National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 26th
(All times Eastern)
Arizona Diamondbacks (41-35) at Washington Nationals (38-38), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Wade Miley (4-6, 4.70)
Washington - Jordan Zimmermann (10-3, 2.26)
(Sports Network) - Jordan Zimmermann may not have the most recognizable name
in Washington's rotation, but there is no doubt he has been the ace of
the Nationals' staff this season.
The right-hander looks to become the National League's first 11-game winner on
Wednesday night when the Nats resume a three-game set with the Arizona
After undergoing Tommy John surgery early in his MLB career, the former
second-round pick has continued to grow into an excellent starter. He won 12
games and had a 2.94 earned run average in a career-high 32 starts last year
and has built upon that success in 2013.
Zimmermann is 10-3 with a 2.26 ERA through 15 starts this campaign and has a
chance at becoming just the second pitcher in the majors to reach 11 wins.
Detroit's Max Scherzer has already reached the mark, while St. Louis Cardinals
hurler Lance Lynn also takes aim at his 11th win tonight.
The 27-year-old Zimmermann stands a good chance at adding to his won total
given that he is 7-0 with a 0.92 ERA in eight home starts this season.
The 6-foot-2 hurler is coming off a home victory over Colorado on Thursday as
he held the Rockies to one unearned run over eight innings of work. He struck
out nine while working around six hits and a walk, throwing a season-high 85
"It seems like he's been pitching like this all year," catcher Kurt Suzuki
said on his club's website following the win. "He's had a couple of hiccups
here and there, but this is Jordan."
Zimmermann will look to even his career record versus Arizona, having gone 1-2
against them in three previous meetings with a 2.75 ERA.
While Zimmermann has been an effective pitcher for Washington all season, that
wouldn't describe Wade Miley's campaign thus far for Arizona.
A 16-game winner last year, Miley is just 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA through 15
starts in 2013 and a lack of control kept him from going deep last time out.
The left-hander needed 104 pitches to get through 4 2/3 innings versus
Cincinnati on Friday, forcing him out of a game that was tied at three.
The Diamondbacks went on to win 11-5, leaving Miley without a decision.
The 26-year-old, who snapped a four-start slide with his last win on June 5,
has split two career starts against the Nationals with a 3.48 ERA.
Miley will try to earn the first win by an Arizona starter since he beat St.
Louis on June 5. Diamondback starters have gone 0-7 in 17 games since,
including last night's 7-5 setback.
The Diamondbacks trailed 6-0 after the fifth inning, but plated five runs over
the final four innings to make things interesting before Nats closer Rafael
Soriano secured his 20th save of the campaign despite giving up a run in the
Arizona's offense could not take Trevor Cahill off the hook as he gave up all
six runs in five innings of work to lose his fifth straight decision.
"I've noticed I've made a lot of my mistakes on my changeup," said Cahill.
"Just kind of leaving it up the middle ... I don't know if it's me trying to
do much with it or not."
Arizona has lost two in a row following a four-game winning streak, but still
leads Colorado and San Diego by three games for first place in the NL West.
San Francisco is 3 1/2 games off the pace.
Washington looked like it would cruise to its fourth victory in six games
thanks to a five-run third inning that featured a three-run homer by Adam
LaRoche, but had to hold on.
"It's always nice, especially when the team well-deserves it," said Nats
starter Gio Gonzalez. "They go out there and play like this, I think it's
always a pretty thing when see your guys play at the top of their level ... I
tip my cap to them."
Gonzalez earned his first win since May 5, allowing two runs over 6 1/3
innings of work.
Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman did not start Tuesday's game due to a
sore right shoulder, but did pinch-hit in the game. Arizona, meanwhile, was
without infielder Eric Hinske, who served his one-game suspension stemming
from a brawl with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11.
Hinske was given a five-game ban that he planned to appeal, but served the
suspension after it was reduced to a single game. He will be available to
return to action tonight.
The Nationals won four of six against the Diamondbacks a season ago.
06/26 10:34:28 ET