While the nation watched Matt Garza throw a no-hitter on ESPN tonight, Washington Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann struggled for the first time in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Ben Goessling reports:
"Not a good night for Zimmermann. He gave up seven runs, six of them earned, on seven hits over five innings. He gave up a couple homers, which accounted for most of the runs. Reader Riverdog, who was at the game in Hagerstown, said Zimmermann looked good at times, particularly in a five-pitch fourth inning, but didn't locate the ball well most of the night. But it's a rehab start, and the more important thing is whether ZImmermann comes out of it healthy."
Zimmermann had been dominant in his first four starts in his rehab assignment. In 13 innings pitched the 24-year-old had allowed no earned runs and struck out 13. The righty had been pitching so well that there was even talk of bringing the former top arm in the Nationals system to start in place of the injured J.D. Martin at the end of this week. With Zimmermann's poor performance, the Nats are likely to hold off on that prospect. They don't want to rush one of the most important arms in the system to help their future number two get a few more starts in the show in 2010.
This is likely just a hiccup, expect "Jay-Z" to return to form in his next start, and find his way up to Washington in August.