LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Jordan Zimmermann’s first start this spring came against the Braves. He worked two quick, scoreless innings.
Zimmermann’s second start this spring also comes against Atlanta. He had to work a bit harder to get through this outing, but he delivered three scoreless frames this time, striking out four.
After two pretty smooth innings to start his outing, featuring only one Atlanta baserunner, Zimmermann had to work out of a jam in the third. Braves center fielder Matt Lipka reached with one out on an infield single and then motored to third on an error by first baseman Tyler Moore on a bizarre play in which it appeared Moore just wasn’t expecting the ball to come his way.
Nats catcher Jose Lobaton tried to throw behind Lipka at first and had him dead to rights, but his throw whizzed right by Moore’s glove and into right field. The throw was right on target, Moore just whiffed on it.
He was assessed a two-base error, and Zimmermann then walked Justin Upton to put runners at the corners with two outs, but he got Freddie Freeman swinging to end the threat and his outing.
Zimmermann’s four strikeouts all were to Braves regulars - Upton in the first, Dan Uggla in the second and Jayson Heyward and Freeman in the third.
The Nationals righty was consistently sitting at 93-94 mph on the stadium radar gun. He threw 48 pitches, 30 for strikes.
Danny Espinosa notched his first hit of spring in the top of the first inning, slapping a Julio Teheran fastball up the middle for a single. That makes Espinosa 1-for-11 on the spring.
The Nats threatened in the second and third innings, putting runners at the corners with one out in the second and two on with one out in the third, but they weren’t able to push anything across. A groundout from Steven Souza Jr. ended the threat in the second, and Moore bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the third.
Update: Blake Treinen followed Zimmermann’s three scoreless innings with two of his own, striking out two in an impressive outing against a tough Braves lineup stacked with big league regulars.
The sinkerballer, who I wrote about earlier this week, struck out Upton swinging at a 96 mph fastball and also got Lipka swinging, as well.
He consistently sat at 96 mph on the gun.
It’s still a 0-0 game here as we enter the sixth.