Heading into tonight's game, Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann hadn't lost an outing in the nation's capital since May 17, 2012. The 27-year-old starter, who'd gone 14 starts without taking a loss at home, needed just 10 pitches to get through the top of the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup in the first inning of the first of three for the Phillies this weekend in Washington, D.C. Ryan Zimmerman (one less "n"; no relation) went the other way with a 1-1 sinker from the opposing starter, Kyle Kendrick, for a two-out single in the bottom of the inning, but a fly to right from Adam LaRoche ended the home-half of the first after 13 pitches from the 28-year-old Phillies' right-hander.
Ryan Howard hit his 12th double of the year to the warning track in center, bouncing the two-base hit off the wall to start the top of the second. A groundout to short by Delmon Young moved the Phillies' first baseman to third, and a single to right by Domonic Brown on a 1-0 curve from Jordan Zimmermann made it 1-0 Philadelphia early in Washington. Two groundouts later, Brown was stranded, and the Nats' starter was through a 20-pitch second at 30 overall after two.
Ian Desmond was 10 for 23 career with two doubles, a triple and two home runs vs Kyle Kendrick before he faced the right-hander in the first at bat of the Nats' second and popped out foul of first out on an 0-1 pitch. 10 for 24. Kurt Suzuki, in the six-spot tonight, walked with one down in a 10-pitch AB, and he was running one out later when Steve Lombardozzi lined one to center that Phillies' center fielder Ben Revere dropped during a sliding/diving attempt. Second and third when Lombardozzi advanced on an ill-advised throw home with Suzuki stopped at third, but Jordan Zimmermann grounded to first to end the second after 27 pitches from Kendrick who was at 40 overall after two.
Jordan Zimmermann dropped a cruel 0-2 slider on Kyle Kendrick for a swinging K to start the third. Four pitches and two groundouts later the Nats' right-hander was through a quick, seven-pitch inning at 37 total in 3.0 IP. Bryce Harper walked with one down in the Nationals' second. The Phillies' starter was up to 54 pitches when he issued the second walk in a row to Ryan Zimmerman. Kendrick fell behind Adam LaRoche, 3-1, and walked the third straight batter to load the bases and a fly to right by Ian Desmond tied it up, 1-1, and moved Zimmerman to third, but it was still a tie game after Kurt Suzuki flew to right-center to end the third.
Nationals' second baseman Steve Lombardozzi snared a one-hop grounder off Michael Young's bat and threw to first for out no.1 and Zimmermann's eighth ground ball out after spinning and righting himself at second base. A fly to center by Ryan Howard was followed by groundout no.9 from the first 14 Phillies' hitters and Jordan Zimmermann was through 4.0 innings on 51 pitches in a 1-1 game. Tyler Moore was gifted second base when Jimmy Rollins' throw to first on a grounder to short sailed over Ryan Howard and into the first base camera well. Moore tried to score on a Steve Lombardozzi line drive to center in the next at bat, but Ben Revere's throw arrived home well ahead of the runner, who bulldozed Erik Kratz but was out. A pop to second and a fly to center ended the fourth with Lombardozzi at second and the score still tied at 1-1.
Domonic Brown was 2 for 2 tonight after a single to right in the second of his first two career at bats against Jordan Zimmermann. A wild pitch moved Brown up to second and Phillies' second baseman Freddy Galvis sent him to third with the second straight single so that a sac fly to right by Erik Kratz could bring in the go-ahead run. 2-1. Back-to-back one-out singles by Kyle Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins loaded the bases with one down, after just 12 pitches by Jordan Zimmermann. Two pitches later, Steve Lombardozzi fielded a Ben Revere grounder to second and made a backhand toss to Ian Desmond to start an inning-ending 4-6-3. 14-pitch inning, 65 overall for Zimmermann after five in D.C. 2-1 Phillies.
Bryce Harper went the other way with a high fastball for a leadoff single in the Nationals' half of the fifth. The Phillies got a force at second on a Ryan Zimmerman grounder to short, but Zimmerman scored from first when Adam LaRoche teed off on a 3-0 pitch from Kyle Kendrick and tripled off the wall in center, 402 ft from home, to drive in the tying run. 2-2 in the fifth. Ian Desmond K'd taking on a full-count fastball he thought was inside, but Kurt Suzuki came through with a two-out RBI single that brought LaRoche home to make it a 3-2 game in the Nationals' favor. Tyler Moore reached on a weak grounded that got stuck in Michael Young's glove and Steve Lombardozzi made it 5-2 with his third hit in three at bats, lining to right-center off Kendrick for a two-out, two-run double that put the Nationals up by three after five.
Michael Young hit the 12th ground ball out of the night to second where Steve Lombardozzi fielded another one-hopper. Lombardozzi was in short right in the shift when he fielded a grounder from Ryan Howard, but his throw to first pulled Adam LaRoche off the bag. E4 (in short-right), but Jordan Zimmermann got a 6-4-3 DP out of Delmon Young and was through the top of the sixth after just eight pitches at 73 overall with 13 groundouts from the 23 Phillies' batters he'd faced. Michael Stutes took over for Kendrick in the bottom of the sixth and retired the Nationals in order in a quick eight-pitch frame.
Domonic Brown sent groundout no.14 of the night by the Phillies out to Lombardozzi at second to start the seventh. A fly to center by Freddie Galvis and another groundout off Erik Kratz's bat had Jordan Zimmermann through seven on 92 pitches after a 19-pitch frame. 15 groundouts. The Nationals went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, and Tyler Clippard came on for the eighth. Zimmermann's Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 92 P, 66 S, 15/3 GO/FO.
Tyler Clippard needed 11 pitches to retire the Phillies in order in the top of the eighth. Phillies' right-hander B.J. Rosenberg walked Tyler Moore to start the Nationals' eighth, but got a double play grounder out of Steve Lombardozzi for the first two outs of the frame. Left-hander Jeremy Horst took over against left-handed hitter Chad Tracy, and gave up a two-out pinch hit single to right-center. Denard Span hit an infield single to short in the next at bat, but Bryce Harper grounded out to end the eighth. Sing it!!
"Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth looking for save no.14 of 2013. MIchael Young popped to first. ONE!! Ryan Howard K'd swinging! TWO!!! Delmon Young flew to center to end it. Ballgame. 15 straight starts in D.C. without a loss for Jordan Zimmermann. 5-2 Nats final.
Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!!!
Nationals now 25-23