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Wild Pitches Late Cost Washington Nationals In "First-Half"-Ending 4-3 Loss To Colorado Rockies.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08: Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park on July 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08: Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park on July 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
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• Zimmermann est un bulldog: A 1-2 slider got Colorado Rockies' outfielder Dexter Fowler swinging for out and K no.1 of Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann's 17th start of 2012. A 1-2 fastball inside [and severe jammage] popped Marco Scutaro up for out no.2 and a groundout to first that Adam LaRoche gracefully and effortlessly handled ended an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first in the "first-half" and series finale Sunday afternoon in Nationals Park. Ryan Zimmerman doubled to the warning track in left for a two-out, two-bagger off Colorado right-hander Jeremy Guthrie in the bottom of the first, but a fly to Rockies' right fielder Tyler Colvin off Michael Morse's bat ended a 17-pitch inning with the score 0-0 after one.

• Zimmermann est un magicien: After making the inning-ending catch on Morse's line drive to right, Tyler Colvin collected his 11th hit in 21 at bats vs the Nats this season when he singled to right start the top of the second. When Jordan Zimmermann walked Todd Helton on four pitches in the next at bat, Nationals' pitching coach Steve McCatty had a discussion with home plate umpire Jim Reynolds about where his pitcher was missing. Zimmermann then gave up a broken bat single to center by Jordan Pacheco that loaded the bases, but popped Jonathan Herrera up for out no.1 with a fastball inside that Ryan Zimmerman caught in foul territory behind third. A line drive to left by former Nats' backstop Wil Nieves was deep enough to bring Colvin in and give the Rockies a 1-0 lead, but Zimmermann got a weak groundout from the opposing pitcher to escape a bases loaded, one-out jam without further damage. A 21 pitch inning had Zimmermann at 33 pitches overall.

• Run Desi Run: Adam LaRoche took the first pitch of the Nats' second to right by way of first base on a grounder that got by Rockies' first baseman Todd Helton. LaRoche was forced out at second on a grounder up the middle by Ian Desmond that bounced off Jeremy Guthrie and right to second baseman Marco Scutaro. Desmond was safe at first, and stole second (10 SB) to get himself in scoring position as Danny Espinosa K'd swinging, but Guthrie got Jhonatan Solano swinging too to strand Desmond and end the bottom of the second in Nats Park.

• +SituationalAwareness: Jordan Zimmermann missed with a 94 mph 3-1 fastball to put Dexter Fowler on in the top of the third. The Rockies' outfielder took second on a groundout to short by Marco Scutaro and was gifted third when Jordan Zimmermann sailed a pickoff attempt over second base, but the Nats' right-hander got Carlos Gonzalez to chase an 0-2 fastball up in the zone and got Tyler Colvin to fly out to left to end a 13-pitch third at 45 pitches overall. Bryce Harper singled with two down, stole second with Ryan Zimmerman up and third when no one bothered covering the bag as Zim walked. Harp's 9th and 10 SB's of 2012, but a Michael Morse groundout ended the third with the Rockies still leading 1-0.

• LaDouble: Adam LaRoche doubled for the 20th time this season, sending a line drive the other way into the left-center gap to start the bottom of the fourth in the nation's capital. Rockies' right-hander Jeremy Guthrie tried to throw a full-count slider inside to Ian Desmond, but it was out over the plate and the Nats' shortstop barreled it up for a line-drive, two-run home run to left-center and into the Red Porch seats. HR no. 17 of 2012 for the Nationals' infielder, 2-1 lead after four innings in Washington, D.C.

• +Pop, +Range, +Arm: After homering to give the Nationals' the lead, Ian Desmond showed off his range, sprinting to field a grounder in short center and throw out slow-footed Rockies' catcher Wil Nieves. Grounder. Desmond. Out. And Grounder. Desmond. Out. again as the opposing pitcher rolled one to short too. Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann deflected a grounder back to the mound by Dexter Fowler with two down, and Ian Desmond threw away an ill-advised, but aggressive attempt to get the speedy outfielder at first, but one pitch later Marco Scutaro flew out to Steve Lombardozzi in left-center to end a 13-pitch fifth by the Nationals' starter. 72 pitches overall for Zimmermann. After an eight-pitch bottom of the fifth, Jeremy Guthrie was up to 72 pitches as well.

• 12 of 13: Zimmermann threw a slider inside on an 0-1 pitch to Carlos Gonzalez, and got a weak groundout to short for out no.1 of the Rockies' sixth. A pop to Ryan Zimmerman in foul territory down the third base line had him threw 5.2 IP four pitches into the inning. 11 of 12 batters set down following a leadoff walk by Dexter Fowler in the third, and 12 of 13 set down after Todd Helton sends another grounder to Desmond to end an eight-pitch top of the sixth. Michael Morse singled to right to start the Nats' sixth, but a pop out by Adam LaRoche and a 3-6-3 DP on a grounder to first by Ian Desmond ended an 11-pitch inning for the Rockies' Guthrie.

• [CHOMP!]: Ian Desmond caught a weak pop up over the infield from Jordan Pacheco. 13 of 14. A fly to left by Jonathan Herrera made it 14 of 15. Wil Nieves battled for seven pitches, but become victim no. 15 of 16 overall for Jordan Zimmermann who completed a 15-pitch seventh at 95 pitches overall. Roger "The Shark" Bernadina hit for Zimmermann and bunted for a single with two down in the bottom of the seventh. Bernadina stole second off Rockies' right-hander Matt Belisle and catcher Wil Nieves to put himself in scoring position for Steve Lombardozzi and the Nats' rookie infielder came through with an RBI single. Lombardozzi lined to left to bring Bernadina around and make it a 3-1 game, but he was caught between first and second and tagged out to end the inning.

• Zimmermann's Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's, 95 pitches, 68 strikes, 7/6 GO/FO.

• Poor Zimmermann: Sean Burnett gave a run right back when he surrendered a solo home run by Rockies' pinch hitter Eric Young in the top of the eighth. 3-2 Nationals. Dexter Fowler singled to left in the next at bat, and went first-to-third when Marco Scutaro followed with the third-straight hit off the Nats' left-hander. That was it for Burnett. There were unners on the corners with no outs when Michael Gonzalez came on to face Carlos Gonzalez. The Nats' new left-hander bounced a 2-2 slider that got away from Jhonatan Solano and allowed the tying run to score from third, 3-3, before he executed the same pitch to get CarGo looking for out no.1. A 94 mph fastball outside got Tyler Colvin swinging for out no.2 and Todd Helton K'd swinging for out no.3. 3-3 game after seven and a half. Rockies' lefty Rex Brothers got a fly to right from Bryce Harper for the first out of the Nats' eighth. Ryan Zimmerman got sawed off and sent a soft pop to second. Michael Morse got on with two down on an unplayable chopper toward third, but Adam LaRoche flew to left to end the inning. Still 3-3 in D.C.

• Not Clipp Too: Rockies' third baseman Jordan Pacheco doubled to left on the first pitch of the ninth from Tyler Clippard and took third on a sac bunt by Jonathan Herrera. Jason Giambi came on looking to put Colorado ahead. Another wild pitch got away from Jhonatan Solano, however, allowing the go-ahead run to score without Giambi having to do anything. 4-3 game after eight and a half....

... Rockies' closer Rafael Betancourt gave up a leadoff single by Nats' SS Ian Desmond, who sent an 0-2 slider through short to get the tying run on. 2 for 4 w/ a HR and a single for Desmond today. Danny Espinosa gave away an out to move Desmond into scoring position. Pinch hitter Tyler Moore K'd swinging through a high 93 mph fastball for out no.2. Roger Bernadina walked on four pitches, bringing Jesus Flores up with two on and two out. Desmond and Berndina pulled off a double steal with two down, but Flores K'd swinging to end the game. Rockies take two of three from the Nationals with the 4-3 win.

• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON!!

Nationals now 49-34.