- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ZIMMERMANN SCORELESS AGAIN

VIERA, Fla. - Jordan Zimmermann was bound to give up a hit at some point. As for a run? That still hasn’t happened.

The rookie right-hander pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings Tuesday despite an inconsistent curveball and change-up that essentially limited him to two effective pitches. Zimmermann gave up four hits, walked two and had thrown 62 pitches by the time he faced his third and final batter of the fourth inning. But he got out of a jam by inducing a 4-6-3 double play at the end of the third, stranding Cory Sullivan at third base.

”I needed that, I guess, to see how things would go,” Zimmermann said. “I really had to battle today, and it was pretty hot out there. My mechanics were a little messed up today - I was flying open a little bit - but I got the ground ball when I needed it.”

Zimmermann’s fastball topped out at about 94 mph, and his other effective pitch, a hard slider in the high 80s, helped compensate for the struggles he had with the curve and change-up.



”He worked himself out of a couple of jams,” Acta said. “It was good to see that, so he can see it’s not as easy, and we could see how he could react to situations like that. He continues to impress everybody here.”

NATIONALS 5, METS 5 (10)

Despite staking their starter to another lead early, the Nationals tied the Mets because of another blown lead by their bullpen. Mike Hinckley and Jesus Colome allowed five runs in the game’s last three innings, though some of the Mets’ charge came from bloop singles. Washington couldn’t score in the 10th, with Ian Desmond getting thrown out at the plate as he tried to score from third on a passed ball.

Washington had just eight hits but was helped by four New York errors.

- Ben Goessling

TEMPERATURE CHECK

Elijah Dukes [UP]

Went 3-for-4 with two runs and launched first-inning homer that cleared the left-field bleachers

Mike Hinckley [DOWN]

Late-season surprise last year has a 15.75 ERA this spring

Space Coast Stadium PA guy [DOWN]

Do we really need to bellow “DUKES” or “GUZ-man” into the mic every time they’re up for fans to get it?

BY THE NUMBERS

5 RBI for first baseman Brad Eldred in the last two games after his three-run homer Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Mostly cloudy, 70 degrees.

Viera: Sunny, 82 degrees.

THREE-DAY SCHEDULE

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: vs. Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 1 p.m.

Friday: vs. Astros in Kissimmee, 7 p.m.

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