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‘He’s a man out there’

Jul 19, 2012, 4:39 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jordan Zimmermann churned out six more scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.35.

If there are still any detractors out there for the Nationals’ plan to shut down Stephen Strasburg in September, perhaps these words from Jordan Zimmermann following another stellar pitching performance Wednesday night will help change their minds.

“I definitely feel stronger another year after surgery,” said Zimmermann, now nearly three full years removed from Tommy John surgery. “Last year was hit-or-miss. I didn’t know how I was going to feel. But this whole year I’ve been feeling great. I haven’t had any aches or pains. So, knock on wood, I hope that keeps going.”

The Nationals certainly hope Zimmermann keeps this up, because what he’s doing right now is out-pitching everyone else from their star-studded rotation, not to mention out-pitching just about every other hurler in the big leagues.

With six more scoreless innings — helping pave the way for a 4-3 victory over the Mets — Zimmermann continued both his streak of consistent quality work as well as his recent streak of sheer excellence on the mound.
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  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 19, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 19, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Man, bulldog, most underrated pitcher in the game, call him anything you want. He's going to be awesome in October.

  3. Unknown - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Best pitcher in the National League, what a beast …

  4. Schumatrix - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    If his record were better, you'd be hearing "NL Cy" whenever JZimm's name was mentioned. Too bad he never gets run support, because JZimm's the man.

  5. Unknown - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    I'd like to offer a little perspective here after another exciting win against the Mets.1. At this date in 2009, the Nationals were 26-64. 2. With 53 wins already in the bank the Nationals need only to win 6 more games to match the entire number of wins in 2009. Washington, who should hit that 59th win in the middle of next week, could go 30-43 the rest of the way and still win 89 wins for the year.

  6. kc21 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    How about sending Stammen down to the Minors to make room for Storen? Only we ask him to stretch out to become a Starter for us in September (to replace Straus.

  7. Dryw Loves the Nats - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Unknown, you almost made my head explode. But in a good way.

  8. Grandstander - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    I think you nailed it with your lede. Zimmermann's success now is the strongest argument for the Strasburg Shutdown that I've seen. In fact, with Strasburg, we're seeing a lot of that 'hit or miss' stuff that Jordan was referring to in his first year back. Just imagine how utterly dominant Stras will be once he has command and consistency!

  9. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Jordan is the model for correct handling of a pitcher after tj. Watching him this year must really help them stick to their plan. I understand JZ and Stras hang out together ( that must be a barrel of laughs, by the way), so Jordan can help SS understand the challenges and rewards for being patient.

  10. MicheleS - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    I may be projecting a bit here, but Notice who started the first game out of the Allstar break? Davey could have picked any of the 4 not named Stras – Maybe not Gio because of the 1 inning, but still. Davey picked JZ, Gio, Stras, Ejax, Det. Drop Stras out of that picture later this year – say a month that begins with an O – and you have your "P" (not saying the word yet) rotation. The only thing that might change depends on who the #5 is when Stras gets shut down.And yes, heading to Cooperstown soon. This will be my 4th induction ceremony and will relish every moment.

  11. MicheleS - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Had to put this out there for our folks who worry about our bench. Interesting stats..Kookaid from Boz

  12. NatsNut - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Nope. None here that I can see. "If there are still any detractors out there for the Nationals' plan to shut down Stephen Strasburg in September…"

  13. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    When I watch Jordan pitch, it just seems to me that every game, every inning, every batter, you could just take a film of it and replay it. It's first pitch strike – seems to me 99 times out of 100. So, why don't they swing at it? Is it explosive, located particularly well, or does it have late movement? Then, either the curveball or the tight slider is going on any given night to mix in. The change up is just sitting there in case he needs to show them something different a couple of times a game. I love watching him pitch because they have to know what he does – it's the same thing pitch after pitch after pitch. I don't think I have seen many pitchers repeat mechanics like he does. Just makes me wonder about the scouting report on him. Seems like it should be something like " swing". It must be very frustrating to know that you are going to get strikes and then you just hit some crappy, weak ground ball, foul pop up or fly ball without the distance. So great to watch. So strange how the national coverage of our games just ignores him.That's fine, by the way. I am sure that the players know who he is.

  14. NCNatsie - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Michele, thanks for the Boz link. I might have missed it, being way down here. I knew our bench had been productive, but the stats he cited are little short of astonishing.

  15. JaneB - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Another great piece. Swami, those were some of the questions we had last night. It seems like with Mariano, they have to know what's coming, but they can't hit it. I love his composure. The fact that his arm really is getting stronger is a great for us and a promise for the future of Stras. He is going to be a star in the fall, and then everyone will know his name. Thanks for the link to the Boz piece on the good squad, MichelleS!

  16. The Fox - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Not sure if this was already posted before. Nice article about Davey in the NY Times.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/sports/baseball/davey-johnson-baseballs-oldest-manager-leading-washingtons-youth-movement.html?

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Atta way, Bulldog. grrrr… Safe travels and have fun, Michele.

  18. hiramhover - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    SchumatrixI think W-L doesn't matter so much in Cy Young voting any more, thankfully (I'm looking at you, King Felix), but there's a lot else working against JZ. He is #4 among NL starting pitchers in ERA, but doesn't rank in the top 10 in most other categories, standard or sabremetric (Ks, WAR, xFIP, etc), and Gio and Stras both rank above him in many of those. Hard to see how a guy widely regarded as 3d best on the staff would have a shot at the CY.So he's just going to have to content himself with the adulation of us Nats fans and the gratitude and respect of his teammates and manager for his strong and consistent performances. My guess is he'll be ok with that.

  19. sm13 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Nailed it, Mark, Jordan is the labratory case for shutting Stras down. Imagine if Stras improves as much next year as Jordan has this year. Jordan's command and control get better with each start. Have a great time in Cooperstown, MichelleS. Wear your Nats colors with pride!

  20. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    JZ is the best pitcher on a great staff. Sometimes, the numbers do lie. On the mound, he just has the look of a guy who is in total charge of the situation. He is getting stronger with each game, and his confidence reflects his superiority on the mound.Thanks MIchelle, for the link on Davey's management of his bench. I have been perplexed by the Sharks great stats off the bench compared to his comparative under-performance when given a starting gig. Davey deserves immense credit for getting the most out of what he has, especially at crunch time, with the game often on the line.If Rizzo is GM of the year, Davey is Mgr. of the Year.

  21. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Laddie — You hit the nail on the head. When it comes to composure and mound presence, he has "it". More so than the veterans, Gio and EJax, in fact. I wonder how it affects the defense, especially the young ones, to have the pitcher seem so confident, composed and in charge. His pacing through the game is also good. Stats do lie. Baseball people think the strike outs are sexy but they are really fascist. Just ask Crash Davis.

  22. nats guy - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Unknown,I think you need to work on your Math. If they go 30 and 43 the rest of the way they will only be 83 and 79. Hope for better. You are better than most on this blog. At least you can spell.

  23. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Nats Guy, I think Unknown meant, if they go 30-43 AFTER winning (if they were to do so) six more games.With 53 wins already in the bank the Nationals need only to win 6 more games to match the entire number of wins in 2009. Washington, who should hit that 59th win in the middle of next week, could go 30-43 the rest of the way and still win 89 wins for the year.

  24. ehay2k - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I believe Unknown was saying that if they went 30 and 43 AFTER they hit the 59 games mark, they'd win 89 games. Of course, that also means they'd be in the playoffs because he has too many games played. I'm good with that ;-)

  25. ehay2k - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Coke to Sec3

  26. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    On that theme:A win today would put them at 54-36, exactly .600.If they were to win the next six, as in Unknown's scenario, they would be on a pace for 100 wins.Since the schedule is what it is, those wins would come against the Mets (today FTS, and the opener Monday) and the Braves (4), which would push them each, at minimum, 8.5 (ATL) and 10 (NYN) games back. The Marlins are 10 back now.

  27. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Thanks, but I forfeit the coke for not toting up the numbers and seeing the 6 extra games. I think I owe Nats Guy, who was right about the arithmetic.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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