Some might accuse me as an eternal optimist on the Nats, although I like to think of myself as a realist. Then again, why would I spend my free time writing about the team if I was inherently negative? Anyway, all the local sports news today seems to be in the “time to jump off the bridge” category about the Nats. After, Sunday’s loss was horrific, so its probably an indication of how bad this team is, right? I mean, the Giants didn’t have any stinkers last year, did they? Actually, they lost by 9 runs twice, by 8 once and by 7 once, so I guess it could happen to anyone. Ok, so despite the panicky noises people are making, they probably realize that it’s just one game, and they just have to find something to write about.
This takes us back to me being Mr Positivity. What I took from that game is just how good Jordan Zimmermann looked. He gave up 2 ER and 1 unearned run, but those numbers actually don’t reveal what happened in the game. Two non-errors in the first inning by Espinosa led to the first run. The first base hit might have been an out had he played it better, and a boot on a double play ball both contributed to a 5 out inning. Even if we don’t count the first one, the inning still should have ended before the run scored.
Then, in the 5th, a misplayed ball in the outfield, which fell in between Ankiel and Werth (but it was Ankiel’s ball) while they both pulled up, led to a triple from a hard but catchable fly out. Gonzalez, at third, scored on a perfectly cromulent ground ball out, to give JZimm his second ER. Then Prado hit a deep double to RCF, and Tim Hudson, who had just walked, scored when Espinosa bobbled the relay through. There’s your unearned run, off of the one really good hit that Zimmermann gave up.
What’s the point of all of this? It’s just to say that fans should be more excited about Zimmermann’s outing than the bullpen’s flubs. Zimmermann only struck out two, but his overpowering of McCann on three straight pitches was one of the highlights of the day. He looked good, and gives us all an indication that he probably is the Nats’ best pitcher this season. Hopefully only to be surpassed by a superior young ace recovering from Tommy John surgery this fall or this spring.