Pride of Auburndale Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Washington Nationals' leadoff man Denard Span dropped a bloop single into right-center to start the second game of three with the Milwaukee Brewers in Miller Park. Span stole his 13th base of the year with Anthony Rendon up in the next at bat, then took third on a dribbler toward third base by Rendon that somehow stayed fair. Jayson Werth followed with a groundout that brought Span in and the Nats took a 1-0 lead early in Wisconsin.
WATCH: Before he even took the mound, Jordan Zimmermann had a 1-0 lead, courtesy of this RBI-groundout from Werth: http://t.co/qqpgxvk4s9— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 25, 2014
Jordan Zimmermann pitched his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth inning, but he couldn't get out of a second and third, one-out jam in the fifth. Ryan Braun worked the count full with two down and came through with an RBI single through short that gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead after five.
With the score still 2-1 in the eighth, Anthony Rendon took a 92 mph 1-1 fastball from Brewers' lefty Will Smith out to right-center for game-tying solo home run. 2-2 game.
WATCH: Anthony Rendon tied this ballgame up with one swing: http://t.co/Zmq5IAialA— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 25, 2014
WATCH: Ryan Zimmerman. Game-saver! http://t.co/rfaVfnVhl0— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 25, 2014
4. Home Sweet Home: Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann debuted in the majors on April 20, 2009, but it wasn't until three years later that the Auburndale, Wisconsin-born, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point-educated '07 Nationals' second round pick made his first major league start in his home state.
On July 28th that season, Zimmermann threw 93 pitches in six innings of work in front of family and friends in Miller Park over which he limited the Brewers to a run on five hits in what ended up a 4-1 Nats' win. Zimmermann was dealing with inflammation in his right shoulder at the time which made it difficult to get loose, but once he got going that night he was fine.
"Zim was Zim," then-Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters after the game, "He struggled a little bit in the fourth inning, but picked up the pace and the sixth, just overpowered them, he breezed through the sixth."
By "breezed through the sixth," Johnson meant that his then-26-year-old starter retired the side on eight pitches to end a strong outing in which he earned his eighth of twelve wins that season.
A little over a year later, Zimmermann returned to his home state for an August 2nd outing against the Brewers in which he threw six scoreless on 100 pitches, giving up four hits and four walks but no runs in a 4-1 win in which he picked up his 13th favorable decision on the way to a career-high 19 wins.
After the outing, Johnson said he was impressed, not with Zimmermann's stuff, which wasn't particularly sharp, but with his ability to adjust to what was working and get the job done.
"I thought at other times I've seen him have better stuff," Johnson explained, "His command wasn't as good as I've seen it, but he certainly made pitches when he had to and beared down when he got guys on base and that's what a good ace like him does."
In all, Zimmermann has faced the Brewers four times in his career, and entering his fifth start against his home state's team, he was (4-0) with a 2.19 ERA, seven walks (2.55 BB/9) and 23 Ks (8.39 K/9) in 24 ⅔ IP, over which he held Milwaukee's hitters to a combined .237/.297/.430 line.
In Miller Park before tonight, the Pride of Auburndale was (2-0) with a 0.75 ERA, five walks (3.75 BB/9) and 11 Ks (8.25 K/9) in 12 IP in which Brewers' batters posted a .214/.313/.357 line.
Zimmermann took the mound tonight in the midst of a great stretch as well.
Wisconsin native J Zimm is 4-0 2.19 in 4 starts vs MIL. At Miller Park he has allowed 1 run in 12IP.— Dave Jageler (@DaveJageler) June 24, 2014
In four June starts before tonight's the right-hander was (2-2) with a 0.84 ERA, 2.09 FIP, three walks (0.84 BB/9) and 27 Ks (7.59 K/9) in 32 IP over which he'd held opposing hitters to a .153/.175/.207 line.
His third career start in Miller Park began with a groundout to second...
1st: Scooter Gennett grounded out to Danny Espinosa to start the Brewers' first. A high 95 mph 1-2 heater got Ryan Braun swinging for out no.2 and an 0-2 fastball to Jonathan Lucroy got the Brewers' catcher swinging to end a quick, 10-pitch, 2 K, 1-2-3 first.
2nd: Carlos Gomez K'd swinging at a 94 mph 2-2 fastball. Aramis Ramirez flew out to right. Khris Davis K'd swinging through a 95 mph 2-2 heater and Jordan Zimmermann was through two on 23 pitches after a 13-pitch frame.
3rd: Mark Reynolds was rung up by home plate ump Andy Fletcher on a knee-high 94 mph fastball inside. Jean Segura K'd swinging at a 1-2 heater and Yovani Gallardo was thrown out from deep in the hole at short by Ian Desmond. 12-pitch, 1-2-3 frame. 35 total after three. 6 Ks. 9 up and down.
4th: Scooter Gennett made it 10 up and down when he grounded out to second on the first pitch from Zimmermann in the fourth. Ryan Braun lined to right on the the second pitch of the inning for the Brewers' first hit. Jonathan Lucroy hit a grounder behind Ian Desmond as the Nats' shortstop made his way over to second with Braun running. Braun took third on the single to put runners on the corners with one down. Carlos Gomez went to a full count, and walked to load the bases. Aramis Ramirez popped up to the mound for out no.2 and Khris David K'd swinging at an 0-2 fastball that ended a 19-pitch inning. 54 total after four.
5th: Mark Reynolds singled to right and moved up on a bunt single by Jean Segura. Yovani Gallardo bunted both runners over/gave up an out. Scooter Gennett stepped in with two runners in scoring position, worked the count full and went down swinging at a 94 mph fastball upstairs. Ryan Braun got a two-out chance with two on, worked the count full and drove a single through short for a two-run hit. 2-1 Brewers. Jonathan Lucroy grounded into a force at short for out no.3 to end a 26-pitch inning that left Zimmermann at 80 pitches overall.
6th: Carlos Gomez K'd swinging through a 91 mph 1-2 heater. Aramis Ramirez doubled by third with one down for the Brewers' sixth hit. Ramirez took third on a flyout to right by Khris Davis and Mark Reynolds walked with two down, but Jean Segura popped up to the infield to end a 16-pitch frame. 96 pitches total for Zimmermann after six.
• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 Ks, 104 P, 64 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
3. Gallardo at home: In 49 ⅔ IP at home in Miller Park this season, 28-year-old right-hander Yovani Gallardo was (2-2) with a 3.62 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 18 walks (3.26 BB/9), 46 Ks (8.34 K/9) and a .232/.305/.401 line against before tonight's outing against the visiting Washington Nationals. After a rough outing against the Twins on June 3rd, he was on a nice run too, with a 0.86 ERA, three walks and 20 Ks in his last three starts and 21 IP, over which he'd held the opposition to a .200/.250/.240 line.
He was, however, facing a Washington Nationals team tonight that he struggled against in nine outings, eight starts and 45 ⅓ IP in his career, posting a 6.15 ERA with 16 walks (3.18 BB/9) and 53 Ks (10.52 K/9) in those starts, in which Nats' hitters have put up a combined .294/.348/.506 line against him.
Tonight in Milwaukee, the 16th start of his eighth major league season began with a 29-pitch first in which a Jayson Werth groundout brought Denard Span in from third after a single, stolen base and weak grounder resulted in Span standing 90 ft from home with no outs.
Gallardo bounced back from the long first with a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 second that left him at 41 total after two.
Denard Span walked with one down in the top of the third, but he was forced out at second on a grounder to short by Rendon and Gallardo popped Jayson Werth up for a quick 18-pitch third that pushed him up to 59 pitches.
Ian Desmond singled with two down in the second, sending a hard-hit grounder through the right side of the infield. Desmond stole second with Danny Espinosa up, but was stranded there when Espinosa K'd looking to end an 18-pitch fourth that left Gallardo at 77 pitches.
After a six-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the fifth by Gallardo, he was up to 83 pitches.
Gallardo retired the first two batters in the Nationals' sixth before giving up a two-out walk to Adam LaRoche and a single to right by Ryan Zimmerman. Ian Desmond stepped in with two on and two out, but his fly to right ended a 21-pitch inning. 104 pitches total for Gallardo.
• Yovani Gallardo's Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 104 P, 64 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
2. Bullpen Dominance: Nats' bench coach Randy Knorr, who was pressed into action as the manager after the second last night when Matt Williams was ejected, talked after the 3-0 win about the team's confidence in handing leads over to their bullpen.
"They've been fantastic all year," Knorr said. "There's a couple hiccups, but that's expected, all year I think they're the best in the league and they showed it tonight again and they continued to show it. And it's a good feeling when after the sixth inning and you know you can go to those guys and they're going to hold it for you."
They've been particulary strong in recent days with a streak of 25 straight batters retired (10 via strikeout) after Aaron Barrett, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard put 1-2-3 frames on the board last night in Milwaukee.
The Nats' relievers' 2.47 ERA before tonight was the NL's lowest, as was their 2.90 FIP and they led the NL at a combined +3.1 fWAR.
Washington's bullpen's streak of retired batters ended when Jerry Blevins walked the first batter he faced in the home-half of the seventh.
• Random Nats Tweet: Giolito named to All-Star Futures Game:
Thank you family, friends, teammates, and of course @Nationals org. For making this possible !!!— Lucas Giolito (@LGio27) June 24, 2014
1. The Wrap-Up: Brewers' right-hander Rob Wooten retired the side in order in a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh after taking over on the mound for Gallardo.
Jerry Blevins replaced Jordan Zimmermann in the bottom of the seventh and walked the first batter he faced, Rickie Weeks, but he got a 6-4-3 DP out of Scooter Gennett in the next at bat. Ryan Braun walked with two down, but he was thrown out trying to steal second for the third out of the frame.
Brewers' lefty Will Smith (not the Fresh Prince), retired the first batter he faced in the eighth, but Anthony Rendon hit an opposite field home run to tie things up at 2-2 after seven and a half.
Rendon erased the baserunner Nats' reliever Aaron Barrett put on with a walk, turning a 5-4-3 DP in what ended up a 13-pitch bottom of the eighth.
Franciso "K-Rod" Rodriguez struck out two and retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.
Craig Stammen needed 15 pitches to retire the Brewers in order in the ninth and second it to extras.
Former Nationals' reliever Zach Duke gave up a one-out single by Rendon in the top of the tenth, but Jayson Werth's swinging K ended the frame.
Ross Detwiler took the mound in the bottom of the tenth and retired the Brewers in order in an 11-pitch frame.
Zach Duke made quick work of the Nats in the top of the eleventh. Detwiler came out for a second inning of work and retired the side in order with some help from Ian Desmond...
Tom Gorzelanny threw a scoreless top of the twelfth.
Ellian Herrera singled with one down in the Brewers' twelfth, but he was doubled up on a grounder to short that sent this one to the thirteenth.
Mike Fiers retired the eight, ninth and tenth straight Nationals at the end of a 1-2-3 top of the thirteenth.
Detwiler came back out for a fourth inning of relief work and gave up a leadoff single to left by Lyle Overbay. Scooter Gennett bunted the runner over/gave up an out. Ryan Braun grounded out to short for out no.2 Jonathan Lucroy stepped in with the winning run 90 feet from home, but the Nationals walked him to get to Carlos Gomez, who lined out to short to end the thirteenth.
Tonight so far is a 18 GIF night pic.twitter.com/ToUzDQfkzD— B Sheridan (@md_dc) June 25, 2014
Ryan Zimmerman singled to center with one down in the Nats' fourteenth. Ian Desmond lined to right for the second straight hit, but Danny Espinosa popped out for the second out of the inning. Jose Lobaton stepped up with two on and two out and grounded out to second.
Drew Storen took over on the mound in the home-half of the fourteenth and gave up a one-out, line drive single to left by Khris Davis. Elian Herrera flew out to deep center where Denard Span made a leaping catch at the wall for out no.2. Jean Segura popped to short right... where Jayson Werth made a sliding, game-saving catch.
Mike Fiers retired the Nationals in order for his third scoreless inning of relief work in the top of the fifteenth.
Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the bottom of the inning. Scooter Gennett singled to right with one down, but was forced out at second on a grounder to the mound by Ryan Braun. Ian Desmond threw away a double play attempt, allowing Braun to take second. The Nats walked Jonathan Lucroy again and Carlos Gomez popped out again.
On to the 16th...
To the 16th! This is now officially the longest game in #Nats (2005-present) history. Werth, LaRoche, Zim due up.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 25, 2014
Adam LaRoche singled to right with one down to bring Ryan Zimmerman up with a runner on and Zimmer--- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! 2-run bomb! 4-2 Nats!!
Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Rafael Soriano came out for the bottom of the sixteenth looking for save no18 of 2014 and retired the Brewers in order.
Work's done! Untuck that jersey, son!!
Nationals now 41-35