VIERA, Fla. - It might only be Feb. 24, but Jordan Zimmermann looks like he's in midseason form.
Zimmermann has quickly fired two scoreless innings this afternoon, allowing just a two-out single in the first.
The Nationals right-hander has kept the ball down, inducing five groundball outs and getting Matt Downs swinging on an off-speed pitch in the second inning.
Through these two frames, Zimmermann has thrown just 23 pitches, 15 for strikes.
There isn't a stadium gun here at Space Coast Stadium today, so we don't have radar readings on Zimmermann's fastball, but it looks crisp. He's been locating well and has mixed in just a couple of breaking pitches.
Bryce Harper has the Nationals' lone hit through two innings. The 20-year-old lined a sharply hit ball through the hole between first and second for a two-out single in the first.
Update: Zimmermann had a little hiccup in his third inning of work, allowing a leadoff double to Chris Valaika and a walk to Bryan Petersen.
A sacrifice bunt moved Valaika and Petersen into scoring position, and Chris Coghlan then brought Valaika in on a groundout to first.
Zimmermann then retired Dobbs on another groundout to first to end his inning and his outing.
All in all, Zimmermann threw 43 pitches, 26 for strikes. He used a few changeups, a pitch which he's been working on this spring, and seven of the nine outs he recorded came on groundballs.
Solid first outing of the spring. Zach Duke will now come on for the Nats as we go to the fourth with the Marlins holding a 1-0 lead.
Update II: We've got a rain delay here in Viera. A heavy rain storm has made its way over Space Coast Stadium, so we'll wait this one out for a little while.