Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann had his best Grapefruit League outing last time out on the road against the same Detroit Tigers the Nats face today in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. The 26-year-old Zimmermann retired 18-straight batters after giving up a leadoff single in the first and dominated the hard-hitting lineup of the defending American League Champions. This afternoon, it will be 24-year-old Nats' righty Stephen Strasburg on the mound for the defending NL East champs when they welcome the Tigers into their Spring home. Strasburg's coming off a 5.1 inning outing against the Houston Astros in which he gave up five hits, a walk and one earned run while striking out eight batters.
On the Spring, Strasburg's posted a 4.66 ERA over five starts and 19.1 IP in which he's walked six and K'd 26 while giving up 20 hits and 10 runs, all earned. The Nationals' 09 no.1 overall pick, who'll likely make one more start in Spring Training action, was named Washington's Opening Day starter last week. The right-hander threw 93 pitches last time out against the Astros. Strasburg told reporters, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, after the start that he was ready to get things going after the strong start against Houston:
"'When you get to this point, when you get to 100 pitches, you’re like, ‘Alright, let’s get the season going,’ Strasburg said. 'But it’s not the case. Just got to keep working, keep grinding.'"
The Nationals are sending their Opening Day-ish lineup out there today to back up their Opening Day starter, with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate after Wilson Ramos went the distance for the first time in yesterday's game against the Atlanta Braves:
Today's #Nationals lineup vs. DET: Span 8, Werth 9, Harper 7, Zimmerman 5, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Espinosa 4, Suzuki 2, Strasburg 1.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) March 22, 2013
• Game time 1:05 pm EST this afternoon. The game is on MASN and MLB.tv. Strasburg vs the Tigers from Space Coast Stadium. Who's Watching the Nationals?