After one strange (earthquake filled) day in Washington, D.C., the Nationals did their best to keep things on the diamond interesting. Washington took a 2-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in what was likely right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann’s penultimate game of the season, but it was a well fought battle.
Neither team scored until the seventh inning. Arizona third baseman Sean Burroughs hit his first homerun of the season, a two-run shot, off Zimmermann to give his team the upper-hand. The Nats biggest issue of the night was stranding men in scoring position.
Washington had eleven base runners Tuesday night. Five of those runners reached scoring position.
Zimmermann put up his highest pitch count of the season with 109 (71 for strikes). Manager Davey Johnson said he chose to leave Zimmermann in the game to start the seventh inning after giving up a double to catcher Mmiguel Montero in the sixth inning because he wanted to try and get him the win. That plan did not work out the way he would have liked, however, and a one-out walk to centerfielder Chris Young set up the RBI-opportunity for Burroughs, whose homerun won the game for Arizona.
After last night’s 6 1/3 inning start, Zimmermann falls to 8-11 this season with one more start this year after his return from Tommy John surgery. This was the sixth time in the 2011 season that Zimmermann has allowed two runs or less and has lost the game.
Washington did have able opportunities to score, though. During the fourth inning, Washington had runners on the corners but a strikeout from Laynce Nix ended that. Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse both came to the plate with the bases loaded in the fifth inning but couldn’t muster a run off Arizona starter Ian Kennedy, who recorded eight strikeouts against the Nationals in his seven inning outing.
Jayson Werth went 2-for-3 and singled in the sixth for the Nats final hit Tuesday night. Laynce Nix walked with one out, putting Werth in scoring position, but Wilson Ramos grounded into a double play to end their final potential rally of the game.