He allowed one run on three hits. He walked just one batter and struck out five.
Yet, Zimmermann goes down as the losing pitcher tonight, after Lance Lynn and Trevor Rosenthal combined to blank the Nats on just two hits.
This game lasted just 2 hours, 3 minutes thanks to the duel gems thrown by Zimmermann and Lynn. Zimmermann’s only mistake was a second-inning changeup up to Matt Adams, who crushed it for a solo homer.
Here are comments from Matt Williams, Zimmermann and Adam LaRoche after the game:
On what made Lynn so tough: “Just pinpoint control with his fastball. Threw a lot of them that came back to the plate, started off the plate and came back to the outside corner. Threw really well. We hit some balls hard, but the difference tonight was one swing, and they got us.”
On if it’s disappointing that Zimmermann pitched so well and got the loss: “It’s always disappointing, but they were one pitch better than we were tonight. But we’ll come get ‘em tomorrow.”
On Zimmermann, who has now allowed one run in his last 26 innings: “He’s been really good. He hung a changeup to Adams. Didn’t get that pitch where he wanted to get it, but other than that, he induced some double plays. Played good defense behind him. We just didn’t scratch one across tonight. But that’s a testament to how their guy pitched.”
On Zimmermann’s efficiency: “Last time, he was at 114, nine innings. Tonight, he was really efficient, with the exception of one pitch. But he continues to keep us in games and give us a chance.”
On the Nats hitters’ approach against Lynn: “Like I said, we hit some balls hard. Denard (Span) hit one hard to left field, breaking ball. We could’ve had some different innings if those go in, but it’s the nature of the game. Those happen that way. Overall, over the last couple of weeks, approach has been good. Tonight, we just didn’t have it. We’ll come get ‘em tomorrow.”
On what was working for him tonight: “Fastball. I had a good fastball again tonight. Down in the zone. Curveball and sliders were where when I wanted them. And really it was one mistake on a changeup that was down the middle and he made me pay.”
On the location of the changeup: “Yeah, straight down the middle. Throw it down and away and have him roll over. The at-bats after that, I just threw fastballs down and away and grounded out.”
On his efficiency: “I threw a lot of strikes and they knew that. They were coming up hacking. I was locating the fastball. Got a lot ground balls tonight and guys played great defense and turned a couple double plays, which was great.”
On Lynn: “Well, needless to say, he had pretty good stuff. Both guys did. Zim obviously threw awesome. He just kept us off-balance. We hit some balls good, but so did they. Just a pretty quick, lifeless game offensively.”
On what made Lynn different tonight from the past times the Nats have seen him: “In the past against us, he’s struggled with command a little bit. I don’t know that he walked anyone today. He just had it. He had it with two or three different pitches, spotting in and out. You look back, and we were basically 1-2 every at-bat. Seemed like we were trying to fight back. It was more defensive at-bats than we typically have. ... He was on and we were off.”