Jordan Zimmermann (5-1, 1.10) vs. Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.60) – 7:05 p.m, MASN
It should be an emotional night at Nats Park Wednesday with Zimmermann back at Nats Park. This offseason, he signed a five-year, $110 million with Detroit and he has earned every penny so far. He did not allow a run until his fourth start in a Tigers’ uniform, which was impressive.
Zimmermann had his first loss of the season against the Tigers on Friday, but he pitched well. He went eight innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out two, and walked one against the Rangers. Plus, he has kept up his good command from his time in DC as he has eight walks in six games and three came in one start.
While most of the Washington Nationals don’t have experience hitting against him, one guy who does is Daniel Murphy. The former Mets’ second baseman is 20-for-61 (.328) against him with four home runs and nine RBI’s.
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Zimmermann is facing his former team on a good note, but the same can’t be said for Scherzer as he prepares to face his old squad. After a great outing against the Cardinals, Scherzer took two steps back in his last outing against the Cubs. He went five innings, gave up seven runs on seven hits, struck out seven, and walked two on 96 pitches in a loss.
The problem for Scherzer has been the long ball as he gave up four home runs against Chicago and is tied with the Phillies’ Jeremy Hellickson for the most home runs allowed in the National League. Plus, as I pointed out in my article Saturday, most of his problems have come in the first three innings (15 of his 22 runs allowed).
Scherzer faced the Tigers one time, but that was back in 2008 when he was pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ian Kinsler (who leads Detroit in home runs with 6), is 5-for-20 (.250) against him with a double, a triple, and three RBI’s.
Prediction: This matchup is one of the more intriguing games in the early season because of the standing ovation Zimmermann should get before the game from the fans. For this game, it’s tough to trust Scherzer until he shows that dominance from last season. I will take Zimmermann to have a strong outing and get the only win for the Tigers in this series.