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Yankees rough up Zimmermann

Mar 29, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

In the final exhibition game before the 2013 season, the Nationals lost 4-2 to the New York Yankees behind a good day for Andy Pettite and a bad day for Jordan Zimmermann. 
Zimmermann lasted just 3 1/3 innings before being pulled with a four-run deficit. He exited after 69 pitches, 49 of them strikes, with seven hits allowed and four earned runs.
Manager Davey Johnson said Zimmermann told him “the ball feels like a bowling ball,” similar to how Gio Gonzalez categorized his recent poor start. But afterwards Zimmermann brushed off the outing and described it as not a concern.
“The fastball was good, the offspeed was good, I just made a few mistakes and they hit a few balls hard. Get those out of the way now,” he said.
“I feel healthy and I feel good so I think we’re ready to go.”
The Yankees scored all four of their runs in the fourth inning, beginning with a solo home run by Kevin Youkilis. Travis Hafner then singled, followed by a double by Vernon Wells to put two men in scoring position. Eduardo Nunez knocked both runners home and then scored on a Chris Stewart single.
Zimmermann was replaced in the fourth inning by Zach Duke who started a run of solid pitching for the Nationals out of the bullpen. Duke bridged them through the fifth, then Henry Rodriguez, Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard, and Drew Storen closed it out inning-by-inning. The string of scoreless frames showcased a bullpen as deep as any in the National League.

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  1. Steve Hayes - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Span: No power, No Arm, not all that fast — uh oh, we're in trouble.From very shallow centerfield, Span throws the ball all the way — to the mound. Haha nice throw.Rizzo/Davey diss Det by announcing Haren the Horrible the #4 what an insult!Playing Werth in right and not Harper is a joke. Put the strongest arm in Right field — everybody knows that.This outfield will be run on this year –Carrying HRod — are you joking? He's a one inning pitcher. YOu gonna trust him in close games after he lost 4-5 games last year? Are they insane?Its amazing how good a couple of top draft picks can make a GM and an old manager look.The Nats will not win 98 games this year — they may win 90, probably less.

  2. baseballjones - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Zimmerman's throws from 3B to 1B today were awful. I mean unimaginably poor for a major leaguer.And I agree that Span is not particularly impressive. Punch and Judy at the plate and no arm to speak of in CF.On the plus side, Espinosa hit the ball well, even if he didnt have the results to show for it.And I like the newly svelte (well, that may be pushing it) Ramos – looks good at the plate and looked great on the throw down to 2B (that steal was on ZNN).

  3. peric - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Span: No power, No Arm, not all that fast — uh oh, we're in trouble.And Davey has the hairy chested Magnolia Muscle, Tyler Moore sitting next to him. A player possibly capable of 40 + homers and 40 doubles per year. A younger version of Josh "the Hammer" Willingham with perhaps more power? Why worry? Bryce still likes it in CF. Span probably won't last the year starting in CF. Without Moore they don't have the offense to keep up with ATL.Playing Werth in right and not Harper is a joke. Put the strongest arm in Right field — everybody knows that.They want Harper to become familiar with all three outfield positions. Seems highly likely that eventually Bryce could end up permanently in right field.Probably in 2 years Werth transitions into a very expensive veteran pinch hitter / bench bat and backup. Goodwin makes his appearance. Tyler Moore becomes an everyday player. Why are you worried?Carrying HRod — are you joking? He's a one inning pitcher. YOu gonna trust him in close games after he lost 4-5 games last year? Are they insane?And they've got some good power arms in the bullpen with him, three lefties and a nice righty in Erik Davis, not to mention Cole Kimball in AAA. Again, why worry?

  4. phil dunton - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Sacraficing Morse for Span was a bad deal. Morse has 9 dingers in games this spring. Shame on you Rizzo.

  5. peric - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Sacraficing Morse for Span was a bad deal. Morse has 9 dingers in games this spring. Shame on you Rizzo.And in a part-time spring training role, with fewer at bats than Anthony Rendon, Tyler Moore has 4. Their reasoning was that Moore was ready NOW. Morse for one year would work if LaRoche had moved to another team. In fact it might have been better given that Rendon could be ready in 1 year or less. The Nats are loaded. And Morse had just one year left. And the Nats got three decent minor league power arms including a AA lefty starter. AJ Cole is already ranked 4th on the Nats top 10 prospects list.The hard part about losing Morse was his importance to team chemistry and the locker room. But he has been injury prone and he is now over 30 years old. And the Nats have prospects that are ready for the majors.Its unfortunate but Rizzo knows what he is doing just like he did when he first acquired Morse from the Mariners.

  6. sjm308 - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    And here is where the Legion of Doom has come to roost. Wow, we have not played one official game and the first of the 3 posts have us headed for "doom" if not downright failure. Maybe I should just turn my season tickets in (NOT). Can we get a spreadsheet started on JayB comments about Davey being stubborn and Peric commenting on Span being benched? At least baseball Jones had two positives to counter his two negatives. I can appreciate that. We are not a perfect team but we are a pretty damn good team. I this team starts slowly I expect to see even more of what started this post out. Just have to hope the experts know what they are talking about and that the FO is not as insane as Mr. Hayes thinks they are. Hmmm, if everybody knows you put your strongest arm in right field I wonder how Davey missed that? OK, no more energy spent tonight on defending a team that really does not need defending.

  7. peric - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Sorry SJM308 but I see no sense in letting Morse go and trading for Span without the presence of Tyler Moore. I can't see Davey agreeing to that. Unlike the rest of the bench perhaps excluding only Lombo Moore is a bonafide offensive starter. And unlike Moore Lombo is basically a singles to gap hitter. Moore is a potential impact hitter … and those are extremely rare. Span is not. Span gives Davey another left-haned bat to go with Lombo on the bench and LaRoche and Espy. Only LaRoche could be considered a potential impact hitter and only if he manages to repeat last year's numbers. Its a long season but I can't see them competing with the Braves without Moore getting consistent and regular PA's.

  8. peric - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Oh and Tracy the designated pinch hitter is also left-handed as is Harper; so that gives Davey 4 legit lefty swingers plus 2 platoon bats. Of those only Harper and LaRoche could be considered potential impact hitters. Harper and Moore might just be the only two capable of becoming tier1-tier2 impact hitters this season.

  9. Another_Sam - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    I didn't see today's game but I too am worried about Zimm's arn. Didn't look well to me last week. But I'm certainly not in the LoD camp. Play ball.

  10. Laddie Blah Blah - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    "I didn't see today's game but I too am worried about Zimm's arn."I was at the game and JZ was not up to snuff. He threw 5 straight FBs to Youklis. Got ahead 0-2 and I figured he would filet him like a fish with the new change-up. Instead he threw 3 more FBs. You gotta believe Yook was sitting on a FB by the time JZ threw him the 5th in a row.He still hit 93 – 94 on the gun without breaking a sweat. He was throwing, not pitching. He can pitch with the best of them when he wants to, and he will want to when the season starts for real.Man, you would never know this team had the best record in baseball last year, and is even better this year. Span is a great addition to the lineup. The Nats got him to get on base and score runs, and that is exactly what he is doing. He has a weak arm, for sure, and should not have thrown home on that play.Werth came over and spoke to him after that one, which allowed the hitter to advance to 2nd on the throw home. All 3 OFs got together and talked while Duke was warming up afterwards. The Nats are a team and they play as a team. Span is the new guy, and both Harper and Werth came over to discuss things with him. Those Nats are together.I was in a position where I could see that Henry was flexing the knee in his left leg, and was able to pitch under control by keeping his balance as he stepped into his pitch. He didn't go all out, either, reaching 93 – 94, max, on the gun.Hey, it was an exhibition game. Calm down.

  11. baseballswami - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Just got home- wow. What a bunch of depressing posts. No, Zim is not strong yet. He had surgery and has been playing third base for about two weeks now. I will take a temporarily lesser Zim any day of the week over a talented but as yet unproven minor leaguer. Can we just let them play some real games before we all give up on the season?

  12. baseballswami - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Which Zim 's arm are we worried about? Ryan or Jordan?

  13. Doc - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    We're all entitled to our opinions here, and opinions are all they really are and will ever be. Mine may be less valuable than many, if in fact we can put a valence on individual contributions.Having said that, I find it disconcerting that Steve Hayes who seems to be a fan of some other team (Philthies???) finds it necessary to unload a barage of his own negative personal observations.His responses may also suggest that his motives are less about being a Nats' fan and more about projecting his own negative feelings about life.All the personnel issues discussed by Mr. Hayes have a plausible appeal to baseball reality, andmay in fact receive some demonstrable support after 162 games.I was amongst the first Michael Morse supporters when he came to D.C., and I cotinue to be a big fan of his career. But I'm going to wait until the end of the regualr season to see how Span's contribution pans out. I think that I shall hopefully be surprised.One thing for sure, all the other issues brought up by Mr. Hayes do not make idiots out of Davey and Rizzo. I don't think that they have forgotten all the things that allowed them to win 98 games last year, and maybe those are the same things that will help the Nats win even more games in '13.

  14. SCNatsFan - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    No more excuses. Time to do the work.

  15. Mac - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Looking forward to Opening Day, when they raise the 2012 NL East Champions pennant above the scoreboard next to 1924, 1925 and 1933, followed immediately by the sight of JayB and NatsJack trying to climb the pole and tear it down, screaming "They ain't won nothing yet!" Should be quite the spectacle. Maybe they should grease the pole to make it even more fun.

  16. Nattering Nat - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Fretters and hand-wringers beware. In 2012, the Nats spring training record was 12-17. This year, in the AL, four of the five teams with the worst records are: Texas, LA Dodgers, Reds, and LA Angels. KC leads the group at 25-7.Davey has a track record of superior April starts. The time to start worrying may indeed be in two or three weeks. But surely not now, just before the season starts. Maybe that's the price of such hyped media expectations surrounding the Nats. It sure beats the preseason expectations around here the last 40, no 50, no 60, no 80 years or so!

  17. baseballswami - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Baseball is back!!!!! How can you be so glum at a time like this???? Go Nats!!!!

  18. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    A wise woman once told me "Some people aren't happy unless they're breaking somebody else's toys."

  19. PChuck - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    >>>Zimmerman's throws from 3B to 1B today were awful. I mean unimaginably poor for a major leaguer.You don't watch much major league baseball do you? Zimmerman's throws to first were average which is much better than what they were last year.

  20. peric - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Again, Mike Rizzo is all about insurance policies as Davey likes to say. He has backups to his backups to backup his backup. Zim is covered if he can't throw. Henry is more than covered if he can't find his command. The offense is covered if Span is just a better behaved version of Nyjer Morgan. Its all covered. And unlike Giggleman Davey is aggressive and strategically brilliant at times. He knows what levers to pull and when to pull them. I'm not worried because I can see all of that. It sure as heck wasn't there two years ago.

  21. peric - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    I will take a temporarily lesser Zim any day of the week over a talented but as yet unproven minor leaguer. Not what was said when Zim was handed the job … actually at a younger age than Rendon. Look, its going to happen. Just like Morse (a guy I dearly wish they would have kept) was going to get traded just as Natslady predicted. And why? Because there is Tyler Moore not Denard Span. And Zim will move to first base because there's a guy with a rifle arm named Anthony Rendon.

  22. NatsLady - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Venters to see Dr. James Andrews. I didn't realize he already had TJ surgery. I gather we are finding it doesn't last forever, as I see more pitchers on their second round.Venters had to come out of Tuesday's game against Detroit and likely will start the season on the disabled list, clearing the way for the Braves to keep Cristhian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro on the 25-man roster. Both are out of minor league options.Andrews performed elbow-ligament replacement surgery on Venters' elbow in 2005. Venters recovered from to become one of Atlanta's most reliable setup relievers.Last season, Venters went 5-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 66 games.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130329/jonny-venters-james-andrews.ap/#ixzz2P17azePj

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Rizzo doesn't like American League DH's playing in the field. That's why there is no Michael Morse and won't be any Tyler Moore's in anything more than a bench role.See Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham and now Michael Morse.

  24. sjm308 - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Peric: I actually like a lot of your ideas. Its just that reading them 23 times gets a little old. We heard about Span heading for the bench from you about a week after the trade. It is now close to opening day. Moore is super and I loved Morse, but Span is the starting CFer and I think it will work. Just like the Willingham trade allowed Morse to flourish, the Span move will allow Bryce to experience a lot less wear and tear on his legs and arm and hopefully the entire team benefits from both being in the lineup. One last thing about Span's arm and this is apples to oranges but I still have nightmares about Nyjer not being able to get the ball even to 2nd base. Did anyone ever have a worse throwing arm in the outfield? I had not heard negatives about Span's throwing until the "gentleman" (not the honest word I want to use) in the first post mentioned it.

  25. baseballswami - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Peric- when Zim came up our cupboard was completely bare and he was our Stras and Harper all rolled into one. Now , he has been the FOF through thick and thin, won a gold glove, been an all star and an all around great guy for the team and city. Maybe we can give him a minute to work things out.

  26. BigCat - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Hmmmm….interesting N-Jack. The homers are impressive and flashy, but when it gets down to crunch time, pitching and defense normally win out in the long run.

  27. baseballswami - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Example A. – the Giants winning the series two of the last three years.

  28. BigCat - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I saw Spans throw and didn't think it was that bad. I think if it had been over to the plate side, he'd of nailed him, if Ramos would of held it course.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Spans throw yesterday to the plate was fine. It kicked to the left because it hit on the side of the mound.

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Actually to the left for Span, and to the right of Wilson.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Joe Seamhead - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Span's inadequacies are greatly exaggerated. Look, I loved Morse. I'll miss his power, but guys that are lot smarter then me, Nats Jack, sjm308, Nats Lady, and even peric made a decision that moving him now and getting a speedy, prototypical leadoff CF, i.e. Denard Span, was going to improve this team. I trust those guys' baseball decisions more then I trust any of ours. I think H-Rod is toast. Davey disagrees. I'm probably wrong there, too. Tyler Moore is a strapping young buck that crushes the ball, but though he has improved in the OF, he is not one of our four,much less three, best outfielders. If I'm pitching in a tight game, Tyler's not who I want backing me up out there. I agree with Big Cat in that pitching and defense, and I'll add timely hitting, win more games. Tyler is a valuable part of the GOON Squad until further notice.As to Drew Storen getting optioned, I have only heard that possibility from one arm chair GM. That's very, very unlikely to happen, short an available left handed reliever, or not. I don't put a whole lot of stock into spring training stats, but if I did I'd be more worried about Steve Lombardozzi then anyone else on the 25 that came north.

  33. Whack-a-Mule - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    In Re: J-Zim's pitching difficulties -Referring back to my scorebook, of the 7 hits J-Zim allowed, only one (first-pitch double to Wells in the ill-fated 4th) came WITHOUT 2 STRIKES in the count. 3 hits were at 2-2, the other 3 at 0-2, 0-2 and 1-2. Pitch selection with a 2-strike count would appear to be an issue. This is most often a catcher issue ( 'tho it wasn't Ramos who hung the 0-2 curve to Cano in the 1st inning. :-) Perhaps there is a rust factor at work.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Two days without Nats baseball. Be prepared for some rather off the wall rants by the usual suspects and some of the newer trolls that have discovered the site.

  35. NatsJim - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Amazing how the trip north brought all of the trolls out of hibernation here… surprised Scott in Burke didn't make an appearance. Oh well, offseason's been fun, back to lurking I guess…

  36. Joe Seamhead - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Joe Seamhead - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The ignorance of MLB expressed over the past few days by a couple of clowns has been astounding. One can offer critical analysis here, and differing opinions, but the tone, and inaccuracies thrown out doesn't invite anyone to roll out a welcome mat.

  38. SonnyG10 - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    peric said…Again, Mike Rizzo is all about insurance policies as Davey likes to say. He has backups to his backups to backup his backup. Zim is covered if he can't throw. Henry is more than covered if he can't find his command. The offense is covered if Span is just a better behaved version of Nyjer Morgan. Its all covered. And unlike Giggleman Davey is aggressive and strategically brilliant at times. He knows what levers to pull and when to pull them. I'm not worried because I can see all of that. It sure as heck wasn't there two years ago.March 30, 2013 12:14 AMExcellent analysis and so true!

  39. gail - Mar 30, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Yesterday Ryan Z looked awful in the field – not like a major league player. I'm worried about his fielding, Danny Espinosa's torn rotator cuff, and Denard Span's weak throws from center field. I think the team may be too "puffed up." They need to get hits, play good defense, and win games. All of the paper blather during the winter doldrums means nothing if they perform as they did yesterday.

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