A rare rocky outing for Zimmermann (LaRoche stays red hot)

Jordan Zimmermann came into today having gone at least six innings in all 21 of his outings this season.

He had allowed either one or zero earned runs in his last seven starts.

He had surrendered five hits or fewer in each of his last five outings.

Tonight, with Zimmermann working on six days of rest, all those streaks came to an end.

The Nationals righty, who had the best ERA among qualified major league starters coming into tonight’s game, allowed five runs (four earned) over five innings against the Marlins tonight. He gave up seven hits, walked one and hit a batter.

He needed 96 pitches to get through his five frames.

Did the extra rest somehow negatively affect him? Is the inflammation in his right shoulder an issue?

It’s possible, although it’s important to point out that Zimmermann’s velocity tonight was good. His fastball sat in the mid-90s, as usual.

It’s also possible that, for the first time in quite some time, Zimmermann just didn’t have it tonight.

He didn’t get a ton of help from the guys behind him, either. Shortstop Danny Espinosa has been credited with two errors tonight (the second of which could be equally blamed on first baseman Adam LaRoche), and both Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth have taken poor routes to fly balls.

Zimmermann leaves with his team in a 5-3 deficit. That hasn’t happened much lately.

Update: Adam LaRoche is crushing the baseball.

Doesn’t matter what you throw, doesn’t matter where you throw it, doesn’t matter whether it’s coming from a lefty or a righty. Whatever comes at him, LaRoche hits it a long way.

The Nationals first baseman has two home runs tonight, both off Marlins lefty Mark Buehrle. That gives him four home runs in a four-game span and 23 on the season.

His second solo shot of the game came in the sixth inning, cutting the Marlins lead to 5-4. Tom Gorzelanny delivered a scoreless inning for the Nats in the sixth, and Michael Gonzalez now comes in to work the seventh in a one-run game.

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