National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 18th
(All times Eastern)
Houston Astros (4-7) at Washington Nationals (9-3), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Lucas Harrell (1-0, 3.27)
Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (0-1, 1.29)
(Sports Network) - Wisconsin-born right-hander Jordan Zimmermann hopes for
some better luck in his third start of the season tonight, when the Washington
Nationals host the Houston Astros in the third of a four-game series at
Zimmermann, who won eight times in 26 starts last season, has pitched 14
innings across two starts thus far in 2012, but has walked away with just a
loss and a no-decision after allowing only nine hits and two earned runs.
The 25-year-old has walked two batters and struck out seven while the
Nationals lost at Chicago, 4-3, and defeated Cincinnati, 2-1.
Zimmermann has made two career starts against Houston and lost them both while
surrendering 12 hits and 10 runs in 11 1/3 innings - posting a 7.15 earned run
He's opposed by Astros youngster Lucas Harrell, who'll also start for the
third time this season.
The 26-year-old tossed seven innings of scoreless three-hit ball in a 7-3
defeat of Colorado on April 7, then went seven innings and gave up four runs
in a no-decision against Miami six days later.
Harrell is 2-2 in 19 career major-league outings - seven starts - that
includes a 2010-11 stint with the Chicago White Sox, who drafted him as a
fourth-rounder in 2004.
He took a loss in his lone meeting with Washington after giving up an unearned
run in 1 1/3 innings of work.
In Tuesday's second game, Gio Gonzalez was dominant again at Nationals Park.
After throwing seven innings of two-hit ball against the Reds in his last
start on April 12, he duplicated that performance against the Astros in a 1-0
win for Washington.
Gonzalez (1-0) threw seven shutout innings and gave up two hits while fanning
Tyler Clippard turned away the Astros in the eighth and Brad Lidge worked
through a shaky ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
Jayson Werth finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored and Adam LaRoche
knocked in the only run for the Nationals, who have won seven of their last
eight and improved to 9-3 on the young season.
Wandy Rodriguez (0-2) was the hard-luck loser, yielding five hits and no walks
while fanning three.
Justin Maxwell, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve each had a hit, but
it wasn't enough to push across a run, as the Astros lost for the sixth time
in seven tries.
The Astros and Nats split their six meetings last season, with each team
winning twice at home.
04/18 10:31:21 ET