Aug 11, 2011, 11:49 PM EST
Associated Press photo
Two late home runs, combined with little run support, cost Jordan Zimmermann.
CHICAGO — A nine-inning baseball game typically features 300 total pitches, countless decisions and any number of opportunities for players on each side of the diamond. There are, however, a handful of games over the course of a season that truly are decided by one or two key moments.
And when those moments involve young players still learning how to thrive in such high-pressure situations, the results often are painful to watch, even if they do teach those players how to better handle them the next time around.
The Nationals’ 4-3 loss to the Cubs Thursday afternoon fit that description. Painful to watch both from afar and up close, it perhaps will serve a greater purpose down the road when Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond look back and realize what they did wrong and what they could have done better to turn this excruciating loss into an uplifting victory.
Start with Zimmermann, who for most of the day was as sharp as he’s been all season. Blowing away Chicago’s hitters with a lethal combination of mid-90s fastballs and high-70s curveballs, the
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