Through five starts this Spring before he took the mound this afternoon in Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium to take on the Miami Marlins, Jordan Zimmermann was (2-0) with a 1.37 ERA, four walks and 15 Ks in 19 ⅔ innings pitched, holding opposing hitters to a combined .267 BAA (Batting Average Against).
Last time out, the Washington Nationals' 28-year-old right-hander allowed four hits, two walks and one earned run in six innings of work on the mound in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Zimmermann told reporters that he felt like he was ready for the start of the season after the outing against the Cards.
"'The first couple starts, I was working on some stuff and just working on some pitches,'" Zimmermann explained, as quoted by MASN's Chris Johnson:
"'But now I'm setting guys up and attacking and going after them like I would during the season. I feel good. Just building up the pitches and getting stronger every time out. For the most part, I'm feeling strong and ready to go.'"
Zimmermann took the mound for the sixth time in Grapefruit League action today, giving up a leadoff single to center by Fish infielder Dee Gordon in the first at bat, a one-out double to left by Marlins' right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and a three-run home run by former National, Michael Morse, who hit a 1-1 pitch out to center, over Michael Taylor's head and over the outfield wall. 3-0 Miami after one.
Miami's 8-9-1-and-2 hitters hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back, two-out hits off Zimmermann in the home-half of the second. Marlins' starter Jarred Cosart and Dee Gordon (2 for 2) singled in front of Fish left fielder Christian Yelich, whose two-run, ground ball triple drove in both runners, putting Miami up 5-0. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a tape-measure home run to left field, driving Yelich in to make it a 7-0 game after two innings.
The Marlins' new third baseman, Martin Prado, singled to start the bottom of the third, stole second base, took third on a throwing error by Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos and scored on an RBI single by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 8-0 Miami after three.
Zimmermann retired the Marlins in order in the fourth, striking Gordon and Stanton out for his third and fourth Ks of the game.
Zimmermann's Line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 80 P, 54 S, 3/4 GO/FO.
Zimmermann on today's start: "It's spring training, that's a good thing. I can throw it away." Said he felt fine, just couldn't locate.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) April 1, 2015
With a week until his season debut, Zimmermann says he plans to throw a longer-than-normal bullpen session, work on a few things.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) April 1, 2015
Craig Stammen, Xavier Cedeno, Blake Treinen and Tanner Roark combined to keep the Marlins scoreless after Zimmermann's exit, giving up just two more hits the rest of the way.
Jarred Cosart, Bryan Morris, David Phelps and Greg Nappo combined on a four-hit shutout of the Nationals. 8-0 final.
NOTE: Nationals' outfielder Michael Taylor left this afternoon's game after just two at bats. No word on any incident during the game. Will update if there is anything...