FLORIDA - The moment the Nationals knew Jordan Zimmermann was back from Tommy John surgery was his second major league start last year, where he struck out nine batters and allowed one hit in six innings.
Stephen Strasburg has proved a few times already this month that he's going to be just fine after surgery. But ever the competitor, Strasburg had to go out and one-up Zimmermann just a little bit in Florida.
He struck out 10 batters in his fifth and final start of the season, also allowing one hit. And though Strasburg walked two batters, those were the only two he's walked since returning to the majors on Sept. 6. His final pitch was a 79-mph curveball that dived under Jose Lopez's bat for his 10th strikeout.
Strasburg's final line for the month: 24 innings, 12 hits, two walks, 24 strikeouts and a 1.50 ERA.
And Zimmermann has said several times how much better he got after getting a few months to rest after his Tommy John comeback year. And the Nationals will have both him and Strasburg next year.
Look out, folks.