Washington Nationals Rapid Reactions: Nats Split Doubleheader with Blue Jays

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Jun 2, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) throws to the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning in game one of a double header at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1

Jordan Zimmermann has evidently shaken off his early season struggles, going 3-1 in his last four starts while allowing only three earned runs over 28 combined innings. This start against Toronto may have been his best thus far, as he went eight innings, allowing no runs on six hits, struck out four batters, and walked one on 105 pitches (69 strikes). The free agent-to-be lowered his ERA on the season to 2.88, a drastic improvement from the 4.20 it was on May 14th.

With all their preseason expectations, the Nationals’ pitching staff has not lived up to the hype. With Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list following stretches of poor outings, manager Matt Williams has been left looking for answers. While Max Scherzer has been a Cy Young candidate and Tanner Roark has filled in admirably, not much else has gone well for the Nats’ starters. However, if Zimmermann is truly rounding back into form, the D.C. rotation may be able to make a name for themselves over the rest of the season.

On the offensive side of the ball, the only runs scored came in the bottom of the fifth. Jordan Zimmermann started off the inning with a hard-hit single to center, turning over the lineup with a runner on first and no outs. Following a Yunel Escobar walk and Ian Desmond sacrifice bunt, Bryce Harper hit an RBI single, scoring Zimmermann. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman then hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Escobar.

Next: Game 2 Takeaways