Jordan Zimmermann is all kinds of locked in tonight, and he’s running through a soft Marlins lineup.
Zimmermann has yet to allow a hit through four innings of work. He’s struck out eight. He’s thrown 40 of his 54 pitches for strikes.
The fastball is sitting in the mid-90s. The slider has been tight and has touched 89 mph. And the curveball has been sharp.
Zimmermann struck out two in the first inning, including Giancarlo Stanton to end the frame. He struck out the side in the second. And after notching only (yeah, only) one K in the third, Zimmermann struck out two more in the fourth.
He’s already just one strikeout short of his season high, and we haven’t even gotten to the fifth inning yet.
The only baserunner Zimmermann has allowed to this point was a two-out walk to Stanton in the fourth. Zimmermann clearly was being incredibly careful with the power-hitting Stanton, who is really the only legitimate threat in this lineup, with apologies to Justin Ruggiano and Logan Morrison.
The Nationals and Marlins are still scoreless after four innings, however, as the Nats have notched just two hits off Marlins righty Jacob Turner.
They had a scoring chance in the second when Adam LaRoche walked with two outs and Wilson Ramos then singled to center, allowing LaRoche to go to third. For some reason, Ramos decided to try and take second base on the throw to third, however, and he was out by a mile.
Not sure if Ramos just had a complete brain fart or if he legitimately thought he had a chance to beat that out, but he was cut down at second to end the inning instead of Anthony Rendon getting an at-bat with runners at the corners and two outs.
Update: The Marlins have finally gotten a ball out of the infield, but they’re still without a hit through five innings.
Zimmermann set down the side in order in the fifth, getting two groundouts to second and a flyout to medium-range center field off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria.
The first groundout to second - hit by Ed Lucas - forced Anthony Rendon to his right. He needed to make a sliding stab of the ball and turn across his body to get Lucas at first. A nice play, and one we might want to remember later on if things play out as the Nats would hope.
Another hitless inning, but one without a strikeout. What a waste.
Zimmermann’s pitch count isn’t a concern at this point; he’s at just 67 pitches through five.
Update II: Well, there goes the no-no.
With two outs in the sixth, Donovan Solano - Jhonatan’s little brother - dropped a single into shallow center field, breaking up Zimmermann’s shot at a no-hitter.
It was a clean single, coming on an 0-2 95 mph fastball from Zimmermann.
The crowd at Nats Park gave Zimmermann a standing ovation. He deserves it after retiring 17 straight Marlins to begin the game.