Washington Nationals Recaps: Jordan Zimmermann dominates in tie with Cardinals


Nothing screams “meaningless Spring Training exhibition” more than a baseball game ending in a tie. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened to the Washington Nationals several times this spring, and it happened again today as the team’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals ended in a 1-1 tie.

Hours before the game’s anticlimactic finish, however, Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann put on a show in what is likely to be his second-to-last Spring Training start. The right-hander pitched six dominant innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out four and walking two. Zimmerman has been lights out all spring, trimming his ERA down to a minuscule 1.37 with today’s start.

More from District on Deck

While the Nationals got yet another dominant start from its stellar rotation, the offense was once again nowhere to be found. The Nationals have now scored a grand total of four runs in the last three games, and they’re 0-2-1 over that span. With Opening Day less than two weeks away, the team probably hopes its lackluster offense is just a byproduct of the slowness of Spring Training and not a sign that the bats will be slow entering the regular season.

Today, the Nationals managed to give Zimmermann an early lead––though not by much. After Dan Uggla led off the bottom of the second inning with a walk, Jose Lobaton followed with a double two batters later to score Uggla and give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, that was all the offense the team could muster today, and they wouldn’t score another run the rest of the game.

The Cardinals didn’t have much luck with the bat themselves, but they did manage to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning. With two runners in scoring position and one out, Kolten Wong hit an RBI groundout to score Randal Grichuk from third base and make it a 1-1 game.

But that was all the offense St. Louis would produce on the day, as Zimmermann and the Nationals bullpen held the Cardinals to just two hits and no runs the rest of the game.

After Zimmermann left the game, Nationals relievers Drew Storen, Blake Treinen and Rich Hill shut down the St. Louis lineup to keep the tie intact. The performance was especially important for right-hander Drew Storen, who made his first game appearance since he underwent surgery on his non-pitching hand May 13. Storen wasn’t perfect, as he pitched himself into a bases-loaded jam, but it was good to see him face live batters as he prepares to start the season as the Nationals’ closer.

More from District on Deck