Washington Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann gave up the first run of the season scored by the Miami Marlins in the third game of three for the Fish in D.C. in the first series of the year two weeks back. The Nats swept that series, and Zimmermann earned the first of his two wins in two starts by holding the Marlins to just the one run on a home run by Justin Ruggiano over seven innings of work in the finale of the three-game set in Nationals Park.
Zimmermann made his third start of the season tonight in Miami, Florida's Marlins Park, where the 26-year-old right-hander was (1-1) with a 3.00 ERA, one walk and 10 Ks in two starts and 12.0 innings pitched so far in his career. Before he took the mound, his teammates had staked him to a four-run lead on the Fish.
Denard Span and Jayson Werth were both on with singles, Span's to right, Werth's to left, when Bryce Harper stepped in against Marlins' lefty Wade LeBlanc in the top of the first. Harper walked to load the bases for Ryan Zimmerman, and the Nats' 28-year-old third baseman came through with a two-run single to center that made it 2-0 Nats in the top of the first. Harper was thrown out trying for third on the play, but Ian Desmond hit the fourth single of the inning in the next at bat to move Zimmerman over to third and put two on in front of Tyler Moore. Single no.5 off LeBlanc was a grounder through the left side by Moore that brought both Zimmerman and Desmond in and made it 4-0 early in the series opener with the Fish.
Jordan Zimmermann got a line drive to Steve Lombardozzi at second with the third pitch he threw to Marlins' leadoff man Juan Pierre. A fly to left from Chris Coghlan and a groundout to second by Placido Polanco followed in a quick, nine-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the first for the Nationals' starter. Jayson Werth made Wade LeBlanc work for the final out of the second, but grounded out to short on a full-count pitch to end an 11-pitch second after the Marlins' lefty's 34-pitch first. Zimmermann retook the mound in the bottom of the inning and threw an 0-2 change to Greg Dobbs to get the Fish first baseman looking for fourth straight out to start the game. A 96 mph 3-2 heater up high got Justin Ruggiano swinging for out no.2 and a groundout to short ended Zimmermann's second scoreless frame after 13 pitches. 22 through two for the Nats' right-hander. 4-0 Nationals.
Wade LeBlanc retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the third, Bryce Harper (groundout) and Ryan Zimmerman (swinging K), but Ian Desmond, Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi followed with back-to-back-to-back doubles to drive in two more runs and make it 6-0 over the Marlins after two and a half in Marlins Park. Desmond and Moore went to center with their doubles and Lombo lined his to left and off the lime green outfield wall to bring Moore home from second after the Nats' slugger drove Desmond in. The 16 pitches LeBlanc threw had him at 61 total after three innings.
Adeiny Hechavarria was the seventh-straight Marlin set down by Jordan Zimmermann to start the game. Donovan Solano was no.8 after he flew out to right. Wade LeBlanc hit a weak roller to short... Grounder. Desmond. Out. 9 up, 9 down for Zimmermann after a nine-pitch 3rd. 31 pitches total through three scoreless and hitless.
Jayson Werth hit a one-out single off Wade LeBlanc in the top of the fourth, and one out later the Marlins' lefty was lifted in favor of Fish right-hander John Maine. Maine's first pitch of the night was an 89 mph fastball to Ryan Zimmerma--- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman took Maine deep to left and into the Clevelander for the Nats' third baseman's first home run of 2013 and his second hit of the night in three at bats. The two-run blast made it 8-0 Nationals after three and a half.
Juan Pierre was the 10th Marlins' batter in-a-row set down by Jordan Zimmermann. Chris Coghlan hit a grounder back over the mound that the Nats' right-hander couldn't handle, however, and got the first hit of the game off Zimmermann in the 11th AB. Placido Polanco followed with a grounder to short that allowed Nats' SS Ian Desmond to start an inning-ending 4-6-3. 8-0 Nationals after four. 38 pitches total for Zimmermann after a nine-pitch frame.
Steve Lombardozzi was 2 for 3 in his first start of the season after singling to center to start the fifth. Kurt Suzuki dumped the second-straight single into center, allowing Jordan Zimmermann to lay down a sac bunt/give up an out. Denard Span followed with a two-run hit, but he was the second runner of the night thrown out by Chris Coghlan when he tried to stretch his line drive to left center into a two-run double. 10-0 Nationals after four and a half in Marlins Park. Jordan Zimmermann dropped a brutal 1-2 curve on Greg Dobbs to get his second K of the night out of the Fish third baseman. Ian Desmond lifted his glove to his hip to snag a one-hop grounder off of Justin Ruggiano's bat. Grounder. Desmond. Out. Well played. And Zimmermann sawed Rob Brantly's bat in half and induced a weak grounder back to the mound which he handled to end his fifth scoreless inning vs Miami. The 10-pitch frame had Zimmermann at 48 overall.
John Maine retired the Nationals in order in the top of the sixth. Adeiny Hechavarria rolled the first pitch of the Marlins sixth out to short where Ian Desmond made the play for the first out of the inning. Grounder. Desmond. Out. Zimmermann hit Donovan Solano with the second pitch of the inning, putting the Marlins' second baserunner of the night on base. John Maine bunted Solano over to second, and a bloop single to left by Juan Pierre arched just over Ryan Zimmerman's outstretched bare hand as he tried everything he could to catch it. 10-1 Nationals when Solano scored. The two-out hit by Chris Coghlan that followed drove Pierre in to make it a 10-2 game, but Zimmermann struck pinch hitter Chris Valaika out with a 76 mph 0-2 curve in the dirt to end the inning. The 13-pitch frame had Zimmermann at 61 after six.
Kurt Suzuki was 2 for 3 tonight after a two-out double but he was stranded at second when the Nats' starter flew out to right to end the top of the seventh. Greg Dobbs doubled to right on the first pitch of the Marlins' seventh, taking an 87 mph change to the warning track where Roger Bernadina retrieved it. Dobbs took third on the second-straight hit by Justin Ruggiano and scored from there when Marlins' catcher Rob Brantly drove in a run with a ground ball single to right. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded into a force at second, but Ian Desmond dropped it so, no DP. A filthy 1-2 bender got Donovan Solano swinging for out no.2 and Zimmermann's fifth K and Zimmermann walked Kyle Skipworth with two down, but ended his seventh inning of work when Juan Pierre grounded into a force at second. A 23-pitch inning had Zimmermann at 84 after seven.
After Ryan Webb retired the Nationals in order in the top of the eighth, Jordan Zimmermann came back out for more. A fly to left from Chris Coghlan, called strike three on Chris Valaika and infield pop by Greg Dobbs followed as Zimmermann threw a quick, 14-pitch frame that had him at 98 pitches overall on the night. 6 Ks.
Jon Rauch gave up a one-out single by Ian Desmond in the top of the ninth, leaving the Nats' shortstop 3 for 4 on the night after collecting Washington's 16th hit, but two outs later the Nationals' shortstop was stranded. Jordan Zimmermann came back out for the ninth and retired the Marlins in order for the complete game win. The five-pitch ninth had Zimmermann at 103 overall after nine.
Zimmermann's line: 9.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 103 P, 70 S, 14/4 GO/FO.
CG for JZ.
Nationals win, 10-3 final.
Nationals now 8-5.