The All-Star break can’t slow down Ryan Zimmerman.
In his last 14 games before the break - after getting a cortisone shot in his sore right shoulder - Zimmerman hit .333 with five homers and 18 RBIs.
If you were concerned about four days off affecting Zimmerman’s recent tear at the plate, worry no more.
So far today, Zimmerman is 2-for-3 with a two-run homer off that weird multicolored sculpture in left-center. That home run has helped propel the Nationals to a 5-0 lead over the Marlins mid-way through the sixth.
Zimmerman has provided some of the pop, but Jordan Zimmermann has made it stand up, holding the Marlins scoreless over five innings. He’s needed just 72 pitches to get through the five frames and has struck out six Marlins hitters.
If he’s able to get through the sixth, Zimmermann will have gone at least six innings in all 18 starts this season.
His slider has been ridiculous today, his fastball is popping the mitt at up to 95 mph and his ERA is down to 2.50.
That’s the Nationals’ third starter, everyone.
Update: Zimmermann ends his night after working six innings, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out six.
He was pulled after just 87 pitches, with Davey Johnson opting to go to Henry Rodriguez in the seventh. That decision seemed questionable at the time, and it seemed even more questionable after Rodriguez retired just one batter, allowing a run on a hit and two walks.
Michael Gonzalez helped bail Rodriguez out by inducing a 1-3 double play on a line drive back up the middle, ending the inning.
It’s 5-1 Nats as we go to the eighth.
Nats win: Tonight, in his seventh career start against the Marlins, Zimmermann earned his first win against Miami. He improves to 6-6, and his ERA dropped to 2.48 in the Nats’ 5-1 win.
Tomorrow, Gio Gonzalez (12-3, 2.92 ERA) will face Mark Buehrle (8-8, 3.25 ERA).