Can Zimmermann get a little help, please? (we’re heading to extras)

The Nationals’ hitters have to feel terrible for Jordan Zimmermann.

Time and again, the guy goes out and pitches his butt off, and time and again, he doesn’t get any run support.

Zimmermann has left tonight’s ballgame after yet another stellar outing, and leaves on the hook for yet another tough-luck loss. The righty went seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

He threw 100 pitches, 71 for strikes, and leaves on the wrong end of a 1-0 game.

Zimmermann got two or fewer runs of support in 10 of his 26 games last year. He left his first start of the 2012 season trailing 2-1 and got stuck with the loss, and unless the Nationals can bail him out late, he’s going to get handed another defeat he doesn’t deserve.

The Nationals have just three hits off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, and have gone 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Update: Xavier Nady came through in a big spot in the eighth inning, ripping a pinch-hit solo home run off Reds lefty Bill Bray to tie the game up a 1-1.

It’s the first pinch-hit home run of the season for the Nats, and the fifth pinch-hit long ball of Nady’s career.

Shaky managing by Reds skipper Dusty Baker there, as he pulled Arroyo instead of letting him face pinch-hitter Chad Tracy with one out in the eighth. Baker brought in the lefty Bray, and Davey Johnson countered with Nady, who delivered the big blow. Arroyo was dominating, and was at just 94 pitches. Why not leave him in?

It looked like Nady’s shot might have bounced off Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick’s glove before going over the fence, but it was tough to tell from the press box.

Regardless, Zimmermann is now off the hook, and we’ve got a new ballgame.

Update II: For the second straight day, the Nationals and Reds will head to extra innings.

Washington had a shot to end it in the bottom of the ninth when Roger Bernadina came up with runners on first and second and two outs, but the Nats’ center fielder struck out swinging, giving us more bonus baseball.

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