May 9, 2013, 5:07 AM EST
USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Zimmermann beat the Tigers to earn his NL-leading sixth win.
From his position at first base, Adam LaRoche often gets an unfiltered reaction from opposing hitters to the man they’re facing on any particular night. What LaRoche was hearing from the handful of Detroit Tigers who reached base Wednesday night against Jordan Zimmermann was enough to convince him the Nationals’ young right-hander legitimately belongs in conversation with baseball’s very best pitchers right now.
“Oh man, it’s incredible,” LaRoche said. “When you’ve got the other team coming down talking about how nasty he is and how they’ve all been keeping up and know how good of a pitcher he his, it’s a pretty good sign.”
It’s also a fairly good sign when that pitcher shuts down three of the sport’s most fearsome lineups in succession, capped by this dismantling of the Tigers during a 3-1 victory that was as impressive as any the Nationals have strung together so far this season.
“I don’t think he’s scared of anybody,” LaRoche said. “I don’t think he cares who’s hitting. He’s pounding the zone and working ahead, sticking with his plan. It continues to pay off.”
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