Zimmermann: "It's getting better and better every day" (Nats tie Marlins 1-1)

VIERA, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman was drilled by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth, and after jogging down to first base, was immediately replaced for a pinch runner.

Asked by reporters shortly thereafter if he's OK, Zimmerman turned towards the group with a wry smile on his face.

"4-6 weeks, hip," he said.

Yeah, he'll be fine.

Jordan Zimmermann was happy with his outing today, saying he feels like he's making definite progress each time he takes the mound this spring.

"It's getting better and better every day," he said. "I felt better today than I did the last outing. Just getting a little better every time. I had really good control with all my pitches, and I felt pretty good today."

Zimmermann went four scoreless innings against the Marlins this afternoon, allowing six hits and striking out three.

Of the six hits he allowed, four came with two outs, a trend which can frustrate pitchers. Zimmermann, however, isn't going to stress about the two-out hits.

"I'm just trying to throw strikes and pound the zone right now," Zimmermann said. "I don't know what the strike/ball ratio was, but I'm guessing it was pretty high. Just trying to throw strikes and get early contact, but they're fouling a lot of pitches off and not putting it in play. It's hard to get early (outs) when they're not hitting it solid, which is a good sign. A couple hits they did get were not hit very hard, so I'm pleased with the outing."

Zimmermann's slider was dancing this afternoon, and he feels his control and timing are improving as spring goes on.

The righty was asked if the improved control can be attributed to his arm getting stronger as spring progresses.

"That, and getting on the mound a little more and facing some live hitters," Zimmermann said. "You're a little out of sync when you first get down here, because, well, for me anyway, being in Wisconsin, you can't get outside and throw too much. So it takes me a little longer to get things figured out."

Update: The Nationals and Marlins finished in a 1-1 tie. Back with more from the clubhouse in a few.

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