Most hitters love playing at Coors Field. That's no secret.
The ball travels further at altitude. Breaking pitches have less spin, leaving more balls hanging up in the zone.
Ryan Zimmerman really, really loves playing at Coors Field.
Zimmerman smoked a two-run homer to left with two outs in the third inning, giving the Nationals a 2-1 lead and further inflating Zimmerman's career numbers in Colorado.
In 29 games at Coors Field, Zimmerman is now batting .365 (42-for-115) with eight home runs, 10 doubles, a triple and 33 RBIs.
His two-run shot off Jeff Francis barely made it over the left field fence. It was a typical Coors Field home run, but Zimmerman and the Nats will take it.
Ross Detwiler allowed a double to Dexter Fowler on his first pitch off the DL and gave up a run in the first inning. Since then, he's settled in a bit, and now has a 2-1 lead to work with after three innings.
In other news, the Phillies have announced that John Lannan will come off the DL and start Monday against, you guessed it, the Nationals.
The former Nats starter has been out for much of the season with a knee injury.
Now he'll face his old team in the opener of the three-game set next week at Citizens Bank Park.
Update: Detwiler's done after five solid innings of work, having allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts. The left-hander threw 77 pitches in his return from the DL, 51 for strikes.
Manager Davey Johnson didn't want to push Detwiler too far in his first big league start in nearly a month, so he'll go to his bullpen now. Craig Stammen will likely be the next guy to toe the rubber for the Nats.
Detwiler leaves with the Nats trailing 3-2. Michael Cuddyer doubled in a run in the fourth and then scored on Wilin Rosario's RBI groundout to give the Rockies the lead.
Francis has been holding the Nats at bay with his super-slow curveball and impressive control thus far. His pitch count is rising, but Francis has a lead going to the sixth.
Update II: Hey, if you aren't getting consistent offense, you'll take back-to-back balks to bring in the game-tying run.
Well, I guess any team will take a game-tying run however they can get it. But you get my point.
The Nats have knotted this game at 3-3 in the seventh thanks to two balks by Rockies reliever Wilton Lopez. Both came within the same at-bat, and the Nats had two outs at the time.
Ian Desmond moved from second to third on Lopez's first balk, which was blatant. The right-hander moved his throwing hand towards his glove while in the stretch position. Desmond then was allowed to trot home just a minute or two later, when second base umpire Bob Davidson ruled that Lopez balked again.
This balk was a lot less obvious, and the Rockies were less than thrilled with the call. But regardless, this game is now tied here in the seventh.
Davidson is known for being quick to the trigger when it comes to balks. His call has helped the Nats in a big way this afternoon.
Update III: Zimmerman and Desmond continue to get the job done. Each guy delivered an RBI base hit in the top of the eighth inning, turning a 3-3 tie into a 5-3 Nats lead.
Zimmerman now has three RBIs today, while Desmond is 4-for-4 on the afternoon.
What a big offensive performance from two guys who have really stepped up their game over the last month or so.
Update IV: After dropping the first game of this three-game set, the Nats grabbed the last two to take a big road series at Colorado.
Ross Ohlendorf got the win last night and Ross Detwiler gave five strong this afternoon. Rafael Soriano made things a little interesting in the ninth, allowing a run before closing out a 5-4 win for his 17th save.
Zimmerman and Desmond drove in four between them and combined for six of the Nats' nine hits.
This was the Nats' first road series win since May 3-5 against the Pirates, and they're back above .500 as they head to Cleveland.