Jordan Zimmermann prepares for his third rehab start for the Potomac Nationals. (Photo D. Nichols/Nats News Network)
Washington Nationals rehabbing pitcher Jordan Zimmermann made his third rehab start for the Single-A Potomac Nationals Wednesday night against the Kinston Indians. Zimmermann had "Tommy John" surgery last August and has been ahead of his rehab schedule the entire way.
Zimmermann went four innings, throwing 52 pitches, 39 for strikes. He gave up one unearned run on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
In the first inning, he struck out the leadoff hitter on three pitches, all fastballs. The second batter reached on an opposite field double down the line. The third batter bounced back to the mound.
Kinston's cleanup hitter grounded to shortstop Ortiz, but he bounced the throw to first and all hands were safe, including the runner from second coming around to score. The play was originally scored a hit, but was later changed to an error. Zimmermann gave up another flare to right before getting the No. 6 hitter to fly out to left field.
The second inning went much quicker: two fly outs to right and a strikeout on nine total pitches.
Zimmermann fairly cruised through the third inning as well. He got the leadoff hitter to bounce out to short, and sandwiched a groundball single with two called strikeouts.
He ran into a bit more trouble in the fourth, his final inning. The No. 5 hitter singled through the hole at short and the No. 6 hitter laced one to left. Zimmermann then picked off the runner at second for the first out of the inning. The No. 7 hitter then slammed a double to right center, but the runner was nailed at the plate 8-6-2 for out number two.
Zimmermann then induced a grounder to first, thus ending his evening.
The right-hander, pencilled in as the No. 2 starter in Washington's rotation should everything go to schedule, will probably make one more start at Single-A Potomac, then take a step up the ladder and move to Double-A Harrisburg for a few starts there.
Zimmermann answered a few questions in the P-Nats locker room after his appearance was over.
How did you feel overall with your performance?
"Excellent. I felt great all night. I was locating my pitches pretty well tonight. The first inning I was throwing more fastballs than I usually do and they were just hitting the ball."
Did you run out of gas a little bit in the fourth inning?
"I just made a couple of bad pitches, gave up a couple hits. But the defense came through -- they threw that guy out at home and did a great job behind me today."
Were you able to throw all your pitches with command and control tonight?
"I've been really working on my changeup. I threw more changeups tonight than I've even thrown in a game so that's good. They were all down in the zone -- there was a little movement at the end so that was good.
I was going to try to throw 10 changeups. That was my goal. I was going out there to work on my change up tonight, to keep it down. For the most part they were all pretty good."
You've been a step ahead of your rehab the whole way. Are you itching to get back to D.C.?
"I'm a little antsy but I know it's a process and you gotta take your time. There's stages of the whole thing so I'm gonna keep bouncing around here a little bit yet and hopefully get up there by September."
Please enjoy a short photo gallery of Jordan Zimmermann's start. (All photos D. Nichols/Nats News Network. All Rights Reserved.)