The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies were tied at 3-3 after nine tonight in the second game of three in the first-half-ending series in Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals were 2-8 in extra inning affairs this season after the last loss in extras earlier this week to the Baltimore Orioles, but after going 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position through 9 ⅔ tonight, Ryan Zimmerman came through with a two-out, tenth-inning RBI single that lifted the Nats to their 50th win of the season.
The best news, however, came after the Nationals' 5-3 win over the Phillies, when Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked to reporters about the results of the MRI on 28-year-old right-hander Jordan Zimmermann's right bicep.
The test, which was performed this morning, revealed a slight bicep strain, but no structural or ligament damage in Zimmermann's right arm:
MRI results on Jordan Zimmermann were good, per #Nats Manager Matt Williams. Revealed a slight bicep strain. As of now no plans to DL.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 13, 2014
Williams shared the news and the Nationals' collective relief with reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman:
"'Given his history, yeah, that’s a big relief for us," Williams said. 'The way he reacted last night, we didn’t think there was an issue with the elbow or the shoulder. But we had to make sure.'"
Zimmermann's history does, of course, include Tommy John surgery in 2009, so the Nationals were concerned after the right-hander left the mound abruptly Friday night, but the reports tonight say he might even be able to avoid landing on the DL.
The plan, as Williams explained it, is for Zimmermann to take the All-Star Break off, (he apparently won't even attend the Midsummer Classic, leaving the Nationals, barring any changes, as the only team in the majors without someone in Minnesota), then resume his throwing program once he returns, at which point the Nats will take any necessary steps.
The Nationals win tonight in Citizens Bank Park left them 50-42 with one game remaining before the Break.
In addition to the series finale in Philadelphia, tomorrow also brings the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game from Target, which takes place at 5:00 PM EDT tonight (Sunday). 2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito is already in Minnesota preparing for the prospect showcase as one of two representatives for the Nationals along with 23-year-old, '09 6th Round pick Michael Taylor.
Just landed in Minneapolis! #futures— Lucas Giolito (@LGio27) July 12, 2014
So the schedule for today: Nationals vs Phillies at 1:35 - Tanner Roark vs Kyle Kendrick, and then the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game at 5:00 featuring Giolito and Taylor. Who's watching the Nationals and their prospects?
• We talked about the Nationals' win, Zimmermann's MRI results and the Face on the latest edition of Nats Nightly: