Jordan Zimmermann is getting just 2.1 runs of support while he’s in the game this season, the third-lowest total in the majors.
That number isn’t rising tonight.
Zimmermann has done his job on the mound this evening, holding the Reds to just one run through five innings of work, but outside of a Wilson Ramos solo home run, the Nationals’ starter hasn’t gotten much offensive help from his teammates.
We’re tied 1-1 after five frames.
Part of the reason why Zimmermann doesn’t have another run or two to work with is because he got stuck on third base in the fifth inning and missed two opportunities to tag up and score on fly balls to the outfield.
Both Roger Bernadina and Ryan Zimmerman drove balls deep enough to score Zimmermann on a sacrifice fly, but both times, he appeared to misread the fly balls, strayed too far from the bag and was unable to tag up.
It’s also possible that third base coach Bo Porter had no intention of sending Zimmermann and risking him getting injured on a play at the plate.
The Nationals still had a chance to take the lead in the fifth when Bryce Harper came up with the bases loaded and two outs after Adam LaRoche was intentionally walked (likely the first time in quite a while Harper has seen the batter in front of him get an intentional pass).
Harper ripped a ground ball up the middle, but second baseman Brandon Phillips made a dazzling behind-the-back flip to shortstop Zack Cozart to get the force at second and end the inning.
Update: The Nats got the lead in the sixth, thanks to Danny Espinosa’s solo home run to deep right field.
It’s Espinosa’s second homer in as many days, and gives Washington a 2-1 lead.
Update II: The list of injured Nationals just keeps on growing.
Ramos is the latest guy to go down, and at least based on initial appearances, this one doesn’t look good. Ramos’ right knee buckled on a non-contact play in the bottom of the seventh inning, and he went to the ground in clear pain. He has left the game and been replaced behind the plate by Jesus Flores.
The Nationals have already lost two of their key power hitters for long stretches in Michael Morse and Jayson Werth. You hope this isn’t the case, but it appears Ramos might now be out for a bit, as well.