We won’t talk to Jordan Zimmermann for a little while yet—I’m told he’s a workout nut who insists on riding a stationary bike and lifting weights after he pitches—so for now, you’ll have to make do with my impressions of his outing today:
Zimmermann wasn’t quite as sharp as his previous starts this spring; he actually allowed four hits today. But the bar has been set extraordinarly high, and there wasn’t much wrong with his stuff. His fastball topped out around 94 mph (with some down-and-away movement to righties), his curve was between 84-87 mph, he threw a hard slider that was in the high 80s and his changeup was 77-79 mph. That’s the pitch the Nationals want him to develop; I’m not sure how many he threw today, but I’ll try to find out later.
He also did something lots of young pitchers forget—he pitched to contact when he had to. He got out of a first-and-third jam in the third inning with a 4-6-3 double play, and handcuffed hitters into a number of harmless popups. Forty of his 62 pitches were strikes.
I’ll be back with some thoughts from Zimmermann in a while, but I continue to think the Nats are going to have a hard time keeping this kid in the minors.
It’s 5-1 Nats in the top of the seventh. Mike Hinckley is on the mound and struggling, as many of Washington‘s relievers have all spring. And they put on “What is Love?” by Haddaway during the last half-inning and nobody—I mean nobody—did the “Night at the Roxbury” head-bob thing. Yes, the crowds at Space Coast Stadium trend a little old for the musical selections sometimes.