Apr 27, 2013, 3:50 AM EDT
Jordan Zimmermann acknowledges the crowd after his shutout victory.
Ignore, for a moment, the Nationals’ offensive issues, which made a return appearance Friday night in scratching out all of one run on six hits against the Reds. Forget, for now, about Adam LaRoche’s 0-for-18 slump at the plate and the injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos that have stripped Davey Johnson’s lineup of two potent bats.
Sure, the Nationals still have some question marks four weeks into the season, questions that may or may resolve themselves in the days and weeks to come. On this night, don’t spent a moment fretting about any of that and just sit back and appreciate back-to-back pitching performances not seen in these parts in nearly a century.
What Jordan Zimmermann did Friday deserves attention all unto itself. With a Clemens-like arsenal and Maddux-like efficiency, he 1-hit a very good Cincinnati lineup, going the distance on only 91 pitches, a masterful outing that proved entirely necessary for the Nationals to pull off a 1-0 victory on South Capitol Street.
“Since I’ve been here, that’s the best-pitched game I’ve seen,” manager Davey Johnson proclaimed.
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