Hours before being named to the 2014 National League All-Star team for the second time in two years, Washington Nationals right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann threw a tough game against the Chicago Cubs and went on to win 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Right-handed relief pitcher Tyler Clippard ended up with the official win but Zimmermann’s strong efforts helped ensure Chicago’s low run count.
Zimmermann gave up seven hits over six innings while striking out five and walking one batter on 105 pitches (76 strikes). While the majority of Chicago’s 10 hits on the day came off of Zimmermann, the soon-to-be-announced All-Star pitcher and his defense held the Cubs in place.
Washington scored early and held on tight to a one-run lead for the majority of the game. Leadoff man and outfielder Denard Span started the day with a double off of the Cubs’ right-handed starting pitcher Jake Arrieta and then scored on a ground out hit by outfielder Jayson Werth; Nats 1, Cubs 0.
It took a few innings for the Cubs to catch up but Chicago tacked on a run to tie the game in the seventh off of right-handed reliever Drew Storen. Pinch hitter Chris Coghlan hit a leadoff single to start the seventh inning before scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by shortstop Starlin Castro; Nats 1, Cubs 1.
The Nats answered back as quickly as they could come the eighth inning when Span leadoff with yet another double, this time off of right-handed reliever Pedro Strop. Span would score on a two-out single hit by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to give the Nats a late 2-1 lead. Then, Washington’s right-handed closer Rafael Soriano entered the game and faced the minimum to secure his 21 save of 2014.