Washington Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann got ahead 1-2 with a tight breaking ball inside to Jacoby Ellsbury, then went to a full count against the New York Yankees' 7-year/$153M leadoff man before he threw a 3-2 fastball low in the zone to get a groundout from Ellsbury to Ian Desmond at short. Zimmermann went up 0-2 on outfielder Brett Gardner when he got a called strike with an 86 mph change, letter-high outside, before inducing a groundout to third baseman Anthony Rendon with a 92 mph 2-2 heater. Nats' outfielder Nate McLouth handled a fly ball to center field off Mark Teixeira's bat and Zimmermann's 0-1 fastball to NY's first baseman ended a 14-pitch opening frame this afternoon in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium.
Jayson Werth hit a half-swing one-hopper behind Anthony Rendon and into right field with the Nationals' 23-year-old second baseman running on contact from first. Wilson Ramos stepped in against 33-year-old lefty CC Sabathia with runners on the corners and one out in the home-half of the first and grounded into a force at second that brought Rendon home, 1-0 Nats early.
Brian McCann flew out to left on an 84 mph 1-1 change. Zimmermann was up to 21 pitches when he dropped a nasty 2-1 change on Scott Sizemore, but he went to a full count and his fastball to get a called strike three with a 93 letter-high heater outside to the Yankees' outfielder. Eduardo Nunez tried to bunt his way on, dropping a sharp one toward third, but Rendon was on it. Two scoreless for Zimmermann on 27 pitches after a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 second.
Scott Hairston stepped in with runners on the corners and no one out in the Nationals' second after Danny Espinosa worked a walk out of CC Sabathia and went first-to-third™ on a line drive single to left by Tyler Moore. Hairston K'd looking, however, and Nate McLouth was punched out on a questionable check-swing strike three, leaving it up to Anthony Rendon... whose two-run double to left made it 3-0 Nats.
Jordan Zimmermann threw an 0-2 fastball by Yankees' second baseman Dean Anna on his 30th pitch of the game. Austin Romine K'd swinging through a 93 mph 1-2 fastball knee-high outside. Zimmermann's 41st pitch was an 86 mph 2-2 change that outfielder Zoilo Almonte rolled over, sending a weak grounder to Danny Espinosa at second base. 3-0 Nationals after two and a half.
Kind of amazing: one scout said CC Sabathia did not hit 90 mph with his fastball today against the Nats. Sat 86-87, topped out at 89.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) March 11, 2014
Jordan Zimmermann threw a 93 mph 2-2 fastball outside by Jacoby Ellsbury that home plate umpire Laz Diaz liked and called strike three on the Nats' starter's 47th pitch of the game. A 93 mph 1-2 fastball in tight on the wrists got Zimmermann his 11th straight out on his 51st pitch when Brett Gardner grounded back to the mound and a 1-1 fastball outside got a fly to center from Mark Teixeira that Nate McLouth picked off the top of the grass with a diving catch to make it 12 up and 12 down and four scoreless on 54 pitches by Zimmermann after a 13-pitch frame.
Drew Storen threw an 0-2 change inside by Brian McCann for the first out of the fifth inning. Storen's 0-2 slider inside to Scott Sizemore was called strike three to make it two outs and two Ks. Eduardo Nunez went to right with an 0-2 fastball up in the zone, and tripled for the Yankees' first hit. Nunez scored on a single by Dean Anna, but a 2-2 slider inside to Austin Romine got the Yankees' catcher looking and got Storen out of the inning. 3-1 Nats.
Felipe Rivero, one of the three players the Nationals got from the Rays in the Jose Lobaton/Nate Karns deal, gave up a run in the sixth with Zoilo Almonte doubling with one down and scoring on a sac fly to center by Brett Gardner that Nate McLouth tracked down on the track. 3-2 Nationals. 14-pitch inning for Rivero.
The Nats' left-handed reliever came back out for the seventh, dialing his fastball up to 94-95 and mixing in some mid-70s curves on his way to a scoreless 17-pitch inning. 31 pitches total in two scoreless innings pitched.
Daniel Stange threw a scoreless eighth. Manny Delcarmen came out for the ninth and retired the Yankees in order to end it...
• Zimmermann Highlights:
Nationals win, 3-2 final.