Zimmermann in groove despite recent loss, ready for Friars

Saturday’s second game of the series features Nationals right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann (2-5, 3.98 ERA) against San Diego Padres’ right-hander Tim Stauffer (0-3, 3.88).

Despite allowing a game-deciding, two-run homer to Vladimir Guerrero in a 2-1 setback at the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, Zimmermann finished with 6 and 1/3-innings allowing only four hits, those two earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts.

“The outing was great,” Zimmermann said. “I felt awesome. (Guerrero) is one of those hitters where no matter where you throw it he is going to make contact and make pretty good contact. I could have thrown that in the dirt and he still could of hit a home run. I just hung that one and it cost us the game.

“Other than that, I felt good. All of my pitches were good and my fastball is right where it needs to be.”

Zimmermann says his command with his fastball set the tone for his off speed stuff, but he had to adjust when one of his favorite pitches wasn’t connecting.

“I had good control of the fast ball and we were working fast,” Zimmermann recalls. “The curve ball was a big pitch for me that day. I could throw it for strikes whenever I wanted.

“I could throw it in the dirt, except for that one I hung there. Usually it is a slider, sometimes it is a curve. Hopefully, more times than not, it is both of them. That day I only had the curve ball, it was working out pretty well.”

The Padres counter with former University of Richmond standout right-hander Stauffer. The 28-year old is scheduled for his 11th start of the season after allowing a career-high 11 hits in his last outing.

Jayson Werth is a career 4-for-8 with a home run versus the San Diego, Ca., native.

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