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Jordan Zimmermann not in command

In his start Sunday afternoon, Jordan Zimmermann felt strong and healthy, which is the best and most important news the Nationals can hear. It was also the only piece of good news for one day.

Zimmermann failed to build on recent strong outings in his fourth start back from Tommy John surgery, throwing 80 pitches in just three innings. Sloppy defense - one error by Ian Desmond, one by himself -forced Zimmermann to expend pitches, which he has in precious supply. But he also blamed his own control issues, which led to three walks. He threw 50 strikes in 80 pitches.

"My command was terrible," Zimmermann said. "When I get ahead, I need to put them away and get more aggressive, I guess."

Two starts prior, Zimmermann had one-hit the Marlins for six innings while striking out nine. He didn't have any of that dominance Sunday. Mike Stanton alone blasted two home runs off of him, one on a hanging curve. The homers accounted for three of the four earned runs he allowed and two of the five hits.

"It's still only my fourth start," Zimmermann said. "I'm still trying to work some kinks out. It's unacceptable, I guess, to be up here and not have the good control like I should have."

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 12, 2010; 7:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

He's right. It is unacceptable. He threw like a high school kid out there today. Must've taken him 50 pitches to get through two innings. I used to think this guy had top-of-the-rotation potential. Now, I think he's in the Stammen-Det-Bally Star junk heap pile. I think he's healthy; I just think he doesn't know how to pitch.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 12, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

At least we don't have to play the Marlins anymore this season.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 13, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

"It's still only my fourth start." Hmmm...Combine that kind of thinking with the fact that JZimm is going to be on a pitch count next year, a la Strasburg: does this sound like a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in 2011? Shows that (a) Nats desperately need a real 200-inning ace to be competitive next year and (b) the instructional league, we're always trying, sometimes we play clean baseball attitude is filtering down to and starting to contaminate the likes of JZimm.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | September 13, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

"Nats desperately need a real 200-inning ace to be competitive next year"

and a new manager, and a new leadoff man, and a power hitting first baseman, and a stable middle infield, and a new rightfielder, and a stronger bench...

Jordan Z is the least of our worries

Posted by: sjt1455 | September 13, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, J-Zimm is among the least of our worries... has he looked good every outing? No, of course not... but he has the best stuff of any SP currently on our staff... and, coming off seriously major surgery, expectations can't be too high too soon... this feeds into Strasburg's eventual comeback, too... but, what I really see from these Tommy John guys is that it takes 12 months for them to be ready to pitch at all again... and another 12 months for them to pitch with confidence and command again, probably because it takes a while for them to trust their surgically repaired elbows (not to mention shaking the rust off after the longest break from baseball they have had since they were an infant)...

This is only one example, but look at what Francisco Liriano did in 2009 his first year back from TJ surgery... and then look at what he is doing this year in 2010 in his 2nd full year back...

Not saying J-Zimm is Liriano caliber, but barring another physical setback, I would expect him to get back fully to how he was pitching right before the injury, and hopefully also take a step forward to the next level, too...

Gotta stay positive about something to be a Nats fan!

Posted by: Ghost7 | September 13, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

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