The 2015 campaign was supposed to be one of the best of Jordan Zimmermann’s career. A top-tier starting pitcher hitting his walk year right in the middle of his prime is usually a good sign for his performance level. Unfortunately for the Washington Nationals, this was not the case. In what was most likely be his final start in a Nats uniform, the long-time Nat threw six innings, allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits, walked one, and struck out one. Although he pitched well enough to give his team the chance to win, Washington failed to put any runs up on the board as they fell to the Atlanta Braves 2-0.
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Nationals fans have come to know the 29-year old starter pretty well since he was drafted by the Nats in the second round back in 2007. Zimmermann holds team records for starts, innings pitched, quality starts, strikeouts, wins, and complete games.
He captured Washington’s hearts (while giving them slight heart attacks) in his thriller of a no-hitter during the final game of the 2014 season. He pitched 8.2 innings of masterful one-run baseball against the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS. From his calm demeanor to his must-have bobblehead, Zimmermann will forever be one of the best and most respected players in Washington Nationals history.
Unfortunately for Zimmermann, he was not able to cap off his stellar career with a strong 2015 season. He finished the year by throwing a total of 201.2 innings, sporting an ERA of 3.66, and striking out 164 batters. While these are not terrible numbers, he was streaky at times this season, which is uncharacteristic to his previous campaigns. Between his 4.88 ERA in the month of April and his nine home runs allowed in August, expectations for the Wisconsin-native were never really met.
There were many factors that led to the collapse of the 2015 Washington Nationals. While Zimmermann’s streaky performance was one of them, his impact in a D.C. uniform cannot go unmentioned.
He went through Tommy John surgery in 2009 and worked his way back. He endured three consecutive losing seasons with the team before finally making the playoffs in 2012. People will always talk about the impact of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, who have deserved it in their own right, but J-Zim has left just as big an impact on the franchise. Jordan Zimmermann may not be the most recognizable name in the Nationals’ franchise, but he is definitely one of the best to ever don the Curly W.