Zimmermann just keeps on rollin'

Jordan Zimmermann will enter the month of August with a 2.28 ERA, fourth-best in the majors.

He'll go into his next start having allowed either zero or one run in seven straight outings.

He wraps up July having worked at least six innings in all 21 of his starts this season, a streak topped by only Justin Verlander.

He's only lost one game in the last two months.

Yeah, the guy's on a decent little run right now.

Last night, Zimmermann put on a clinic in his first big league start in his home state.

He returned to Wisconsin to pitch for the first time as a major leaguer and held the team he cheered for as a kid to one run on five hits over six innings. He walked just one and struck out six. He threw 69 of his 93 pitches (74 percent) for strikes.

zimmermann pitch white far sidebar.jpgI'm not sure the Marlins need to show up on Friday. They pretty much know exactly what they'll get from Zimmermann when he takes the mound that day.

Manager Davey Johnson did tell reporters last night that Zimmermann is dealing with a bit of a shoulder issue which makes it tough for him to get loose.

That's a bit of a concern going forward, given that the Nationals hope to be playing into late October and Zimmermann's arm isn't used to handling the number of innings the Nats will need from him this season.

But Johnson didn't express any major concern about Zimmermann's shoulder to reporters. And given how carefully the Nationals handle their starting pitchers when injuries are involved, the fact that they keep running Zimmermann out there every fifth day signals that he should be fine.

Down on the farm yesterday, three Nationals continued their rehab assignments.

Jayson Werth got in the hit column with Triple-A Syracuse, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while Chad Tracy went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Chien-Ming Wang, however, didn't have a great showing for Double-A Harrisburg, as he allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings. This comes after the veteran right-hander threw 6 1/3 scoreless for Harrisburg his previous time out.

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