I hadn’t intended this blog to be a daily game recap blog, but since I was in attendance for Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter I thought I should write something about it. Interestingly, I was also in attendance at RFK on Labor Day 2006 when Ramon Ortiz (yeah, I know, I know) took a no-no into the 9th inning only to have Albert Pujols hit a home run to spoil it. Of course, about the only thing Ortiz’s effort has in common with Zimmermann’s is that they both excelled at the plate–Ortiz hit a home run in the 8th inning of his game while Jordan banged out two singles in three trips to the plate today.
I’ve heard it said numerous times that with their array of great starters the Nats were sure to have one of them throw a no-hitter eventually. But prior to today the only one of their big guns to flirt with one was Gio Gonzalez when he one-hit the Mets last year, with that one seeing-eye single coming off the bat of pinch hitter Zach Lutz (it was Lutz’s first MLB hit AND his only hit of the season, infuriatingly enough).
No disrespect to Gio, but it was fitting that it would be Zimmermann who threw the team’s first ever no-no. He’s been here the longest and despite winning 19 games a year ago remains behind Strasburg and Gio in terms of the attention and appreciation he gets. Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t have the flashy strike out totals, though the 10 Ks he put up today looked pretty good.
So consider this as the Nats head into the playoffs. In their final starts of the regular season, Zimmermann, Strasburg, Gio and Fister, their four presumed playoff starting pitchers, threw 31 innings, struck out 38 batters and walked only 3. They also gave up only 6 hits and ZERO runs. Not only is that a perfect ERA of 0.00, but it’s a WHIP of an incredible 0.290. Yeah, I’d say they are ready to go.
Let the PLAYOFF games begin!