For the last two weeks, Ryan Zimmerman’s been talking about how he feels like he’s swinging the bat well, but just isn’t getting the results.
He got some results in the third inning tonight.
Facing Astros starter Bud Norris, Zimmerman got the Nationals right back in tonight’s ballgame, ripping a three-run homer to deep left field.
It’s the first home run of the season for Zimmerman and cuts the Nats’ deficit to just one at 5-4 after they had trailed by five just two innings prior.
The Nationals have now turned in their highest offensive output through the first three innings this season, and at least for one night, we don’t have to ask questions about the hitters not giving their starter minimal run support.
Meanwhile, after allowing five runs in the top of the first, Edwin Jackson can help the Nats out by righting the ship and tossing up some zeros. Washington’s bullpen will likely get stuck with a fairly heavy load thanks to Jackson’s high pitch count (now 77 through four innings), but if he can battle through a couple more and save the ‘pen some additional work, that could be big.
Update: Jackson’s done after five innings, and given how horrendous he was in the first, you really have to commend the guy for the way he bounced back.
The righty finishes his night having allowed five runs (all in that first inning) on seven hits with five strikeouts.
After the string of six straight hits he allowed in the first, he somehow managed to find a groove and retired 14 of the next 15 hitters he faced.
The Nats still trail 5-4 here in the sixth as Tom Gorzelanny comes out of the ‘pen, and while they have Jackson to blame for the deficit, they also have to credit him for the way he responded after that first frame.
Update II: Just like that, the Astros have upped their lead to 10-4.
In a single inning of work, Tom Gorzelanny gave up five runs on six hits, allowing Houston to blow the game back open after the Nats had clawed to within a run.
The Nationals have allowed 13 hits through just six innings, tied for the most hits they’ve given up in a game all season.