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Zimmermann lamented most, perhaps, the pitch he left for Brandon Belt in the sixth with two runners on. Belt smacked the 92-mph fastball to right field, scoring what would prove to be a pivotal second run but getting thrown out by Jayson Werth after trying to stretch it into a double. Zimmermann appeared to seethe on the mound.

“I was trying to go in and jam him,” he said. “And I just left it right over the middle. Anyone could hit that pitch.

“I always want to finish an inning, (but) I was more frustrated with the pitch there… I wish I could’ve thrown it in a little bit farther.”

Instead the Nationals turned their sights toward Wednesday, toward a rubber-match victory so that they can end their longest road trip of the second half having won every series. Late Tuesday night, Baseball Prospectus listed them as having a 99.3 percent chance of making the playoffs. Their one loss certainly didn’t dim those prospects much.

“You’re not going to win every game,” Werth said. “So you can’t expect to do that but you come out every night and put it on the line and we do that every night. We’ve got a chance to win the series tomorrow and finish up a quality road trip and get back home for the stretch run. One more game to win.”