The Washington Times - September 25, 2013, 12:51PM

ST. LOUIS — Jordan Zimmermann will take the mound Wednesday afternoon in search of a benchmark. The Washington Nationals’ right-hander will make his final start of the 2013 season with a chance to earn his 20th win.

The task will likely not be made easy for him against the St. Louis Cardinals, who have beaten the Nationals in all five previous meetings this season and have handled Zimmermann better than any opponent the right-hander has faced in his career. 


In five career regular-season starts against the Cardinals, Zimmermann has a 9.12 ERA and took the loss in the second game of the 2012 National League Division Series as well. His greatest highlight against them came later in that series, though, when he put on one of the most electric relief performances in Nationals history. 

The good news for Zimmermann is that he’s coming off one of his most impressive performances in a season filled with contenders. Zimmermann allowed just two hits in a shutout of the Marlins last Friday night. 

Manager Davey Johnson will send his regular lineup to the field behind Zimmermann in hopes of helping his pitcher reach the milestone.

“And, you know, these guys knocked us out of the playoffs and they’re in a pennant race and we’re 0-5 against them this year,” Johnson said. “I’m putting my best foot forward. We need to send a message back over there that you can’t just walk over us. Even (Matt Holliday) got off his deathbed for this one.”

Here are the full lineups:


Denard Span CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Jayson Werth RF
Bryce Harper LF
Ian Desmond SS
Adam LaRoche 1B
Wilson Ramos C
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Jordan Zimmermann P


Matt Carpenter 2B
Carlos Beltran RF
Matt Holliday LF
Matt Adams 1B
Yadier Molina C
Jon Jay CF
David Freese 3B
Daniel Descalso SS
Shelby Miller P