One-time Washington Nationals' reliever Tom Gorzelanny, who signed with Milwaukee this winter after two seasons in the nation's capital, started for the Brewers tonight against his former team in the first game of three to be played this weekend in Miller Park. Once Gorzelanny completed an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Auburndale, Wisconsin-born, 27-year-old right-hander Jordan Zimmermann took the mound in his home state for the second time in his major league career. Two pitches into the bottom of the inning there was a runner on second after Rickie Weeks doubled to right by a diving Adam LaRoche at first and into right field. Two outs later there were runners on first and third after a two-out walk to Jonathan Lucroy when Carlos Gomez went down swinging at an 0-2 fastball to end a 21-pitch inning by the Nationals' starter. 0-0.
Jayson Werth put together a .367/.450/.622 line in the month of July, hitting two doubles and seven home runs in 27 games and 109 plate appearances to take him from a .275/.335/.444 line on the year to .303/.374/.500 after 77 games and 310 plate appearances this season. August began for Werth with a line drive back to the mound and off Tom Gorzelanny's elbow for an infield single that knocked the Brewers' lefty out of the game. Right-hander Alfredo Figaro took over on the mound with a runner on and no one down and recorded three quick outs to keep it scoreless in Milwaukee. Ryan Zimmerman committed his 17th error of the year and his 12th throwing error this season on a two-out grounder to third by Brewers' third baseman Jeff Bianchi, but Jordan Zimmermann (no relation, extra "n") pitched around the E in a 14-pitch second.
Alfredo Figaro retired the Nationals in order in a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the third. Jordan Zimmermann hit Rickie Weeks with an 0-1 fastball in the first at bat of the Brewers' half of the inning, but got help from his defense when Anthony Rendon fielded a sharp one-hop liner off Norichika Aoki's bat and started a slick 4-6-3 DP with a throw to Ian Desmond at second. Jean Segura slid in safely at second base with a hustle double on a sharp grounder through short, but Jonathan Lucroy lined out to Ryan Zimmerman at third to end a scoreless 12-pitch inning for the Nats' right-hander. 47 pitches overall. 0-0 in Milwaukee.
Anthony Rendon had a rough .187/.237/.319 July that took him from .308/.357/.425 to .256/.306/.382 on the year. A groundout to third in the top of the fourth left him 0 for 2 tonight in Milwaukee. Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging through an 0-2 slider for out no.2 for the Brewers' Alfredo Figaro, but Jayson Werth was 2 for 2 in August after he lined a 2-1 slider to right for a two-out single. Werth was stranded when Adam LaRoche flew out to deep center, however, to end a third scoreless frame by the Brewers' right-handed reliever.
Carlos Gomez walked to start Milwaukee's fourth and stole his 28th base in the next at bat, but after Caleb Gindl flew out to left, Gomez was caught stealing for the fifth time in 33 attempts this season. Juan Francisco doubled to center on an 0-1 fastball, but was stranded at second when Jordan Zimmermann got Jeff Bianchi to chase a 1-2 curve for a swinging strike three. 19-pitch fifth. 66 pitches total in four scoreless innings pitched.
Ian Desmond doubled for the 28th time season in the first at bat of the fifth, then stole second (14 SB) and scored on a throwing error that was charged incorrectly to Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy then correctly given to third baseman Jeff Bianchi. 1-0 Nationals. Rickie Weeks doubled to left-center on an 0-2 fastball with one down in the home-half of the frame, then took third on a Norichika Aoki groundout. Jean Segura walked with two down, taking the third walk of the night from Jordan Zimmermann, but a force at second on a Jonathan Lucroy grounder ended the fifth scoreless inning by the Nationals' starter after 17 pitches. 83 total. 1-0 Nats.
Make that 2-0 Nats. Bryce Harper got hold of a 3-1 sinker from Brewers' reliever Burke Badenhop and hit his 16th home run of the season to the second deck in right field in Miller Park to put the Nationals up by two on in the top of the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman singled to right with one down in the inning and Jayson Werth followed with a double to right on a 2-1 fastball from Badenhop. Adam LaRoche got the intentionals from the right-hander, bringing Ian Desmond up with the bases loaded, and the Nationals' shortstop, who was 10 for 23 with a double and a home run in 29 PAs with the bases loaded and one out before tonight, grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3. Still 2-0 Nationals.
Jordan Zimmermann got Carlos Gomez swinging with a 2-2 curve. A 95 mph 0-2 fastball up high got Caleb Gindl swinging. Juan Francisco checked his swing on a full-count slider inside and took the fourth walk of the night from the Nats' right-hander, but one pitch later, Jeff Bianchi ended the sixth when he popped to center on Zimmermann's 17th pitch of the inning and his 100th of the night. Still 2-0 Nationals.
Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks, 100 P, 65 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
Denard Span singled to right to start the seventh, but he was caught stealing for the fifth time in 15 attempts this season right before WIlson Ramos lined to right for a one-out single. Bryce Harper hit an opposite field single to right off the Brewers' John Axford one out later, and Anthony Rendon hit a two-out grounder through the left side to bring Ramos in from second and send Harper around to third. 3-0 Nationals after six and a half. Ryan Mattheus took over for the Nats in the seventh and threw a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 inning vs the Brewers.
Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Kintzler threw a quick, seven-pitch top of the eighth vs the Nationals. Tyler Clippard took the mound in the top of the bottom of the inning. Jean Segura K'd swinging through a 3-2 fastball. Jonathan Lucroy crushed a first-pitch heater and hit his 16th home run of the year out to deep center field and onto the concourse behind the batter's eye. 3-1 game. Clippard's streak of 15 straight scoreless innings ended on the home run. A one-out walk to Carlos Gomez brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Caleb Gindl, but the Brewers' outfielder flew to left for the second out of the frame. Gomez stole second with two down and Juan Francisco up, but the Milwaukee slugger K'd swinging to end the inning with the score still 3-1 Nats.
Another former Nationals' reliever, Mike Gonzalez, gave up a leadoff double by Denard Span in the first at bat of the ninth. Span took third on an opposite field single to right by Wilson Ramos. Scott Hairston got a pinch hit at bat with the left-hander on the hill and K'd swinging for the first out of the ninth. Bryce Harper hit a low liner to second, and it short-hopped the Brewers' second baseman, Rickie Weeks, getting under his glove for an RBI single that made it a 4-1 game. Anthony Rendon lined to short in the next at bat and Harper got doubled up at first. 4-1 after eight and a half in Miller Park. Cue his music.
"Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came on in the bottom of the ninth looking for save no.27 of 2013. Jeff Bianchi flew out to center. ONE! Pinch hitter Khris Davis went down swinging. TWO!!! Rickie Weeks? Swinging K. Ballgame.
Nationals now 53-56