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Friday, August 10, 2012

WaPo: Jordan Zimmermann dominates with 11 strikeouts as Nationals complete four-game sweep of Astros

Actually, I wouldn’t really characterize space shuttle launches as “punctual”—those things were always getting pushed back and delayed!

HOUSTON — The most worn description of Jordan Zimmermann sells him woefully short. Zimmermann is consistent, yes, the same way you would call space shuttle launches punctual: The supposed compliment reduces him to something less than he is. Zimmermann overwhelms hitters, dominates games and belongs on the short list of best pitchers in the major leagues. He is, most succinctly, an ace.

Thursday night at Minute Maid Park, Zimmermann gashed through the Houston Astros, lifted the Washington Nationals to a 5-0 victory and added to his case as a potential Cy Young Award candidate. Zimmermann tied his career high with 11 strikeouts in six scoreless innings. He walked none, allowed three hits and lowered his ERA to 2.35, second in the National League. [...]

On Thursday, Zimmermann handled the heavy lifting. He dared the Astros to hit his mid-90s, four-seam fastballs. To keep them honest, he fired his devastating slider. Zimmermann threw 65 heaters, 20 sliders and only two of anything else. The Astros could not hit his best two pitches, and so he did not bother with anything else.

His simple, attacking approach overpowered Houston. The Astros swung and missed at 16 of his 87 pitches. He struck out Jose Altuve, one of the best contact hitters in baseball, lunging at a 96-mph fastball over the outside corner. In the fifth, he struck out the side in 16 pitches. [...]

The Nationals have reason to protect Zimmermann, hands down their best pitcher their season. Only Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants has a better ERA than him in the NL. Of Zimmermann 23 outings, 20 have been quality starts. He has yielded either zero or one run in eight of his past nine starts. He now has 4.35 strikeouts for every walk issued. Scroll down his stat sheet and pick any number you want.

Depressoteric Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:39 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, cy young award, houston, nationals, washington

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   1. OsunaSakata Posted: August 10, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4205066)
ORLY? Headline at the top of the Washington Post sports section is "With precision, Griffin gets started".
   2. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 10, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4205067)
I would really love to know how far that Morse home run last night was. What a freaking moon shot!
   3. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4205098)
Wooh!
   4. TomH Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4205115)
Momentum = upcoming series with Houston!!

The Cardinals have NINE games remaining with the Astros. Prepare for MSM hyperbole as St. Louis once again makes a late-season run into the playoffs.
   5. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4205131)
A couple of weeks ago someone--Lisa, probably--asked if Houston could make a run at the '62 Mets record, and I just assumed it wasn't possible because they had to played something like .200 baseball and no one is that bad. But damned if Houston isn't making a run at it. Since July 1, they are 4-31. 4-31! That's a .114 winning percentage. Less than 19 wins over the course of a full season. They haven't won consecutive games since June 26-27. Maybe they have a puncher's chance at 121 after all.
   6. Greg K Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4205137)
The Cardinals have NINE games remaining with the Astros. Prepare for MSM hyperbole as St. Louis once again makes a late-season run into the playoffs.

No matter which way it swings it's going to be an exciting 7 weeks.

2 divisions with still all the play for

And all 4 wild cards pretty taut.
Baltimore, Tampa, Detroit/Chicago, Oakland, Anaheim
Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, SF/LA, with Arizona hanging around.

Having recently come to terms with the end of the Jays season, I'm looking forward to a thrilling September!
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4205144)
Having recently come to terms with the end of the Jays season, I'm looking forward to a thrilling September!

Jays rhymes with A's, so come on board!
   8. JJ1986 Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4205146)
2 divisions with still all the play for

And all 4 wild cards pretty taut.
Baltimore, Tampa, Detroit/Chicago, Oakland, Anaheim
Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, SF/LA, with Arizona hanging around.


I think it's early to count the Reds as in.
   9. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4205173)
The Nats did their absolute damndest in this series to drop 3 out of 4 and fall behind and the Astros just...would...not...let them. If they weren't making hilarious errors, they were giving up giant home runs to pitchers. It was quite impressive.
   10. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4205186)
Best record in all of baseball by three games now, by the way.
   11. Chris Needham Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4205194)
Unrelated to the game, but related to the conversation about the craptastic DC media...

Here's a tweet from a host on the flagship station.

On one hand, I don't like the persecuted fan angle. On the other hand, boasting about that?
   12. Chris Needham Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4205196)
[10] And 8 games up on a playoff spot.
   13. McCoy Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4205199)
I would really love to know how far that Morse home run last night was. What a freaking moon shot!

Hit Tracker believes it would have traveled 434 feet if unimpeded. It's actual distance to the ad board was around 350 feet.
   14. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4205245)
Unrelated to the game, but related to the conversation about the craptastic DC media... Here's a tweet from a host on the flagship station. On one hand, I don't like the persecuted fan angle. On the other hand, boasting about that?

I was driving home from work the other day and tuned in LaVar and Dukes, and I swear, Dukes spent like ten to fifteen minutes talking about beer and microbreweries.

It's not persecution, it's reality: with a handful of notable exceptions, the local sports media would rather talk about stuff like food, beer, and Hollywood celebrities than the Nats. Most of them just simply don't give a flying crap about baseball.
   15. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4205300)
Harper didn't get a hit the whole series (hell, I could get a coupla hits against the Astros!) and didn't even play last night. Time to shut the kid down?
   16. TerpNats Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4205352)
Johnson sat Harper down Thursday because of a mental error Bryce made Wednesday, throwing the ball to third to try to get the final out rather than throw it to second, where the trail runner ended up. Had the next guy posted a base hit to the outfield, the Nats lose because of Harper's decision.

I haven't heard anything about Bryce complaining about it, so I suppose he took it with minimal rancor. It's part of the learning experience, after all.
   17. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4205368)
Deep down inside, I'll bet even Harper knew that a day to cool off couldn't hurt, the way things have been going for him lately. Especially after spending an unpleasant evening being sodomized by Angel Hernandez.
   18. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4205383)
Johnson sat Harper down Thursday because of a mental error Bryce made Wednesday, throwing the ball to third to try to get the final out rather than throw it to second, where the trail runner ended up. Had the next guy posted a base hit to the outfield, the Nats lose because of Harper's decision.

I haven't heard anything about Bryce complaining about it, so I suppose he took it with minimal rancor. It's part of the learning experience, after all.

This sounds like exactly the right reaction, from both of them.
   19. McCoy Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4205386)
Of course it helps that Bryce can't hit even the lowly Astros right now. Where were the benchings earlier in the season when Harper was making rookie mistakes it seems at least once a week?
   20. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4205389)
Especially after spending an unpleasant evening being sodomized by Angel Hernandez.

The proper phraseology is "touched by an Angel."
   21. base ball chick Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4205874)
there is no way i can be convinced that morse's homer traveled only 434' - that ball hit the 3rd sign up and would have gone over the citgo sign if it was still thre instead of those grotesque signs. looks like a 60 year old hooker wearing a bikini

and yep, we're reachin for the sewer. we gonna beat the mets we surely are. we're down to 1 major league player on the team and we just can't lose. i mean, can't win
   22. base ball chick Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4205876)
oh yeah

i didn't watch the 03 tigres seeing as how DH ball isn't my thing, but this team is THE worst team i have EVER seen in my lifetime
   23. McCoy Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4205880)
Cubs are catching up!
   24. base ball chick Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4205893)
mccoy

nope not even close. youse guys don't know what true suckage IS. besides, you got 3 major leaguers i can see on your team so you lose. i mean, you win. i mean, my team is more worser
   25. McCoy Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4205915)
Cubs are 1-9 in their last 10 games. Astros are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
   26. base ball chick Posted: August 11, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4205938)
and yeah, another *(%&!ing win tonight

rub it in why dontchu
   27. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4205965)
Prepare for MSM hyperbole as St. Louis once again makes a late-season run into the playoffs.

that LaRussa is amazing--oh, wait..

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