When Jordan Zimmermann started game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, he struggled to find consistent ocmmand. He didn’t give up many hits, but his impressive line can’t be argued with. He went six innings and give up just one run on six hits. The Nationals locked up their 90th win on the season with 15 games remaining on their schedule, and they are one win away from their first postseason birth.
Cortisone was the name of game one. Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa both had cortisone shots before the games today, and they both performed well in game one both offensively and defensively. Zimmerman went 2-for-4 at the dish with an RBI, and Espinosa went 2-for-4 as well. In the fifth inning, Espinosa made a nice sliding grab for the first out, which was immediately followed by a diving stop by Zimmerman for the second. Espinosa will sit game two tonight to rest his shoulder, which was expected.
Bryce Harper had a triple in the fifth inning that we’ve come to expect from the rookie. It was stamped for a double, but Harper hustled for a triple, and he was later driven in. Harper now has eight triples this season, which is a Nats record, and he has 49 extra base hits this season, which is the most ever for a teenager, according to Dan Daly. He has been a huge catalyst for the Nats on the base paths this year.
The bullpen, after a rough weekend in Atlanta, finally looked to be back to their good old selves. Sean Burnett looked very good. He gave up a walk to Matt Kemp, which maybe wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Otherwise, in two-thirds of an inning, he struck out both batters he retired: Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez.
Drew Storen gave up a hit in the eighth on a ball that wasn’t hit solidly, and he struck out two of his three outs. Storen keeps getting better as the season goes on and is among the games most devastating setup guys. Tyler Clippard had a dominating outing in the ninth for his 32nd save of the season. He gave up a hit, too, but it wasn’t well hit either. Nats park errupted with the win.
Game two is underway right now, and we’ll have a summary of the doubleheader not long after it’s conclusion. Maybe we’ll be celebrating a clinched post season for the first time in Nats history (since 2005, of course).