During the “early” game of a day-night doubleheader in Washington, the Nationals saw one of their starting pitchers vault into the league lead with 9 wins by the middle of June.
The catch? It wasn’t Stephen Strasburg.
Jordan Zimmermann threw 7 spotless innings against the Twins on Sunday, leading the Nats to a dominant 7-0 victory. Zimmermann allowed just 2 hits, issued only 2 walks, and struck out 8 batters over his 7 innings, and he was able to throw 77 strikes out of his 111 pitches. This type of tremendous performance is certainly not new to Zimmermann (who finished the game with a 2.00 ERA), but the national media may finally have to take notice.
The 9th win for Zimmermann ties him with Adam Wainwright, Patrick Corbin, and Clay Buchholz for the MLB lead, and each pitcher has been tremendous in their own way. However, the résumé for Zimmermann has always been seemingly overlooked for that of his teammate, Strasburg, and as a result, the “surprise” factor is there for this start by Zimmermann. This start is certainly not a fluke for the right-hander, though, as his control (1.97 BB/9) and strikeout-to-walk rate (3.6-to-1) are in line with this type of performance.
Zimmermann will never be the “flashy” pitcher that Strasburg is, as his strikeout rate will simply never match that of the “top-end” pitchers in the league, but he has been getting it done for multiple years now, and there is no sign of an imminent slow-down. The Nationals are just 30-31 in their first 61 games, but one thing is for certain, Jordan Zimmermann is not at fault.