Spring Training 2013: Washington Nationals vs Detroit Tigers - Grapefruit League GameThread

USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in two days, the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers meet in Grapefruit League action. This time it's from Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium where 26-year-old right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will make his fifth Spring Training start.

Last time out, against the New York Mets, Jordan Zimmermann gave up four hits, two walks and three runs, one earned in 4.2 IP over which he struck out six. The start left the 26-year-old, '07 2nd Round pick with 11 Ks in five starts 10.2 IP so far this Spring in which he's allowed 20 hits and 14 runs (12 earned). Zimmermann told reporters including MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Paul Hagen afterwards that coming off a "dead arm" start in his previous outing he felt good on the mound. "'The other time, I felt a little sore,'" Zimmermann said, "'but today I felt really good. It felt good to stretch it out and throw [82] pitches.'" The right-hander continues to work on making his changeup more of a weapon this Spring, telling the MLB.com reporters, "'It's good and it's where I want it to be.'"

"It's getting to the point where I feel comfortable throwing it any time," Zimmermann told 106.7 the FAN In D.C.'s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier in an interview from Viera, Florida last week. "And I've been working on it for a few years and last year I barely threw it because I didn't have any confidence and now it's getting right where I want it." The Nats' starter also said he and his teammates were just about ready to get out of Florida and move north to the nation's capital where they will open the season against the Miami Marlins on April 1st. "A couple more starts I'll be right where I need to be," Zimmermann said, "It's definitely a long Spring and guys are getting antsy to get up north, and we've got a couple weeks to go yet, but we're all getting pretty close."

Zimmermann will be one step closer after this afternoon's start against the Detroit Tigers in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. Here's the Nats' lineup that will be backing him up in the second of back-to-back games with the defending American League champions:

• Today's game is only available via MLB.com's Gameday audio and it's the Tigers feed, so let's all place our bets on what inning the Strasburg shutdown first gets mentioned. 1:05 pm EST from Space Coast Ghost. Who's Listening to the Nationals?

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