You had to admire Jordan Zimmermann’s economy in the Nationals’ 5-0 win over the Astros on Thursday night. In six innings, he threw 87 pitches – hardly a huge number – but still managed to strike out 11, equaling his career high. You don’t often see too performances like that in the majors. In fact, Zimmermann is just the third hurler since 1995 to finish with the following stat line: six or more innings, 87 or fewer pitches, 11 or more K’s, zero runs allowed.
One of these gems was thrown against the Expos, the Nats’ forebears, by none other than Greg Maddux. Click here for the box of the game. The future Hall of Famer went seven scoreless innings that night in Montreal, fanning 13 and giving up just two hits on 81 pitches. (What might be just as remarkable, though, is that the first three batters in the Braves order – Rafael Furcal, Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones – are, a dozen years later, still in the bigs. Raffy and Chipper even played in the All-Star Game last month.)
The other guy to do it, Matt Perisho, is at the other end of the spectrum. Perisho, a well-traveled lefty, had few highlights in an 11-17 career. But in the final game of the 1995 season, he put up these numbers for the Rangers: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K, 78 pitches. Alas, all he got out of it was a no decision. Texas wound up losing 1-0 to the Angels.
Jordan Zimmermann, Greg Maddux, Matt Perisho – strange bedfellows, indeed. But you have to appreciate their succinctness, especially in the Era of the 3-Hour Ballgame.