Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is attempting to join teammates Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg with double figure wins if he can down the Chicago Cubs Thursday night.
Gonzalez picked up his 18th win Wednesday with a 9-1 win over the Cubs. Strasburg takes his 15 wins into his final home start Friday against the Marlins, facing Jacob Turner, who comes in with a 6.55 ERA.
Lefty Ross Detwiler now has a career-high nine wins, so he could hit 10 if he takes care of the Marlins Saturday afternoon. Edwin Jackson is now 9-9, and he pitches Sunday in the Miami series finale.
So, if everything breaks right for the Nationals, the club could sport five double-digit winning starters before they head to New York to begin a series Monday night.
Manager Davey Johnson said today that would be a pretty impressive feat, considering where the Nationals staff was at this point last year without Jackson and Gonzalez.
“To me that is huge,” Johnson said. “Accomplishing that and when you consider last year we had one (10-plus game winner) and it was (John) Lannan in double figures. To have five (this year)? That is saying something, and maybe a 20-game winner?
“I think even as good accomplishment having five guys giving up less hits per inning. That is a huge accomplishment in my book. It is a fun staff, talented, fun staff.”
Zimmermann finished 8-11 last season, so he has already set a career-high, but getting to 10 would be big after not enjoying a victory since August 9.
And it would be another example of how far the Nationals starting rotation has come in just one season.
Update: After a rocky start, Zimmermann settled in and pitched seven innings, allowing five hitsm two runs, one walk and striking out nine hitters. Zimmermann is now 10-8. The Nationals now have three starters with at least 10 wins and Detwiler and Jackson each have nine with starts coming up.