Post no-no, Zimmermann ready for start in Game 2 (with start times)

Six days ago, Jordan Zimmermann delivered the start of his life.

He retired 27 of the 28 batters that he faced. He struck out 10. He threw the first no-hitter in Nationals history.

Now, the Nationals need the right-hander to put that outing behind him, go out and deal again. Boy, do they need it.

I shouldn't say "put that outing behind him" as if anyone's concerned about Zimmermann moving past his no-hitter. The players and coaches inside the Nats clubhouse know what type of guy Zimmermann is - a professional, an even-keeled right-hander who doesn't care about himself and wants what's best for the team.

They know he'll take the mound today with a clear mindset. They've seen how he's been in the days since the no-no, how he's gone about preparing for today's outing. And they have total faith that he'll go out and deliver for them yet again.

Jordan-Zimmermann-no-hitter-arms-out.jpg"I don't think he's any different than he always is," manager Matt Williams said of Zimmermann since the no-hitter. "He wasn't that different that day. You saw him after the game. He talked about how his emotions (were) going through it. He's always going to be the same guy. He will go out there, he will be aggressive, he will challenge the strike zone. Throw the balls in the strike zone and work quickly. He's not going to change that.

"The secret to his success is what he showed on the final game of the season. That's balls in the strike zone, pound the zone, work quickly, get us back in the dugout. He's not going to change. He will be the same guy."

Ask Zimmermann about what his life has been like since the no-hitter, and you'll get a typical Zimmermann response.

"Life has been the same way it has always been," he said prior to Game 1 yesterday. "Come to the ballpark every day, prepare for the playoffs here. You know, my phone has been blowing up every day, but I guess that comes with throwing a no-hitter."

Zimmermann says he's watched the last out of his no-hitter a few times, but hasn't taken the time to watch the whole start yet. He'll save that for after the season is over.

For now, it's all about the postseason, about the task at hand. Zimmermann got a taste of the playoffs in 2012, when he made one start and one relief appearance for the Nats in the NLDS against the Cardinals.

His start was one to forget - a three-inning outing in St. Louis that saw the Cardinals smack seven hits and push across five runs. The relief appearance was one to remember - a truly dominant seventh inning in Game 4, when he struck out the side on just 12 pitches, threw upper 90s and kept a tie game knotted up, allowing Jayson Werth to play the hero a couple of innings later.

That experience, both the good and the bad, will certainly help Zimmermann today. But his sights aren't set on 2012 right now. They're set on today's outing, and evening this best-of-five series with the Giants.

It's time to put 2012 in the rear-view mirror, put the no-hitter in the rear-view mirror and go deal.

"We've moved past (2012)," Zimmermann said. "We're ready to go now, not think about two years ago. We learned a lot since then. I think we are ready to go."

Update: In case you missed it yesterday, Major League Baseball has announced start times through the rest of the Division Series.

The Nats will play Game 3 at San Francisco on Monday in what will be a 3:07 p.m. ET start, unless the Angels-Royals series is over by then. If that series is done, the Nats and Giants will start Game 3 at 5:07 p.m. ET. The game will be on MLB Network.

For Tuesday's Game 4, also at San Francisco, the Nats and Giants would start at 9:07 p.m. ET, unless the Dodgers-Cardinals series is over. If that series is done, the Nats and Giants would start Game 4 at 8:37 p.m. ET. The game will be on FOX Sports 1.

If the series goes to a decisive Game 5, it would be held at Nats Park on Thursday, starting at 5:07 p.m., unless the Dodgers-Cardinals series is over. If that series is done, the Nats and Giants would start Game 5 at 8:37 p.m. The game will be on FOX Sports 1.

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