National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 2 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (49-61) at Washington Nationals (58-49), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (6-10, 4.15) Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (6-5, 3.17)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Zimmermann aims to secure his first victory in over a month on Saturday evening when the Washington Nationals continue a four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The All-Star right-hander had not picked up a win since June 30. He is 0-1 in four starts since, with the loss coming in Philadelphia on July 11. He yielded four runs in 3 1/3 innings before exiting with a right biceps injury.
After being forced to skip the All-Star Game, Zimmermann returned to action on July 22 in Colorado and did not factor into a 7-4 win. He gave up four runs on eight hits over five innings, touched for two homers.
The 28-year-old was much sharper on Monday in Miami, though he again was left without a decision as the Nats lost 7-6. Zimmermann lasted seven innings, scattering two runs, four hits and a walk while fanning six.
On the year, Zimmermann is 6-5 with a 3.17 earned run average and that also includes a victory in Philadelphia on June 3, when he logged eight scoreless frames.
The Phillies turn to A.J. Burnett, who has not won since beating Washington on July 11. He held the Nationals to a pair of runs over 7 2/3 innings and is 2-1 against the club this year with a 5.03 ERA in three starts.
The 37-year-old righty is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA over his past three outings, though that span includes eight scoreless innings versus San Francisco on July 23 in a no-decision. However, five days later Burnett was blitzed for seven runs over five innings of a setback to the New York Mets.
"I hung some pitches up there tonight," said Burnett. "I wasn't that sharp tonight, and I'm capable of pitching a lot better than that."
The outing dropped Burnett to 6-10 this year with a 4.15 ERA.
The Phillies have won the first two contests of this series and claimed a 2-1 decision last night. Marlon Byrd's solo homer in the sixth inning was the difference and came one day after the club opted not to move him before the non-waiver trade deadline.
He responded with his 21st home run of the season.
"It's one of those things where I only took one good swing all night in four at-bats and it worked," said Byrd.
Roberto Hernandez tossed eight innings of one-run, five-hit ball for the Phillies, who have won three of their last four.
Ian Desmond drove in the lone run of the game for the Nationals, who have dropped four of five but did remain 1 1/2 games up on Atlanta for first place in the NL East. Doug Fister allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings to lose for the first time in seven starts.
"I think he pitched really well," Nationals manager Matt Williams said of Fister. "We couldn't muster (anything) tonight."
Washington is 6-5 against Philadelphia this season and swept a three-game series in DC from June 3-5.
08/02 10:28:58 ET