You must have felt a measure of added joy for Jordan Zimmermann in the third inning.
He finally got a chance to look up at the scoreboard and see four runs on the board for his team.
4-1. Alright, now we are talking.
Zimmermann came in averaging just 2.4 runs of support per game when he is in the contest. So four runs had to feel like a big block of cheese for the Wisconsin native.
Forget the “Summer of George”, this might be the summer of Jordan.
Zimmermann went six solid innings, scattering seven hits, allowing one run with two walks (one intentional) and two strikeouts.
It was Zimmermann’s third straight road victory.
And to push the “this is amazing” quotient over the top?
Zimmermann smacked two singles off Phillies starter Roy Halladay. His first single was a base hit to lead off the third-inning, four-run outburst, a clean hit to left field on the first pitch of the frame.
But manager Davey Johnson said he still wants his starters to be more economical. A total of 107 pitches was too much for Zimmermann to go six innings.
“Zimm was outstanding,” Johnson said on MASN’s “Nats Xtra”. “He pitched good, but again its too many pitches in too short of innings. He was right at 20 pitches an inning and that is not him. Our pitchers have been doing that here lately. I’m not real happy with it.”
Johnson is pleased, of course, but knows from experience he will need his pitchers to be more pitch efficient to carry this nice start into a pennant run.
Zimmermann would want more than a couple of runs here or there. But four runs? That is all the right-hander needed to make another statement in Philadelphia and keep the Nationals rolling.