There’s never a bad time for a 10-3 victory.
Any team out there will take such a ballgame on opening day, in September, when it’s hot, cold, or when that team is in the middle of a lengthy winning streak.
But there’s got to be something a little extra satisfying about bashing an opponent by seven runs after just coming off of a three-game sweep at the hands of a division rival.
The Nationals went into Miami after a rough weekend series against the Braves, and they got back on track right out of the gates, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning and never looking back.
The Nats smacked 16 hits last night. They played an errorless nine innings. They got a complete-game win from Jordan Zimmermann, giving the guys in the bullpen a night off.
Every starting position player except for one had a multi-hit game, and that was with Adam LaRoche, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos not in the lineup. Ironically enough, the lone guy with an 0-fer last night was Bryce Harper, who has been the Nats’ most consistent offensive performer early this season.
Heck, manager Davey Johnson even got to give the members of the Goon Squad some at-bats. Tyler Moore had a double and three RBIs and Steve Lombardozzi had a double and drove in a run.
Ryan Zimmerman finally notched his first home run of the season in the Nats’ 13th game of the year.
Oh yeah, and don’t look now, but Ian Desmond is red hot. Desmond had a four-hit game last night, including two doubles. Over his last nine games, Desmond is 14-for-36 (.389) with eight of those 14 hits coming for extra bases.
The offensive outburst last night was nice, of course, especially after the Nats’ bats went quiet for much of the Atlanta series. But let’s not ignore the effort turned in by Zimmermann, who has earned a win in his first three starts of 2013, picking up right where he left off after a really strong 2012 campaign.
Zimmermann has been so effective this season that his ERA actually went up last night, going from 2.08 entering the complete-game outing to 2.45 coming out of it.
I’m sure he won’t mind too much.
Prior to last night, Zimmermann had never stepped foot on the mound in the ninth inning in his big league career. In his 85th start in the majors, Zimmermann finally got the shot at a nine-inning complete game, and he delivered, needing just five pitches in the ninth to put a bow on the outing.
Of course, it is the Marlins that the Nats were facing, and a Marlins team without fearsome slugger Giancarlo Stanton at that. Stanton is currently battling a shoulder injury and was not in the Miami lineup last night, making that batting order even more vanilla. And that’s putting it nicely.
But after getting outplayed in pretty much every facet of the game against the Braves, the Nats will gladly take last night’s outcome. This bunch wasn’t hurting too much coming out of the Atlanta series, but a 10-3 win should sure help take a little bit of the sting off.