A night after being shut out 5-0, the Washington Nationals once again could not manage to find the scoreboard, losing 3-0 to the Dodgers to drop their three game series two games to one. Wednesday’s game was a classic pitcher’s duel, but Jordan Zimmermann‘s best was just not enough against the reigning NL MVP, Clayton Kershaw.
In fact, the Nationals managed absolutely nothing on offense for the first five innings. Kershaw was locked in early, striking out the side in the second. His curveball was filthy, and Nats hitters had no chance against it early.
It was Michael Taylor who put an end to Kershaw’s bid for a perfect game and no-hitter in the top of the sixth, smacking a one-out double to the deepest part of center field. Kershaw managed to induce two grounders from the subsequent hitters, though, and he was out of the jam.
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The Nationals would have another baserunner in the seventh when Anthony Rendon led off the inning with a single. But once again, Kershaw proved to be too much. The next three hitters went down on strikeouts, and the threat was over as quickly as it had begun. The only other chance the Nationals had was the eighth inning, but the offense could do nothing with Michael Taylor’s two-out single.
For the Dodgers, their first run came early. In the third, Jordan Zimmermann walked Joc Pederson to lead off the frame. After a chopper by Jose Peraza moved Pederson over to second, a Carl Crawford single into the left field corner would make the score 1-0 in favor of Los Angeles.
It would remain a one-run game until the eighth inning, when Drew Storen came in and his struggles continued. Storen hit Pederson to put him on with one out. Andre Ethier followed that with a double. Ordinarily, that would have put runners on second and third, but instead, Rendon’s throw ended up in the stands, and Pederson and Ethier were both allowed to score to make the score 3-0.
Kenley Jansen came on to pitch the ninth, and the Nationals went quietly into the night. With the loss, Washington falls to just three games over .500 at 58-55, and 3.5 games back of the Mets, who won on Wednesday.
The Nationals will travel to San Francisco tomorrow for their next stop on their west coast road trip. Stephen Strasburg (6-5, 4.76 ERA) will look to build on the momentum from his last start against Ryan Vogelsong (7-8, 4.26 ERA). You can catch the game at 10:15 PM ET on MASN and MLB Network.
- The final line on Jordan Zimmermann: seven innings, two hits, one earned run, one walk, and nine strikeouts. If you’re the Nationals and you’re in a pennant race, wasting a start like that hurts.
- The lone bright spot in the Nationals order was Michael Taylor, who went 2-for-3 on the night, both hits coming against Kershaw.