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Zimmermann, Treinen find trouble in Nats’ loss

Jun 7, 2015, 9:02 PM EDT

Jun 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals lineup has suffered through a well-documented stretch of futility in recent weeks, but on Sunday there were glimpses of hope. They struck for three runs off eight hits against the Cubs, representing a sign of progress given just how bad they have been lately.

Three runs is a step in the right direction, but not enough to give their pitchers any sort of breathing room. Combined with rough outings for both Jordan Zimmermann and reliever Blake Treinen, the result was another loss, the Nats’ eighth defeat in their last 10 games.

Zimmermann struggled from the start and gave up four runs over five innings with 12 Cubs batters having reached base on 10 hits and two walks. Zimmermann took the loss and broke a streak of nine consecutive quality starts along the way.

“I just wasn’t locating. I was leaving the balls over the middle. My breaking pitches were terrible. It’s gonna happen when you don’t have all your pitches. I just wasn’t sharp today,” he said.

Zimmermann was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning after throwing 92 pitches. It was the first time in 10 starts that Zimmermann did not last at least until the sixth.

The loss broke Zimmermann out of what was his best stretch of the season – three earned runs in his previous four outings – but the veteran right-hander was happy to limit the damage in several innings that could have turned the game into a blowout.

“Every inning I had guys on base. Just working out of jams all day. It should’ve been a lot worse than it was. I guess I can take that out of it. 12 base runners in five innings and they only got four runs which was halfway decent,” he said.

Zimmermann left with the Nationals down 4-2 and Washington cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fifth. But Treinen made matters worse by allowing two runs in the sixth inning.

Treinen retired the first two batters he faced before giving up two runs on a sequence that included three walks (one intentional), a double, an RBI single and a wild pitch that brought home Anthony Rizzo.

Treinen has had an up-and-down season and now holds a 4.60 ERA through 23 appearances on the year.

“I lost the ball up for Rizzo to hit down the line. Then I didn’t make pitches afterwards that compounded the issue. It ended up costing us,” he said.

“It’s pretty obviously frustrating, I think. I think [the bullpen is] better than what the public eye may perceive and we know that. Especially myself, I need to be better and more consistent.”

The Nationals have an assortment of issues to work through during their eight-game road trip which begins on Tuesday against the New York Yankees. Runs are coming at a premium and their pitching has been inconsistent across the board.

Matt Williams shrugged off the outings of both Zimmermann and Treinen as he looked ahead to New York.

“Get the lead, keep the lead, that’s the plan. So we need to start doing a little more of that,” he said.


  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 7, 2015 at 9:13 PM

    Don’t feel bad, Clippard gave up 3 runs in 1/3 of an inning today and took the Blown Save and the Loss.

    • senators5 - Jun 7, 2015 at 9:30 PM

      Maybe he is posturing himself to get back with the NATS Just kidding!

  2. Doc - Jun 7, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Good to see Danny Zobrist taking his glove to LF—or was it somebody else’s OF glove?

    Also, good to see Uggla and CRob get some pinch hits!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:14 AM

      There’s some positives. Bench strength.

  3. Doc - Jun 7, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Now if someone could help MAT cut down on his K’s! Holy lineup out, Batman! The kid is on pace to K about 150-200 times for a part-time player.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 7, 2015 at 10:04 PM

      Some folks here have talked about his progress, but I just don’t see it. Not saying he won’t, someday. But I don’t see it yet.

      • natsmachine - Jun 7, 2015 at 10:45 PM

        HH/Doc…totally agree. He really needs to be in Syracuse so that he can work on his game, especially his hitting. I think he was promoted too soon.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 7, 2015 at 11:18 PM

        He was promoted too soon. And if either Jayson Werth or Nate McLouth were healthy, he’d probably be in Syracuse. But the alternative is Matt den Dekker. You decide who you want where. For the moment, I’m more comfortable with Mr. Taylor than with Mr. den Dekker in the Washington outfield.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 7, 2015 at 11:43 PM

        Eugene – Spot on.

        I don’t esp. like what we’re seeing out of him, but I also don’t see a better alternative. AAA wouldn’t do more for his development, and demoting him wouldn’t do more for the big league club.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 8, 2015 at 1:21 AM

        denDekker is not an improvement, and if you think that he would be, I think you are mistaken.

        HH, Taylor is playing a better LF than any alternative would, and laugh all you want, but his BA with RISP, though a small sample size, compares favorably with everybody on the team, though that’s not saying much. But for example, Taylor is 8-24 [.333] and Espinosa is 4-27 [.148] with RISP.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 8, 2015 at 1:40 AM

        For those calling for denDekker up and to send Taylor down, here are some sobering stats:

        In Syracuse,denDekker is has 168 AB’s and is hitting .226/595 OPS with 19 RBI’s and 39 K’s

        With the Nats Taylor has 123 AB’s, is hitting .228/.666 OPS with 19 RBI’s and 50 K’s

        Figure it out. Their stats are almost identical, except one of them is from against AAA pitching, the other from ML pitching.

  4. natsmachine - Jun 7, 2015 at 11:42 PM

    Eugene…good point, but I’ll take my chances with TMO, Robinson, or, yes, den Dekker vs. the prospect development of MAT, who barely has any AAA experience, and is more essential in the long run.

  5. scmargenau - Jun 8, 2015 at 12:55 AM

    Ok – on one side we have LOD – SWM etc

    On the other we have rosy glasses.

    Strangely DP has retreated to neutral ground.

    The reality is: we are not as good as May and not as bad as April. We can’t hit well, despite stats and runs scored average..,dumb stats. We are pitching ok at best as starters and below average as a bullpen. We simply are an average team. With health and some turn arounds we may be good. It’s early, but fans have every right to be concerned. Zim, span, Werth are all getting old as I peck this post out — I’d like to see what dilfo and turner can contribute before all stars. Desi, as much as I love him needs to move on, he’s just unreliable. A post season loss waiting to happen

  6. Joe Seamhead - Jun 8, 2015 at 12:56 AM

    I wasn’t able to see much of the game earlier, but I seem to remember Michael Taylor making a perfect throw to the plate that nailed a runner . In his last 7 games he has hit 286 and he had one K today. His defense since moving to LF has been impeccable. For all of the accolades about Danny Espinosa’s improvement at the plate, and he has improved dramatically since last year, but when all is said and done Michael Taylor has more RBI’s than Danny, even though Taylor has almost 40 fewer plate appearances! Taylor was rushed to the majors, I said so from the beginning,and he looks lost at the plate sometimes, but he has made improvements, and as mnf’s post on the previous thread shows, he has done better than many on this team with RISP. Taylor has earned some stripes, in my opinion. As for today’s loss? It sure looked like a team loss, starting with the pitching of Jordan and Blake.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jun 8, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    Off topic, way off, but I attended the funeral of my 31 year old nephew today. He was coming home from work last week on his motorcycle and a woman turned left in front of him. He had no chance to avoid her, he was killed instantly. I’m not asking for any condolences, but I am asking for people to be extra careful with regards to motorcycles on the road.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:26 AM

      Much too young and may he RIP. Always goes back to life is too short, don’t sweat the small stuff. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:45 AM

      So sorry, Joe. I am always extra careful to check for bikes whenever I change lanes. They are so easy to miss. I know of a young lady who was paralyzed from the chest down in just such an accident – while a passenger on a friend’s bike she and her friend were hit by a motorist changing lanes. She is only 21.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      Vital advice. Sorry to you and your family for the loss.

    • rayvil01 - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:44 AM

      Sorry for your loss. That’s tough.

      As much as I love the look of motorcycles and enjoyed my time on them, the problem is that people don’t see them. What you described is unfortunately very common. My brother-in-law is the administrator of a hospital. We were talking about this last week. When Spring rolls around they get a number of these very same type accidents.

    • Doc - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:11 AM

      So sorry to hear about your nephew, Seams. So young. RIP

      A similar accident happened here in my hometown in April of this year. The local cyclists have coined a phrase, “Look Twice, and Save a Life”, and have memorialized his tragedy by posting such signs on their lawns.

  8. laddieblahblah - Jun 8, 2015 at 6:57 AM

    Off-topic – Rizzo as the central node in a distributed management network. I could not help thinking of Mike and the complex network of owners, scouts, talent evaluators, player development folks, minor league affiliates, field managers and coaches, competitors, and so on, which inform his world and govern his actions:

    That is obviously not about Rizzo, but it illustrates just how important and useful distributed networks have become to effective team management, no matter the nature of the team, or of the mission. My WAG is that there are at least scores of nodes that Mike is constantly monitoring from the center of that web.

    No wonder he has lost all his hair.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:12 AM

      Draft starts today. No player jumps out as the must have #1.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:16 AM

        Rizzo and staff will find value in the 2nd round and beyond especially in the High School players

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:32 AM

        “Draft starts today.”

        And I know you are all over it. Hope you share your thoughts as things proceed.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:51 AM

        Glad I’m not the Diamondbacks. I think the “sure thing” superstar is in this Draft but you always have to keep in mind that Mike Trout was the 25th overall pick.

        Matuella has been injury prone and his spinal issues would scare me away as I think many have him as the #1 pitcher this year. I go position player with one of the stud shortstops as they are versatile where they can play. Rodgers would be my pick. Kid is smooth on defense and has a nice swing on offense and DBacks don’t need him right away.

        Will be interested to see where the Nats #2 last year Andrew Suarez lands.

        Rizzo is looking for some position players with 80 speed ratings and quick bats with arms.

        Rizzo still looking for the big arms and big heaters. Will that pitcher be available by the time Rizzo has a pick.

      • Doc - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:15 AM

        Yeah, hope Rizzo’s guys check out the high school kids real well. It’ll take a bit of good scouting.

      • Doc - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:20 AM

        Interestingly Ghost, without reading your post, the thought of high school kids made me immediately think of Trout.

        Because Trout played high school on the East Coast and lived in Jersey,, they say he wasn’t well-scouted.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:32 AM

        Actually he was scouted well and they discounted for 2 reasons, northern kid with rumored big salary demands.

  9. rayvil01 - Jun 8, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    The injury front is down-right scary. The silver lining is that players will be back and healthy for deep summer. The other silver lining is that MAT got a battlefield promotion and is surviving. I know he’s not tearing it up. But, he’s going through the growing pains in time-lapse. The more he plays the comfortable he’ll get. His D is great. Giving up on this guy this early is a big mistake.

    Was listening to Jim Duquette yesterday on MLB radio on the drive back from vacation. Talking about the Mets he said their bottom half of the lineup was bad and the bench was a disaster. For all the gloom and doom the Nats have turned out to have a good bench. Uggla has turned into a very solid bench player.

    Tigers just snapped an 8-game losing streak. Bad patches happen. To be only 1/2 game out after this stretch? I’ll take it.

    • Doc - Jun 8, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Correctomundo, rayvil01!!!





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