Jordan Zimmermann threw three straight fastballs by Colorado Rockies' leadoff man Tyler Colvin to start tonight's game in the nation's capital. Zimmermann continued to pound the strike zone throughout the top of the first, throwing fifteen pitches, all of them strikes in a scoreless opening frame. Roy Oswalt took the mound against the Washington Nationals for the 23rd time in his career in the bottom of the inning, in his first start of the year in the majors. The 35-year-old right-hander signed with Colorado in early May and made five starts with the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate before returning to the big leagues tonight. The veteran starter gave up a one-out single by Nats' rookie second baseman Anthony Rendon, but completed a scoreless first inning of his own after 20 pitches.
Todd Helton hit a 1-2 slider to right for a leadoff single and the third hit of the night off Jordan Zimmermann in the first at bat of the second. A 5-4-3 DP off Yorvit Torrealba's bat and a line drive to short from Jonathan Herrera followed as the Nats' right-hander completed a 13-pitch inning at 28 overall after two scoreless. 0-0 in D.C. Make that 1-0. Jayson Werth K'd swinging to start the bottom of the second, but Ian Desmond followed with a no-doubter to left, homering for the second time in his last two at bats after the game-winning slam last night in Philadelphia. No.11 of 2013 for no.20. 1-0 Nats after two.
Given a lead to work with Jordan Zimmermann retook the mound and retired the Rockies in order in a 10-pitch, 2 K, 1-2-3 third after which he was at 38 pitches overall, 33 of them strikes in 3.0 scoreless. Denard Span singled with one down in the Nationals' third, but Roy Oswalt stranded him at second and retired the side on 17 pitches to take the Rockies' right-hander up to 49 overall after three. Jordan Zimmermann threw a 97 mph 1-2 heater by Carlos Gonzalez for a swinging K and the first out of the fourth. Michael Cuddyer grounded back to the mound on a first-pitch fastball. Nolan Arenado was bat-slamming mad after a check-swing strike three on a brutal 2-2 curve that had Zimmermann at 49 pitches overall following an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 third inning. 1-0 Nats after three and a half.
Adam LaRoche singled to start the Nats' fourth, but Roy Oswalt struck Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond out for his seventh and eighth Ks in 3.2 IP. Steve Lombardozzi battled the Rockies' starter for nine pitches before lining a two-out single to left and Kurt Suzuki hit the third single of the inning through short allowing LaRoche to score from second just ahead of a throw in from Jonathan Herrera in short left. O.K. he was actually out, but "Country" Joe West called him safe. 2-0 Nats after four.
Jordan Zimmermann popped Todd Helton up to left with a 2-2 fastball. Yorvit Torrelba K'd chasing a full-count slider. Jonathan Herrera's lineout to center made it 11-straight set down by the Nationals' starter, who was at 63 pitches overall after a 15-pitch fifth. Denard Span doubled off the top of the out-of-town scoreboard to start the bottom of the fifth, just missing his first home run of the year and settling for his 13th double. A single to right by Anthony Rendon moved Span over to third. Rendon stole second as Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging for Oswalt's tenth strikeout. Adam LaRoche got hold of a high 2-2 heater from Oswalt in the next at bat and sent a fly ball off into the right-center gap for a two-run triple that made it a 4-0 lead over the Rockies in the fifth. Second triple of the year for LaRoche. Four-run lead after five in the nation's capital.
Pinch hitter Jordan Pacheco flew to right on a 1-1 fastball from Jordan Zimmermann. Tyler Colvin's fly to Steve Lombardozzi in left made it 13-straight set down following Todd Helton's leadoff single in the second. DJ LeMahieu's groundout to second made it 14 batters in a row set down by the Nationals' starter, and Zimmermann was at 72 pitches overall after a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth. Adam Ottavino took over for the Rockies in the home-half of the sixth and gave up a leadoff [hustle] double to center by Steve Lombardozzi. Lombardozzi took third on a wild pitch to Kurt Suzuki, but couldn't score when the Nats' catcher flew to short center. Jordan Zimmermann got the job done though, flying deep enough to center field to bring Lombardozzi in and make it 5-0 Nationals after six.
Carlos Gonzalez's sharp groundout to first was the 15th straight out recorded by Jordan Zimmermann. A 94 mph 1-2 fastball blew Michael Cuddyer away. 16. K no.7. Nolan Arenado's line drive to left ended the streak of retired batters there, on Zimmermann's 82nd pitch, and Todd Helton followed with his second hit of the game and the Rockies' fifth hit of the night, but a groundout to and a force at third ended Zimmermann's seventh scoreless with the right-hander at 89 pitches overall after a 17-pitch frame. 5-0 Washington. Ryan Zimmerman was 0 for 4 with two Ks after he struck out to start the home-half of the seventh. Adam LaRoche was 3 for 4 on the night after a one-out single to right. Jayson Werth was 0 for 4 with 4 Ks after he K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider, and LaRoche was stranded when Ian Desmond popped to second to end the seventh.
Jordan Zimmermann popped Jonathan Herrera up with an 0-2 fastball. Josh Rutledge worked count full and walked on Zimmermann's 99th pitch. Tyler Colvin grounded to second in the next at bat, and Anthony Rendon made an ill-advised throw to second that bounced by Ian Desmond and moved Rutledge to third. A one-out single to center by DJ LeMahieu brought Rutledge in and broke up Zimmermann's shutout. 5-1. Zimmermann dropped a 2-2 change of Carlos Gonzalez to get the outfielder swinging for the second out of the eighth, and Michael Cuddyer K'd swinging over a 95 mph fastball on Zimmermann's 112th and final pitch.
Jordan Zimmermann's line: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, 112 P, 85 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
Rockies' lefty Rex Brothers struck Steve Lombardozzi out to start the Nationals' eighth and retired the Nationals in order to send it to the ninth.
Rafael Soriano got a fly to right from Nolan Arenado. ONE!! Todd Helton flew out to left. TWO!! Yorvit Torrealba grounded sharply to second, but Anthony Rendon handled it. Ballgame. 5-1 final.
Nationals now 36-36.