NLDS Game 2: Jordan Zimmermann’s Shaky Start Serves as a Bad Omen for Nationals

Jordan Zimmerman

The St. Louis Cardinals got to Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann and they got to him early. In an MLB playoff season that was leaning in favor of the away team, the Cardinals did everything in their power to reverse that trend.

Zimmermann just never looked right on Monday night—kind of like the ads for Cougartown TBS unmercifully shoved down our throats the entire game.  If watching Cougartown ads weren’t torture enough, watching the Cardinals tee off on Zimmermann was like hearing nails on a blackboard.

It all started in the second inning when St. Louis got to Zimmerman for four runs. The Nationals would never really recover from Zimmermann’s start as St. Louis went on to win 12-4.

In three innings pitched, Zimmerman allowed five earned runs on seven hits. He also gave up the first home run of the series to Allen Craig.

This performance shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. James Wagner of the Washington Post noted:

 “Zimmermann’s worst career ERA versus any team is against the Cardinals. In 25 2/3 innings over five starts against them, he has 9.12 ERA. In his first start against them this season, the Cardinals bashed him around for eight hits and eight runs over 3 2/3 innings. He bounced back against them, allowing only three runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. All three of those runs came in the seventh innings when Zimmermann admittedly hit a wall.”

And Jenifer Langosch of tweeted:

Zimmermann was bad, but his start was just the beginning of the Nationals troubles.

Craig Stammen came on in relief for Zimmermann and gave up two runs in just one third of an inning. The game was still not out of the fourth inning and our advanced scout in St. Louis reported back he overheard Nationals fans wondering “when that show Cougartown would be on.” As a special note to our fans, Cougartown’s next season starts January 8.

The Nationals attempted to come back between TBS commercials for a show called “King of the Nerds” which my wife said she could “totally get into.”  In the top of the fifth, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche each hit  solo home runs to cut the Cardinals lead to 7-3.

But the solo home runs would prove to be simple moments of excitement in an otherwise nightmare of game for Washington.

Carlos Beltran connected for an absolute rocket off of reliever Michael Gonzalez in the sixth inning and St. Louis would never look back. Beltran had a monster night going 2 for 4 with two home runs and three RBI.

The series is now tied at one game a piece with the next game slated to start at 1 PM on Wednesday.


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Tom Fitzgerald