Jordan Zimmermann threw eight scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies last Tuesday and then followed that up with a complete game shutout of the San Diego Padres on Sunday. In 17 IP in his last two starts, the 28-year-old Washington Nationals' right-hander walked one batter and struck out 16 while allowing just seven hits and holding opposing hitters to a .121/.136/.172 line.
That was apparently enough for Major League Baseball to name the Nats' '07 2nd Round pick the NL Player of the Week:
As a press release from the Washington Nationals notes, the start on Sunday in Petco Park was the best by a Nats' starter since baseball returned to the nation's capital in 2005:
"According to the Bill James Game Score, one metric for measuring dominant pitching performances, Zimmermann’s outing ranked as the best in Nationals (2005-present) history with a score of 95."
Zimmermann, also according to the Nationals' press release, is the seventh player to earn the NL Player of the Week award:
"Zimmermann joins 3B Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007), RHP Stephen Strasburg (June 7-13, 2010), OF Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), SS Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), UTIL Willie Harris (July 17-20, 2008), and 1B Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees."
The complete game shutout on Sunday left the right-hander (5-2) on the year with a 3.17 ERA, a 2.87 FIP, 14 walks (1.64 BB/9) and 66 Ks (7.75 K/9) in 13 starts and 76 2/3 IP so far this season, over which he's held opposing hitters to a .271/.309/.388 line.
After Zimmermann's CG/SO of the Padres on Sunday afternoon, he told reporters, including MLB.com's Bill Ladson that as solid as he was on the mound, he didn't feel good at all in his pregame bullpen.
"'But I guess that's the way it works. When your bullpen is bad, you usually have a good game,'" he said. "'When you have a good bullpen, sometimes there are bad games.'"
Zimmermann retired the first sixteen batters he faced before giving up a one-out single by Alexi Amarista in what ended up a 6-0 Nationals' win.