5. Zimmermann vs New York: Jordan Zimmermann tossed six scoreless against the San Diego Padres last time out, giving up six hits and a walk while recording six Ks in what ended up a 10-0 Washington Nationals' win.
Zimmermann lowered his ERA on the year from 4.20 to 3.66 in the process with another impressive out in Petco Park, which has been kind to him throughout the course of his career.
"He was down in the zone more, ball was down," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said after the win.
"He missed a lot down as opposed to missing up. He was able to climb the ladder late with the heater too, so as he got into the fifth and sixth inning he started throwing breaking balls for strikes early as well. Good job."
"I was just good with the fastball tonight," Zimmermann told reporters. "Had good command of it and stuck with that for the most part and I was able to throw it inside with a purpose and it opened up the slider and the curveball."
It was another in a string of improved outings for Zimmermann, who acknowledged having some issues early this season.
"I was just a little out of whack, mechanically, and flying open," Zimmermann said, "and I've been -- the last couple starts -- a lot better and staying on the ball like I said the last start and the velocity is there now and the fastball command is right where I want it."
The win over the Padres left him (3-2) on the year with the 3.66 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, 10 walks (1.93 BB/9) and 30 Ks (5.79 K/9) in 46 ⅔ IP.
Tonight he was back in the nation's capital, where Zimmermann had a 2.49 ERA (vs 5.06 on the road), a 2.86 FIP (vs 3.45 outside of D.C.) and a .235/.288/.299 line against in 25 ⅓ IP (vs a .333/.370/.379 line in 21 ⅓ IP away from Nats Park).
Zimmermann's second career start vs the Yankees began with back-to-back hits, a single to right by Brett Gardner and an RBI double to right-center by Carlos Beltran which made it 1-0 New York early. Beltran took third base on a groundout to first by Mark Teixeira and scored on a sac fly to center by Brian McCann, 2-0. 17-pitch first. A lot of fastballs early.
Didi Gregorius lined a 2-0 fastball to left-center in the second, but he was stranded when Adam Warren K'd swinging to end an 11-pitch inning that left Zimmermann at 28 pitches after two.
Jordan Zimmermann started mixing in some offspeed stuff the second time through the order and threw a quick, eight-pitch 1-2-3 third. 36 total.
Yankees' catcher Brian McCann bunted toward third when the Nationals went into a shift in his leadoff at bat in the fourth, but three outs later he was stranded on the basepaths as Zimmermann completed an 11-pitch frame that left him at 47 pitches.
Zimmermann threw a 2-2 fastball by Brett Gardner up high for a swinging third strike that ended a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth after Tyler Moore tied it up at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth. 58 pitches total.
Brian McCann took a two-out walk from Zimmermann in the top of the sixth, and Chase Headley singled through the right side of the infield on a 1-1 fastball inside, but Stephen Drew chased a 2-2 curve out of the zone for out no.3 of a 18-pitch frame. 76 total for Zimmermann after six.
Didi Gregorious beat out a grounder to short with one down in the top of the seventh, or appeared to...
The Nationals challenged the call, and it was reversed. Two outs. And a grounder to short by the opposing pitcher ended a 12-pitch seventh that pushed Zimmerman up to 88 pitches.
• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 88P, 60 S, 9/4 GO/FO.
4. Warren, Adam: Only two Washington Nationals, Yunel Escobar (2 for 5) and Jose Lobaton (1 for 2, 2B) had any history against New York Yankees' right-hander Adam Warren before tonight. The 27-year-old right-hander took the mound in Nationals Park, facing Washington for the first time in four-plus seasons in the majors, with a 4.50 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 14 walks (3.32 BB/9) and 23 Ks (5.45 K/9) in seven starts and 38 IP, over which he'd held opposing hitters to a .269/.338/.372 line.
Warren, an '09 4th Round pick out of the University of North Carolina, had a .246/.303/.361 line vs left-handed hitters on the year going into tonight's outing, though righties were having more success with a .286/.386/.381 line against him early this season.
He'd struggled away from Yankee Stadium early this season too, with a 6.04 ERA in 22 ⅓ IP away from home (vs a 2.30 ERA in 15 ⅔ in NY), and a 4.97 FIP (vs 2.95) on the road.
When hitters do reach base, however, Warren has shut them down over the last two years, with a streak of 89 IP, going back to May 2014, without allowing a stolen base, a stretch which spanned 54 appearances.
His first career start vs the Nationals began with a groundout to short by Denard Span, but Ian Desmond worked the count full in the next at bat and torched a 93 mph fastball, sending a solo home run out over the center field fence to make it 2-1 New York. Desmond's 4th. Yunel Escobar took a one-out walk, and Ryan Zimmerman a two-out free pass, but both were stranded when Wilson Ramos popped out to end a 27-pitch frame.
Danny Espinosa hit a one-out single to center field in the Nats' second, and after Jordan Zimmermann bunted him over/gave up an out, a wild pitch from Warren allowed him to take third, but he was stranded there when Denard Span popped out to short left to end a seven-pitch second by the Yankees' starter. 34 pitches total after two.
Warren struck out the side in a 14-pitch third that featured Bryce Harper's ejection for arguing a called strike with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson who didn't think the 22-year-old outfielder returned to the batter's box quickly enough after Matt Williams too started barking from the dugout. Williams eventually got tossed as well.
48 pitches total for Warren, still 2-1 Yankees.
Tyler Moore went deep with two in the fourth, however, taking a low 2-2 curve from Warren for a ride to left and bouncing his third home run of the season off the top of the outfield wall and into the stands. 2-2 game. 14-pitch frame, 62 total.
Denard Span lined a single to right with one down in the Nats' fifth, but one out later he got picked off first with Yunel Escobar up to end an 11-pitch frame that left Warren at 73 pitches.
A nine-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth left Warren at 82 pitches.
Wilson Ramos reached on an error and Tyler Moore walked in the first two at bats of the Nationals' seventh, but Danny Espinosa popped out on a bunt attempt for the first out of the frame. Dan Uggla worked the count full in a pinch hit appearance, and took the second walk of the inning, which ended Warren's night...
• Adam Warren's Line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 98 P, 57 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
3. Moore, Moore: While Michael Taylor got the start in the first game of two with the Yankees last night, Nats' skipper Matt Williams turned to Tyler Moore tonight for the second game against New York. Moore went 3 for 13 on the last road trip with a double and a big home run in the Nats' 9-6 win over the D-Backs in Arizona and finished the trip with a double in the series finale with the Padres in Petco Park.
"He's coming off a really good game in San Diego," Williams said. "With Jayson [Werth] out we're going to do a little bit of mixing and matching. I just like the way he's swinging it, and want to keep him as fresh as possible."
Though he started slow in April, with a .190/.261/.381 line, a double and a home run in 13 games (4 games started) and 23 plate appearances, Moore picked it up in May, along with the rest of the Nationals, posting a .235/.278/.471 line in 12 games and 16 PAs before tonight.
Tonight in Nationals Park, Moore sent a flyout to center in his first at bat, made an awkward diving catch in left in the top of the third, and hit a solo home run to left on a 2-2 curve in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game up at 2-2.
2. Turning Point(s): After the Yankees jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Carlos Beltran and a sac fly by Brian McCann, Ian Desmond worked the count full in his first inning at bat and crushed a 93 mph fastball from Adam Warren, sending a no-doubter out to center for his second first inning home run in two days and his 9th hit in his last 23 at bats. 2-1 after one.
• Bryce Harper didn't like a first pitch strike call by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson in the third (it was low), and he stepped out of the box to argue, but when he didn't get back in quickly enough, Hudson and he got into it and Harper got tossed. Matt Williams, who was arguing from the dugout before the ejection, came out to defend Harper and got tossed as well, but not before giving Hudson an earful and even kicking some dirt around. Haven't seen that in a while.
With the Nationals still trailing 2-1, Tyler Moore stepped in with two out in the fourth and crushed a low 2-2 curveball from Adam Warren, sending a game-tying home run out to left field and off the top of the fence for his third home run of the season. 2-2 game in D.C.
[ed. note - "See below for the exiting conclusion and the final turning point..."]
1. The Wrap-Up: The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. Wilson Ramos reached on an error and Tyler Moore and Dan Uggla took one and two-out walks. Adam Warren left the game there, replaced by left-hander Justin Wilson. Denard Span stepped in against the southpaw, lefty vs lefty and sent a chopper through short for an RBI single. 3-2 Nationals. Ian Desmond K'd swinging for out no.2, and Yunel Escobar grounded out to third to end the seventh with the Nationals up by one.
Matt Grace took over for the Nats in the top of the eighth and walked Mark Teixeira with two down. Brian McCann stepped in next with the tying run on first. Slade Heathcott came on to run for Teixeira. Brian McCann took the second straight walk, but Chase Headley grounded into a force at second to end the frame.
Esmil Rogers walked Ryan Zimmerman with one down in the bottom of the eighth, and stole second as Wilson Ramos K'd for out no.2. Tyler Moore K'd swinging to end the inning.
Drew Storen came on in the top of the ninth looking for save no.12 of 2015. Storen fell behind Stephen Drew 3-1, but got a fly to Michael Taylor in right for out no.1. ONE!! Garrett Jones went down swinging at a 1-2 slider for out no.2. TWO!! Didi Gregorious lined a two-out single to left field on a 95 mph 1-1 fastball. Alex Rodriguez stepped in to a chorus of boos only slightly less vitriolic than what Marvin Hudson got earlier in the game, fell behind 0-2 to loud cheers and took a fastball inside for a called strike three. Ballgame.
Nationals now 24-17