Skip to content

Zimmermann, Nats roll past Rockies

Jun 21, 2013, 4:06 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today

For a team teetering on the .500 mark all year long, each Nationals win brings with it the question of whether it can start something much bigger. ‘Could this be the one?’ the players are often asked after big wins, victories that seem like they could mean something much more than one game.

But in the Nats’ convincing 5-1 victory over the Rockies on Thursday night, their second in as many games, they made beating an average team look routine. Their ace pitcher dominated and they made offensive chances count. If they are ready to get things going, this is how they should beat teams with less talent top to bottom.

“It’s nice going late into a game and having some runs, having a little cushion there,” Adam LaRoche said. “Played so many games where we’re down by one late or up by one. Yesterday was big, frustrating road trip but a great way to end it and then keep it going tonight. We’re looking to spark something.”

The Nats scored five runs in the win, far more than they needed thanks to starter Jordan Zimmermann. The likely N.L. All-Star tossed eight innings with zero earned runs and struck out a season-high nine batters. It was the third time in his last four outings he’s lasted at least seven innings with zero earned.

Read more >>

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    Multiple hits by Span, Rendon and ALR with key hits w/ RISP added to an Ace start by JZim gives you a nice Victory.

  2. SonnyG10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    I just had a good feeling about this game before it even started. It was a really stressless game to watch for a Nats fan. Now we need to keep this going for Strasburg tomorrow.

  3. Clip&Store - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Now THAT is a type of game championship teams win. In command, great pitching, solid hitting. I'll tell you what, Jzimm is looking more and more like he will contend for a Cy Young title. I can say for one of the VERY few times all year that I really like the way they looked tonight. Great win.

  4. BigCat - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Stra gonna blank em tonight. 2-0

  5. jeeves - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Love Zimm's 'right back at 'em attitude'. He doesn't like to have a bad game, (duh!) but doesn't let that affect him.I was critical of Werth and he is turning it up a notch. Also critical of LaRoche and ditto. Reason for two game winning streak with more to come. Me, obviously.

  6. baseballswami - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    There did seem to be more intensity and focus last night. Lombo willed himself to get into scoring position right off the bat and looked more comfortable in the outfield. Adam legged out the triple. Span was just what I hoped he would be. Apparently he was at the field early facing guys in the bullpen to fix his timing. Guys were going the extra mile. You get that kind of determination on the mound and I guess it's contagious.

  7. MicheleS - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    JaneB.. for the Diamond Club seats..you have to buy them from a STH in order to get the fancy food area instead of the tent. When people wise up to that, the Tent will be empty and people will stop paying those prices to be exiled in outhouse.

  8. Kiterp - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    2

  9. MicheleS - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Anna.. I will look for you in 112 today, that's where my seats are as well.Last night was just great.. Loved the way Jordan dominated and Loved how ALR (wheels) SPAN, and Desi all contributed and picked up the rest of the team. Now.. just to get that LF back.. I bet Bryce is just going bananas to get back on the field. I hope he makes it back next week (and more importantly, in NY when I am up there)

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    JZim's Nats Park ERA dropped to 0.92 which is the best in the NL and he is 7-0 now in DC. Overall Nats are 12-3 in JZim starts.

  11. mick - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    with 16 of the next 19 games at home, this is the time to roll…if they don't, then I think any rational fan would agree the season would be over..the last 2 games were a great start. they have to win every series the next 19 games which is doable

  12. mick - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    swami is right. they seemed to play with urgency and I credit that to the win in Philly Wed night…we may look back to that game as the one that woke this team up

  13. Rabbit34 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Great win!! EAT FACE!. Speaking of eating face, Werth really had his eaten last night! He'll come back, once he heals.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Joe West was giving the outside strike last night but outside pitches shouldn't be near the other batters box. Denard Span K'd on the 1st at-bat of the night in a 3-2 count.http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation_io.php-pitchSel=400061&game=gid_2013_06_20_colmlb_wasmlb_1&batterX=6&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gifOswalt was the recipient of 4 outside strikes last night in 101 pitches. Jordan Zimmermann was the recipient of 3 in 112 pitches.

  15. m - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Well I certainly did not envision Span hitting the way he did. He made such a difference by getting on base and he made Rendon that much more effective. Let's hope he continues tonight. My only comment is the fact that he constantly pulls everything, although the double was not a dead pull but more to right center. His dead pull tells me he is out in front too much which cause him to hit weak grounders. He has much more power when he hits it up the middle.

  16. phil dunton - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Life is good without Danny and H-Rod! Just about everyone on this blog knew long ago that those two were really hurting the team and needed to go. Why did it take so long? Why are Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo so paralyzed when it comes to obvious decisions that need to be made for the benefit of the team? Another thing Rizzo needs to learn is you can't have minor league prospects in bench roles in the majors. Vets do the job better!

  17. Kevin Booker - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Espinosa continues to roll in AAA as well….another 3 strikeouts last night. But there actually is an infielder down there that has had Superstar written all over him since I watched him in Spring Training. Zach Walters.

  18. Laddie Blah Blah - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    "I bet Bryce is just going bananas to get back on the field."The Nats are being very careful this time, but it looks like Bryce is close. They have gone only 10 – 17 without him:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/06/20/bryce-harper-nearing-minor-league-rehab-assignment/"I hope he makes it back next week…"By next Thursday, anyway. Got some good seats for that one."But there actually is an infielder down there that has had Superstar written all over him since I watched him in Spring Training. Zach Walters."Zach has been hitting for power, but not for average, as yet. Another HR last night.

  19. d'grviii 8 - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Oswalt was the recipient of 4 outside strikes last night in 101 pitches. Jordan Zimmermann was the recipient of 3 in 112 pitches. So what you're saying is that he was equally fair to both sides. Good.

  20. Candide - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Don't want to come down too hard on ALR when he's been hitting so well, but I didn't much care for how he handled that triple. The way he was running to second, you could see the thought bubble above his head: "Easy double, no need to run hard." Then the ball kicked around a little and he saw he had a chance for a triple, and made it.If you're going to #EatFace, you need to be putting pressure on the other guy every second, make him think he has to hurry his throw, force him into making mistakes. Don't go for the triple when you see the outfielder having trouble; go for it the instant you come out of the batter's box. ASSUME triple – or even inside-the-park – until you see it isn't going to happen.That's another reason this team is missing Harper.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Anybody that thinks Zach Walters has superstar written all over him hasn't watched his defense. He's an error machine.And he just loves striking out.

  22. Bryan Holland - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Kevin Booker, aren't you being a little harsh on KEspinosa? He has had 25 AB's with Syracuse and struck out 17 times! Give him a break!

  23. Kevin Booker - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    NatsJack…He's a 23 year old kid that went through three levels last year. He can play multiple positions and is a SS that can hit for power evidenced by his 16 HR's so far this year. He can work and improve on his defense….Ryan Howard struck out a lot too. It didn't stop him from becoming a superstar.

  24. Kevin Booker - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    @Laddie Blah Blah Walters is batting .500 over his last 10 games with a 1.585 OPS He's finally coming around after his slow start.

  25. Section 222 - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Well put Candide. That's exactly how it looked in the park. In fact, I was shocked that he tried for a triple the way he was cruising into 2B. Lombo's hustle double did show a bit of the influence of Harper though. Remember last year when it seemed like the starters were trying to out do each other night after night? Maybe we're coming into a period like that this year, now that everyone is healthy. I was debating whether to head to the park tonight, but it just feels like the stars are aligned for a Strasburg no-no.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Jurickson Profar, Wil Meyers and Anthony Rendon are budding superstars. Zach Walters, not so much.Check back in 20 more games.

  27. bowdenball - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Kevin Booker said…"NatsJack…He's a 23 year old kid that went through three levels last year. He can play multiple positions and is a SS that can hit for power evidenced by his 16 HR's so far this year. He can work and improve on his defense….Ryan Howard struck out a lot too. It didn't stop him from becoming a superstar."Ryan Howard also walked a lot. Striking out a lot and walking a lot is OK. It means you're doing something other than hitting one out once every 4 games. Striking out a lot and not walking is just a SLIGHTLY bigger problem. Zach Walters is incapable of walking. He's got a .283 OBP in AAA right now. That number would be unacceptable even if he was doing it at the major league level Obviously if that's the best he can do against AAA pitching, it's gonna be even worse when he's facing big league stuff and control.We already have a middle infielder who reaches base less than one out of every four times. We don't need another.

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Not many budding superstars bat 7th on a last place AAA ball club.

  29. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    #WatFaceNeed a solid performance from Stras, and I will take 5 runs again.Nats 5 ROokies 2.

  30. Section 222 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Does the record of a AAA club mean anything?

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Section 222…..sometimes but usually, no.

  32. phil dunton - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I doubt there's even one outstanding hitting prospect on the Syracuse roster.

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    There was one for about a week but now he's with the big club.

  34. UnkyD - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    mick said…with 16 of the next 19 games at home, this is the time to roll…if they don't, then I think any rational fan would agree the season would be over..the last 2 games were a great start. they have to win every series the next 19 games which is doableJune 21, 2013 7:46 AM——————Brother Mick, I love ya, for making me smile, so much! Even after two big wins, you take your finger off the panic button, but keep your hand right next to it…. Just in case. In all seriousness, I love that!(Disclaimer: the preceding post was in no way intended as an "attack" or as an "insult"…. It's merely a good-natured poke on the ribs. Because that's how I roll, Buddy!){=^DMore Face tonight, anyone?

  35. mick - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    UnkyDlol brother

  36. Kevin Booker - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    @NatsJack He actually bats 6th. Who leads all Triple-A shortstops in extra-base hits? 8 doubles, two triples and 16 homers and laps the field in isolated power (.272) Give the kid a chance to develop some. Those numbers point to a guy who can be ridiculously good if he changes and approves his approach at the plate to be a little more patient.

  37. E. Compton - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Two more Home Runs last night for Walters…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter