Sep 1, 2010, 4:40 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann dominated for six innings but became an afterthought.
MIAMI — Before we get to anything else, this point needs to be made: Jordan Zimmermann pitched a fantastic ballgame tonight, and nothing else that happened at Sun Life Stadium matters as much to the Nationals in the big picture.
Yes, there was plenty of intrigue to what turned into a 1-0, 10-inning loss to the Marlins, with Nyjer Morgan once again front-and-center in a controversial collision at the plate. And we'll get to that in a moment. But in the long run, tonight's 10th inning matters far less than Zimmermann's six innings of pitching brilliance, the latest (and most emphatic) statement that the 24-year-old right-hander is all the way back from Tommy John surgery.
The Nationals have played 133 games now this season, and there's little question about which performance by a starting pitcher was best: Stephen Strasburg's 14-strikeout debut against the Pirates. But you know what? Zimmermann's start tonight was only a small tick below it. And if not for the innings and pitch-count restrictions the Nats have placed on him, he might well have gone the distance and actually surpassed Strasburg's performance.
Over his six innings, Zimmermann faced 18 Marlins batters. That's the bare minimum he could have faced over six innings. The only one to reach base against him: Gaby Sanchez, who doubled to lead off the second, then was subsequently gunned down trying to tag up to third. So that means of the 86 pitches Zimmermann threw tonight, only fiveRead more »
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