Game 38: Pirates 5, Nationals 3

Well, at least there weren’t any injuries.

Jordan Zimmermann allowed three home runs in six innings as the Nationals (23-15), despite pulling to within one in the sixth, lost their offense again and fell to the Pirates 5-3.

May 17, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) in action in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Zimmermann (2-4) took the loss as he allowed four runs in six innings to go along with seven hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. Early on, it seemed as though the offense had abandoned him once again, as eight of the first ten Nats to bat were struck out by Pirates starter James McDonald, and the team was held hitless through five innings. However, the bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth. Jesus Flores led the inning off with a double, which was followed by another double by Steve Lombardozzi, who was pinch-hitting for Zimmermann. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina both made outs. They were followed by Ryan Zimmerman, who finally broke the drought with a two run single. Zimmerman scored on the next at-bat, as Adam LaRoche hit an RBI triple. Unfortunately, that short outburst was all the offense the Nats would be able to muster.

McDonald was cruising until the bottom of the sixth, which he would not finish. His final line consisted of 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, and the win. As for the Pirates’ offense, Andrew McCutchen hit two solo home runs, in the 1st and the 6th, and Rod Barajas hit a two-run shot in the 4th. After the Nats pulled within one run in the 6th, Neil Walker hit a one-out grounder that scored Josh Harrison from third. From there, the Nationals were unable to score, even when they put two men on base against ex-Nat Joel Hanrahan in the 9th with only one out. After that scare, Hanrahan quickly slammed the door and earned the save for the Pirates.

Champ of the Game: Ryan Zimmerman, who had 67% of the team’s RBIs.
For Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen hit two home runs and played stellar defense.

Chump of the Game: Ian Desmond, who was 0-5 with four strikeouts, including a crippling 0-3 with runners in scoring position.
Jose Tábata played similarly poorly for the Pirates, going 0-4 with two strikeouts and going 0-1 with RISP.

Unsung Hero: LaRoche, who had the team’s 3rd RBI in the 6th inning, but was pulled in the double switch soon thereafter.
Josh Harrison was 2-3 with a run scored for Pittsburgh.

Next Game: May 18th, 7:05 PM at home against the Orioles. Jackson (1-1, 3.71) v. Arrieta (2-4, 5.21)

Topics: Jordan Zimmermann, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

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