Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Jordan Zimmermann Stumbles As Nats Struggles Continue

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Jun 12, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

  Jordan Zimmermann’s Struggles A Cause For Concern

After a great stretch of quality starts for the number two starter in the Nationals rotation, Jordan Zimmerman has had two bad starts in a row. After giving up four runs over five innings against the Cubs last Sunday, the 29-year-old right-hander gave up six runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings, striking out four, and walking one in the loss. In the first inning, Zimmermann had his only walk of the night with one out to Gerardo Parra.

On the next batter, Ryan Braun hit a groundball to short that looked like it was going to be a double play. Ian Desmond bobbled the ball and was not able to turn two. While it didn’t go as an error officially, it was a mistake that ended up costing the Nats. Desmond, at the plate, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts last night.

After an Adam Lind single, Aramis Ramirez had the first of two RBI doubles as the line drive to left field gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead. Plus, it made Zimmermann work more than he had to, which was a common theme in the month of April for this team. Zimmermann had a good second inning, but started the third giving up back-to-back singles to Parra and Braun. While Parra bailed him out by getting picked off at second, Ramirez was able to get another RBI double to put the Brewers up 3-1 at the time.

Then, in the fourth, Milwaukee tacked on two more runs. Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett had back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Jonathan Lucroy got the job done with a two-run single to left, which ended Zimmermann’s night.

His fastball was still at 93-94 miles per hour for most of the night, but he was leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone. In addition, Zimmermann hasn’t shown pinpoint control this year like he did in 2014. His 18 walks this season are only 11 less than he had in 32 starts last year. He has walked a batter in each of his last seven games.

Zimmermann’s short outing continued a bigger problem for the Nationals and that is their starters not going deep into games consistently. During the game, Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington gave an interesting stat about the Nats’ rotation struggles:

While the bullpen has been a big issue for the Nationals, the starting rotation has not lived up to the preseason hype due to injuries and inconsistent. More than ever, the Nationals need Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann to have their A games every night with the way the offense has underperformed.

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