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Thru 6: Zimmermann done

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Pretty impressive debut for Jordan Zimmermann. Now we’ll find out if it ended too quickly.

The rookie right-hander did what made him so good through spring training—he threw one strike after another, getting ahead of hitters frequently enough to use his sharp breaking pitches. His first fastball hit 95 mph, and he threw 51 of his 72 pitches for strikes. Other than the homer he gave up, he didn’t make many mistakes, and seemed to have the attitude of, “Here’s a strike. See if you can hit it.”

Manny Acta pinch hit for Zimmermann with the Nationals up 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, which fits with his philosophy of wanting to take out young pitchers on a high note. But he’s asking for three innings out of his new-look bullpen with a one-run lead.

It probably should be more, just as the Nats’ leads the last few games should have been. They left a runner on third in the last inning, and have stranded six men tonight. We’ll see if the bullpen can hang on to a win for Zimmermann.

One more thing—and you knew this was going to be low because of the rain, the team’s record and the fact that it’s a Monday night—but the attendance here, just announced a minute ago, is 12,473. That’s by far the lowest crowd in the history of Nationals Park, and is the fourth straight game the attendance hasn’t topped 20,000.

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