when he lined to right-center and all the way to the wall to start the Nationals' fifth. Harper scored, after tripling for the 8th time this season, when Ryan Zimmerman drove him in with a groundout to the right side. 2-1 Nationals after five.
• Moar Harp wreck-chords:
Bryce Harper now has 49 extra-base hits this season, the most for any teenager in a single season in MLB history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 19, 2012
• Two N's, 1 ER: Jordan Zimmermann started the 6th at 90 pitches total. The Nats' right-hander's 93rd pitch was a 93 mph four-seamer that he threw by Hanley Ramirez for a swinging K. Danny Espinosa ranged to his right and picked a sharp one-hop grounder off Shane Victorino's bat before spinning and throwing the speedy Dodgers' outfielder out at first. Luis Cruz doubled to left-center for the second time today with two down in the Dodgers' sixth, but was stranded there when A.J. Ellis flew to right to end a 16-pitch inning by Zimmermann.
• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 106 P, 76 S, 7/4 GO/FO.
• Desi Double: Ian Desmond doubled to left on the first pitch of the sixth from Dodgers' right-hander Shawn Tolleson. One unproductive out later Kurt Suzuki hit a bloop single to center to put runners on the corners for the Shark. When Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly turned to a lefty Paco Rodriguez, Davey Johnson burned a pinch hitter to get Tyler Moore up against a lefty. A groundout to second brought Desmond in to make it 3-1 Nationals. Jayson Werth got a two-out walk in front of Bryce Harper to set up a Lefty vs Lefty matchup between the 19-year-old Harper and the 21-year-old Dodgers' reliever. Harper battled for seven pitches before grounding to first to end the sixth.
• FIREWORKS!!: Ryan Mattheus gave up a fly to left by Nick Punton that Michael Morse misjudged and allowed to fly over his head for a leadoff double. A groundout to short by Mark Ellis ended Mattheus' night with a runner on 3rd with one out. Sean Burnett abused Andre Ethier with an 0-2 slider for out no.2. Matt Kemp walked with two down to set up another lefty vs lefty matchup with LA's Adrian Gonzalez, but the big Dodgers' first baseman K'd swinging to end the top of the seventh. Matt Guerrier gave up a one-out double by Adam LaRoche (no.30), who hit a 2-2 curve to left for an opposite field ground-rule double. But LaRoche was stranded at second two outs later. Still 3-1 Nats.
• DRUUUUU!!: Hanley Ramirez hit a bloop single to left off Drew Storen to start the Dodgers' eighth. Shane Victorino was too quick to get doubled up on a one-hop grounder to second that resulted in a force at second. Victorino stole second as Luis Cruz K'd on a check-swing strike three. A.J. Elllis K'd swinging at a high slider for out no.3 and Storen had a scoreless 13-pitch frame. LA. Dodgers' right-hander Jamey Wright retired Danny Espinosa, Kurt Suzuki and Chad Tract in order in the Nationals' eighth
• Ready Or Not: Tyler Clippard came on in the ninth looking for save no.32 of 2012. Pinch hitter Bobby Abreu lined out to right. ONE! Mark Ellis poked a one-out single to right on a 2-2 change from Clippard to bring the tying run to the plate. Andre Ethier flew to center for out no.2. TWO!! Matt Kemp flew to left... ballgame. Win no.90 for the Nats. Save no. 32 for Clippard.
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON-ISH... W00T-ish!!!
Nationals now 90-57.