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Lineup leads Zimmermann to 8th win

May 25, 2013, 4:21 AM EST

Jordan Zimmermann has pitched as well as anyone in baseball through the season’s first two months, and more often than not the Nationals have needed it. Only once during his previous six starts had Zimmermann’s teammates provided more than three runs of support.

So imagine how the right-hander felt when he looked up at the scoreboard at Nationals Park after five innings Friday night and saw a “5” listed next to the home team’s name.

“Definitely nice to get a five-run cushion tonight and kind of put it on cruise control,” he said.

And cruise Zimmermann did, churning out seven quality innings against the Phillies and riding the rare run support to a 5-2 victory that made him the NL’s first 8-game winner.
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  1. Rabbit34 - May 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Espi, you did great!! Oh, that's right, that was Lombo. Finally a good, relaxing game!

  2. Doc - May 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Score some runs for the Bulldog, and he might win 25 games!!GooooooooooooooNaaaaaaaaaaaaaats!!!

  3. Rabbit34 - May 25, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Doc, 25 wins would be better than three of our pitchers combined from not too many years ago!

  4. Laddie Blah Blah - May 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    JZ is the MVP of the Nats' spring. He could be 10 – 0.Kobernus is an ideal utility guy, a middle IFer who can also play the OF. If he performs well in that role, he might stick. He has no power, but gets on base and can steal. Not a bad combo to have for a guy in the 2-hole, either.He can also be the RH pinch hitter off the bench. Not an everyday player, but a guy who could help Davey with late-inning double-switches, pinch running, and pinch-hitting.Both he and Lombo are upgrades over Espinosa, who belongs on the DL with both a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder and a broken bone in his right wrist. What's next? They gonna knee-cap the guy and then see if they can send him to 2nd on a hit-and-run?

  5. baseballswami - May 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    So nice to have a game at a normal time- and a win- and score some runs. Happy Saturday morning, everyone!

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    4.70+ = W

  7. Theophilus T. S. - May 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Don't see how Espinosa avoids going on the DL. And it doesn't seem like Johnson sees Kobernus as doing much more than ride the bench. Nothing bold goin' on here. One four-run inning does not a breakthough make.

  8. baseballswami - May 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    The line up was shaken up, the offense was livelier, the line moved, we scored more runs, Danny was not in the line up- Bryce was. Coincidence? These guys are human and I just wonder how it affects their mindset to know that time and again, you can get on and start moving that line, but it will come to a screeching halt with Espi, and then again with the nine spot. When Jordan pitches, he works fast and the entire defense is involved a lot. Lombo was not just out there– he was busy, busy. I think many things have an effect- Bryce in , Danny out, new line up, home field, Jordan pitching. It's a strange alchemy and we have seen that our clubhouse is not immune to morale issues. The wrist situation turned out to be a face saving solution. But is it wise to rush back a person with a break who was really sucking, when the sub is doing ok?

  9. baseballswami - May 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    So who is the poster that does the oddities? Here is one– Joe Mauer has broken up 3 no hitters in the ninth inning. Now that gives new meaning to clutch.

  10. natsfan1a - May 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    That would be Wonk, swami.

  11. NatsLady - May 25, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Here are the oddities. Don't know why that on isn't listed. :)baseballhttp://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com/

  12. NatsLady - May 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    But I saw it on Twitter.Batting Stance Guy ‏@BattingStanceG As a nickname, Broke-up-3-no-hitters-in-the-9th-Mauer, seems wordy.

  13. Gonat - May 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Very enjoyable! Glad the Nats were able to still win after Trent sent TyMo into making the 1st out at homeplate. In the past, that play would've shut down the offense. On this night it didn't and JZ goes to 8 wins and Nats move another game over .500!

  14. NatsLady - May 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    And Angel Hernandez blew another call. I can't listen to Hawk Harrelson but I'm sure "displeased" is polite.umphttp://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/25/angel-hernandezs-blows-game-winner-hawk-harrelson-displeased/comment-page-1/#comment-499770

  15. Doc - May 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    The MLB TV camera cut away too soon, but I didn't see any 'untucks' pouring off the bench. Still smarting after the slight to their kid bro, Harps???Lombo had a great offensive game, but F.P. noted that he doesn't have the range of Espi. Also, Lombo's throwing error indicated a mid-outfield arm not quite up to the Espinosa standard.

  16. baseballswami - May 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    JZ is anywhere from first to third in several pitching stat categories. He is one cool customer. Ground balls were rolling all over the field one after the other. On a cool night I bet the defense loved it. And of course, they are rarely out there for long. Paid him back with a couple of nifty double plays. Did you hear what he said about his pitching plan?? It was windy and the balls were not going to go out so he figured he would just throw fastball strikes and let them hit it, let them get themselves out. Simple, yet effective. One strike out- the pitcher. Yet again, no walks. His pitches have to look juicy because they swing. Even on a cold windy night with a stiff neck he just does his thing. I hope all of our other starters continue to watch the way he goes about his business. Now if the offense can just keep eking out some runs….

  17. NatsLady - May 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Lombo doesn't have Espy's D, and I will miss that. A LOT. Please get yourself healed, Danny–and then GET SOME HITS.

  18. Gonat - May 25, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I'm watching Sportscenter and the 2nd base ump in that Royals-Angels game called Trout safe on a steal while he was clearly out by 5 feet.

  19. Whack-a-Mule - May 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Mule has now thawed out from 8 1/2 windy and cold innings. 8 1/2 being the key stat; the ideal length of a home game. Mule is uncertain that such a win would have occurred with Espinosa at 2nd base, hitting 6th or 7th.Agreed that Lombardozzi is a half-step down defensively from Espinosa but only half; he is still quite gifted defensively), clearly demonstrated last night. But Espinosa simply could not have delivered a 2-RBI clutch hit. Such is a non-event, given that what few hits he does obtain do not occur with R.I.S.P. Suzuki in 6-hole – similar comment.

  20. Gonat - May 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    NatsLady said… Lombo doesn't have Espy's D, and I will miss that. A LOT. Please get yourself healed, Danny–and then GET SOME HITS. May 25, 2013 8:49 AM _______________________________That played that came up on Lombo that he snared down on his knees was a SportsCenter Top 10 play.His error sucked but he showed great range on it.Give Lombo 20 straight starts and lets see how good he looks with his defense.Danny can't hit whether he is healthy or hurt, that we know.

  21. Nats106 - May 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Off topic: Any Season Ticket holders having problems getting into the Nats access for their seats today?

  22. Eugene in Oregon - May 25, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    baseballswami said…So who is the poster that does the oddities? Here is one– Joe Mauer has broken up 3 no hitters in the ninth inning. Now that gives new meaning to clutch.—————————That does, indeed, give new meaning to 'clutch' — extending on a thread from a week or so ago — in that clutch hitting is normally used to describe doing something with the bat to help your team win a ball game. I don't know about his other no-hitter break-ups, but Joe Mauer's hit last night just doesn't really strike me as meeting that definition.With one out, Mr. Mauer got a meaningless ninth-inning single in a game his last-place team was losing 6-0. It didn't drive in a run (or even advance a base runner). It didn't improve his team's chance of winning more than a tiny fraction (and, of course, his team didn't go on to win — or even score a run, or even get close). Sure, he broke up a guy's no-hitter, but that was a blow against another player's potential personal accomplishment, not against the Tigers as a team.Would the same hit (i.e., the only hit in a one-hitter) have been 'clutch' if it had occurred earlier? 8th inning? What about the 6th? Or the 2nd?It was a dramatic hit, sure. But clutch? I don't see it.

  23. natsfan1a - May 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    LaRoche was untucked and Lombo later untucked at Julie's urging (which, as previously noted, made me wonder if it was a Major League allusion – "There's only one thing left to do.").Doc said… The MLB TV camera cut away too soon, but I didn't see any 'untucks' pouring off the bench. Still smarting after the slight to their kid bro, Harps???

  24. Joe Seamhead - May 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    It was chilly last night at the park. There were also a lot of empty seats, but the crowd that was there was into it. Quite a few Philly fans, but all seemed like well behaved baseball fans. I saw no problems.I was happy for Player of the Game Steve Lombardozzi! And I was thrilled to see Tyler Moore making his way to first base a couple of times instead back to the dugout. Trent Jewitt looking pretty bad on the sending Moore call, but Revere does have a noodle of an arm. Glad/hope Tyler didn't get hurt.Speaking of Revere, he stinks. I seem to remember it said by somebody that Rizzo didn't get the better of the two from the Twins when we signed Span. Wrong, again.Well,Last week I guessed right on this one:Joe Seamhead said…As to Maya, I doubt very seriously that he will ever throw another pitch for the Nats in MLB.May 22, 2013 9:28 AM

  25. NatsLady - May 25, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Gotta run. Rolling Thunder, Bless 'Em, is gonna snarl up traffic all weekend. Later, gentle people.

  26. natsfan1a - May 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Speaking of Phillies Phans, my fondest wish for that Phanatic-hatted couple behind the dish came true when the Nats went ahead and held on for the win. I will give those Phans credit for staying for the entire game, though. :-)

  27. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Lombo doesn't have Espy's D, and I will miss that. A LOT. Please get yourself healed, Danny–and then GET SOME HITS.I miss his D too, and then I think about his Ks, and I feel fine. I must confess that this plan to keep him on the roster and rest him for a few days to see if his wrist starts feeling better does make me suspicious of the wrist story. But of course, the injury did happen SIX WEEKS AGO, so maybe it's nearly healed. I'm still royally pissed at both Espi and the medical staff. Both of them pathetic.No problems here with the Nats access site, 106.

  28. Gonat - May 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Pitch F/X finally shows that Jordan Z has indeed thrown some 2 seam fastballs. According to Pitch F/X, JZ has thrown 8 in his entire career.His ability to get doubleplays at the perfect moment saved him yesterday particularly in that bases loaded jam. I'm not sure if he threw a sinker, a 4 seam or his slider which he has used to get grounders before. Whatever it was, it was working!http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?month=5&day=24&year=2013&game=gid_2013_05_24_phimlb_wasmlb_1%2F&pitchSel=519455&prevGame=gid_2013_05_24_phimlb_wasmlb_1%2F&prevDate=524

  29. JamesFan - May 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    We know what Espi is. Now let's see what Lombo can do with this opportunity. Give him at least 20 games at second, and then I'll decide who I want at second. His D was very sound last night and he won the game with his hitting. That's not going to happen every day, but give him an opportunity at least. I'll take singles and doubles with men on base. I don't demand three run jacks from the secondbaseman.

  30. Joe Seamhead - May 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Gonat@ 9:00a.m.Regarding the play that Lombo had the error, he was perfectly positioned almost as a "short fielder" in right field for Ryan Howard's at bat. He was pretty much right there, then made an awkward throw. Everybody in my section was marveling at where he was positioned.Adam LaRoche had a game deserving of being the "Un-sung Player of the Game." He picked several balls, but just makes it look so routine. Also, his triple was crushed off of the bat. The wind was brutal last night.

  31. natsfan1a - May 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I don't tend to watch MASN programming other than Nats games but I happened to catch a moment of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Report last night. They were announcing the full Nats lineup, including "Lombardi." ummm…

  32. Eugene in Oregon - May 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Gonat,Do you — or anyone else — know how Pitch F/X determines what pitch has been thrown? Does it assign the type of pitch based on speed and movement alone? Or does it somehow 'read' the stitches on the ball (i.e. to determine two- vs. four-seam)?

  33. Gonat - May 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Eugene, it's horizontal/vertical movement on the pitches and the velocity.That's what led to that debate on what Detwiler was throwing, curveball, slider or a hybrid slurve.I could see a pitcher throwing a 2 seamer that reacts very much like a 4 seamer as it doesn't have the vertical movement. For weeks FP and others kept calling JZ's fastball a 2 seamer and Pitch F/X has been showing it as a 4 seamer. Without looking at his grip or asking him, who knows but finally Pitch F/X has tallied up 2 seamers on his player's card.

  34. Eugene in Oregon - May 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Thanks. I've always been a bit dubious about the precision/certainty with which F/X assigns pitch type. I wonder how good it is at knuckleballs? (I know I could look it up, but I'm about to go out for a walk given that — at least for the moment and a rare oddity — it's not raining.)

  35. jeeves - May 25, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    If Espy had been in the lineup instead of Lombo, the Nats would likely have lost. That, to me, is the only significant issue here. Espy's defense wouldn't have saved any runs while Lombo's offence managed to give the team more than their usual one or two runs.

  36. Drew - May 25, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    The criticism of Rizzo for missing on Maya is a bit over the top.Look on the bright side — at least he's not the moron who traded Gio Gonzalez AND Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia.Who could make such a bad trade? That would be Hall of Famer Pat Gillick.Rizzo has done a very good job.

  37. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Post of the day over on NJ, in the piece about Espi's wrist."The only thing Espinosa does consistently well is grow a beard …"Carp said last night that his respect for Espi has only grown now that he knows he's been playing through pain. Davey says, "he's a trooper." And FP said he's known the wrist was bothering him for awhile but didn't say anything on the air because it might tip off opposing pitchers to something. How is that possible? Doesn't anyone put the team first in this bunch?

  38. SCNatsFan - May 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    FP and Carp also went on and on about Moore's dribbler to third like it was a perfectly placed bunt. He missed the pitch and got lucky it got caught in Young's webbing. Hate that counted as an outstanding play for our broadcast crew. It's ok to be a homer but c'mon…

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Section222, not sure any of that matters since he wasn't hitting before the injury and actually had his best games after the injury briefly getting to Mendoza.Again, I'm not buying.

  40. baseballswami - May 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I completely disagree that it would have made a difference if opposing pitchers had known Espi's wrist was hurt. Do you really mean to tell me any pitcher in the last few weeks has had any fear of him? How do you pitch differently against a guy with a bum wrist and a guy who can't hit the floor if he falls out of bed? And how is two or three days going to help him or the team?

  41. baseballswami - May 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    SC Nats fan– I heard that but took it more as sometimes when you catch a break it helps you get going. Say what you will about Tyler's hitting, he has crushed some balls that were caught at the wall and scorched some balls that were snagged. Yes he has been caught admiring third strike curve balls, but considering being a part time player and in the outfield, when you watch his at bats, he has not looked lost on all of them.

  42. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Ghost, if you're right and the injury is an "injury" to save Danny's ego when they replace him then you're right, it doesn't matter. I'm not there yet. (If it's true, it's not H-Rodding the Nats are doing because he hasn't gone on the DL. We'll call it "Espinosing." Glossary entry to come.But if there really is a lingering injury then it matters a lot because the Nats have had a guy in the lineup for 6 weeks, mostly batting 6th or 7th, but sometimes leading off or batting second, who's only talent is growing a beard.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - May 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Any other out of area Nats fans like myself that have the Directv package so we can watch our favorite team outraged that Fox would have 5, yes 5 regional games at 7:15 tonite?!So I get Braves/Mets.I suppose it could have been worse by getting White Sox/Marlins.

  44. SCNatsFan - May 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Swami I'm happy for Moore but my point was that what happened was lucky. I agree that Tyler does need some luck right now.

  45. Joe Seamhead - May 25, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Drew, I agree that the Rizzo criticism on Maya is a little off. Actually, as it turns out, it didn't turn out so good, but every ML GM has a few moves they wish they could make over, but overall Mike has been one of the best things to happen in DC baseball in my lifetime.SCNatsFan, Moore was the the recipient of a very generous official scorer's call on his "hit," to Young in my opinion. That said, I'm happy for him that the scorer ruled it a hit. Revere should've been charged with an error on the one hit by Lombo in the 2nd that he dropped in CF, too. That was on the play when Jewitt held up Suzuki.Like I was for Tyler, I was happy for Lombo's BA, but that ball went in and out of Revere's mitt. E-8, if I'm scoring it. It's not like Ben Revere covered some incredible amount of ground to get to the ball. Then, though Jewitt had held Suzuki, Revere threw home anyway, allowing Lombo to get to second. Dumb baseball by Revere. Some thought Trent should have sent Suzuki home on that play, and he probably would have made it on Revere's late, and weak throw, but I wouldn't want to risk Zook in a collision at the plate.

  46. Anna Peregrina - May 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Sec 222 said: We'll call it "Espinosing." Glossary entry to come.I think "esping" would be a more elegant term. Better than "nosing," anyway!

  47. Doc - May 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Good analysis Seams!Me thinks that second-guessing a third base coach's sending decisions is the easyist thing we second-guessers can do!

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Section 222, like most mysteries in sports we will never know and I believe in trust and verify in what I saw with him and the stats tell the story before and after the April 14th HBP.They will wait and see how Lombo does before any further action with Espi. 1 very loud Win with Lombo in there. Again, I'm not sold on Lombo but he does deserve as Gonat and JamesFan said "20 games".I still believe Espi is a good RH batter and has near top of the league defense but did lose horizontal range this year in concern with not diving for balls.Someone suggested him as a bench player, that's where his stats say he should be and could come in late in games for defense.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    "Zimm woke up kind of with a stiff neck today and kind of hid it from me, but I knew about it. Nothing's really hidden from the manager," said Davey Johnson.A little too ironic that he says that "nothing's really hidden from the manager" on the same day that they announce Espinosa had been hiding a 'serious', ahem, wrist injury?

  50. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Ghost, it's depressing that with all the beat writers and others covering this team, there can't be any real journalism that would get to the bottom of this pretty serious screwup. Or maybe it wasn't a screwup, but unless somebody asks the questions and evaluates the veracity of the answers, we'll never know. Just think of all the ink we all spent over the past week on Espi's problems, without having any idea of what was actually going on. I noticed Davey's "nothing gets past me" statement yesterday too. And I also remember his interview with the junkie guys on 106.7 the other day when they pressed him pretty hard about Danny (compared to the other folks that get to ask him questions anyway), and he didn't say a thing about his physical condition, either his shoulder or his wrist. Yet another example of there really being no reason to take anything that comes out of his or Rizzo's mouth at face value. Trust but verify, you say, and I agree with you. The problem is that we as fans have no way to verify. Only the journalists covering the team can do that. Will any of them step up? Because there are a lot of questions raised by this episode. Some of them aren't very comfortable questions, but they deserve to be asked, and answered.My feeling is that the best course for Espi at this point is to get shoulder surgery, rehab like a monster, and come back next year in the best shape of his life, with all his appendages fully healed. Then we'll see whether he has the ability that some think and everyone hopes he has. If he just muddles through this season, limping from one injury to the next, I really don't think we're going to see any improvement, and his career could be headed down a slope from which it will never recover.

  51. Doc - May 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Good comment Ghost!We have often blamed the famed Nats' medical staff for the faux info on the players. But most times I think that it is a conspiracy between the medical guys and Davey & Rizzo. Then there is this pseudo-macho in baseball where everybody thinks that a player should get a medal of honor for playing with an 'undisclosed' broken leg or something!!

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 25, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Section222/Doc, yah, the Medical Staff isn't this inept. 40 days later?

  53. Dominats Vobiscum - May 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… Any other out of area Nats fans like myself that have the Directv package so we can watch our favorite team outraged that Fox would have 5, yes 5 regional games at 7:15 tonite?! So I get Braves/Mets."What do you expect? You are living in Del Boca Vista after all.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 25, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Dominats, that's funny. Costanza! Don't the Nats have him in the Minors?

  55. natsfan1a - May 25, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Whatever you do, don't ask about the astronaut pen.

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