After going (4-0) in six July starts, posting a 0.97 ERA and 2.08 FIP with four walks (0.97 BB/9) and 31 K's (7.54 K/9) in 37.0 IP, Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was named MLB's Pitcher of the Month for the month of July.
Zimmermann wasn't at his best in the first start of August, however, giving up five runs, four earned on seven hits in 5.0 IP in which he walked one and K'd three while throwing 96 pitches in his 22nd start of the year in a 10-7 Nats' win over the Miami Marlins at home in Nationals Park. The 26-year-old, Wisconsin-born pitcher had an extra day of rest between starts heading into that game so that he could rest a shoulder issue that had caused him trouble while warming up before his last few outings. The Nationals didn't seem too concerned, but pushed him back from Friday to Saturday since he had started taking anti-inflammatory drugs for a problem which the Nats' manager Davey Johnson said was something all pitchers experienced.
"I thought Zimmermann was just... maybe the extra day," Johnson said while discussing the rough outing, "He was a little strong. He was flying open. The ball was really running a lot in on the right hand hitters. But he came out of it fine. Didn't have any problems. Threw a lot of pitches. What did he throw? About 95 pitches for 5.0 innings. Then he usually goes seven [innings] on less than that." The good news is that there were no problems with the shoulder when he was warming up. "He felt great warming up," Johnson told reporters.
Zimmermann returns to the mound in Houston tonight, where the Nationals take on the Astros in the finale of the four-game visit to Minute Maid Park.
• Here's the lineup that will take the field behind Zimmermann in his 23rd start of 2012:
Davey's Lineup-Thu @ HOU/G112: Lombo 2b, Bernadina cf, Zimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Morse lf, Werth rf, Espinoza ss, Suzuki c, Zimm'nn RHP.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 9, 2012