Not too hot, not too cold, Zimmermann picks up his 10th win
by Jacob Emert | MLB.com
If Jordan Zimmermann’s 2015 season has been a mixed batch of great outings and disappointing ones, Sunday’s effort fell somewhere in the middle.
Zimmermann recorded his 10th win of the year, but he was unable to pitch out of the fifth inning and allowed four earned runs.
“I did OK,” Zimmermann said after the Nationals’ 9-5 series clinching win over Milwaukee. “Definitely not my best. Didn’t have my best stuff.”
A Wisconsin native, Zimmermann’s struggles against the Brewers started right from the start. Scooter Gennett led the game off with a single, and Jonathan Lucroy followed suit with a long home run.
“They punched me in the mouth in the first,” Zimmermann said. “I kind of woke up after that, and I was doing OK for a few innings.”
The Nationals’ offense responded with five runs over the next four innings, putting Zimmermann in an aggressive mindset with sizable lead and an already high pitch count.
With a full count in the fifth inning, Gennett sat on Zimmermann’s fastball and belted it into the right-field seats.
“3-2, obviously I’m going to throw a heater to Gennett there, and he hits a homer,” Zimmermann said. “But other then that, they made me battle. I threw a lot of pitches, and obviously the pitch count was way higher than I want it to be.”
Sunday marked the fifth game in which the righty allowed multiple home runs in his 26 starts this season.
Tagged for eight hits, Zimmermann struck out seven and walked only one. Part of his struggles, like last time out in Colorado, was he felt unable to find the sharpness to his slider.
“It was terrible,” Zimmermann said. “It was backing up. I probably threw 4 or 5 good ones all game and the others were just spinning and staying middle.”
With the win, the Nationals improved to 62-61 on the season and won two consecutive series for the first time since late June.
<b>Jacob Emert</b> is an associate reporter for MLB.com.