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Jordan Zimmermann may have posted the best start in Nats’ history

Jun 9, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

Jordan Zimmermann Getty Images

If you had asked me who had the best start in Washington Nationals history I would have assumed it was Stephen Strasburg, with any of his starts a few years back when his games were dubbed “Strasmas” and the entire world watched qualifying. But that’s not the case says Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

By one objective measure, it stands as the best start in Nationals history. Bill James’s Game Score offers a way to compare starts . . . Zimmermann’s masterpiece adds up to 95 — the best this season in the majors and the best in Nationals’ brief history. John Patterson had held the mark since August 2005. And now they’re chasing Zimmermann.

Complete games help your game score more than striking out a ton of dudes in six or seven innings, which was Strasburg’s m.o. back in the day.

Zimmermann is on fire in June, posting 17 scoreless innings in his two starts. This after a terrible May. Indeed, all of the Nats starters are coming around. As Kilgore notes, Over their past six games, Nationals starters have struck out 44 batters and walked one.

And more importantly: the Nats are now in first place. Tied with the reeling Braves and the kinda sputtering Marlins. Anyone who picked the Nats to figure it out this year and win the NL East as many expected last year have to be feeling pretty good about their prediction right about now.

  1. xpensivewinos - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    He was on, but let’s not get too excited. It was against the Padres…..

    • natstowngreg - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      Good point. Still, it’s nice to see Jordan get back on track.

    • timmmah10 - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      He has had some bad starts against non-quality lineups. Not a Nats fan, but I usually use my MLB At Bat app to watch when pitchers are going for the CG SO or throwing no hitters, etc. In the 8th and 9th inning, you could see Zimmermann was in control. His body language said it all. As usual, confidence breeds success.

      I was surprised to see the Nats allow Zim to finish that game. He was over 100 pitches already, and they’ve been handling him with kid gloves since his return from Tommy John. Looks like they are finally ready to loosen the leash a bit.

      This team is pretty impressive. Guys like Harper and Ryan Zimmerman go down and you see others step up from the farm and produce. I’m sure I’m not the only one who that Espinosa wasn’t going to be as effective as he was. Great pitching, good young hitting, this team is going to be a force for the next 5 years just with the current core in place.

    • mspauto - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      It might have just been the Padres but, he didn’t do the things that get you beat. Like walks, especially the inning’s leadoff batter, they really come back and bite you in the butt. He was confident enough in his offense that he knew he didn’t have to make a perfect pitch each pitch. That lets him just rare back and throw without thinking. And the defense had his back – no errors.

  2. natstowngreg - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    The Nats are starting to play the way they should be playing, winning 7 of 9, including some rare blowout wins.

    Yes, that includes improved starting pitching. They’re now a healthy and normally effective Gio Gonzalez short of the scary rotation they were supposed to have. And Gio should be back soon.

    It also means beating up on mediocre starting pitching–something they had not been doing. In the last 3 series, only Yu Darvish shut them down. (This just in; Yu Darvish is pretty good.) The offensive resurgence isn’t just the return of Ryan Zimmerman.

    However, before getting too excited about 1st place and predictions and stuff, let’s see them hold their own over a very tough week: 4 @ Giants, 3 @ Cards.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      Correction: Andrew Cashner pitched 6 scoreless innings Saturday night. We regret any inconvenience caused to Mr. Cashner or his family.

  3. gloccamorra - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    The Nats have 101 games to go. what’s that phrase? “Don’t get too cocky.”

  4. karlkolchak - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Amazingly, Tanner Roark had just tied Patterson’s team record mark on Friday.

    When Gio Gonzalez comes back next week, the Nats will have FIVE quality starters in their rotation.

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