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END 9: Jordan Zimmermann was utterly dominant. Rafael Soriano roughed up. Drew Storen improved. Henry Rodriguez building strength. And Wilson Ramos had three hits and seven innings behind the plate.
MID 7: Rafael Soriano inherited a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning and the Tigers smacked him around for five singles and four runs. His cutter was hit around and he was yanked after only two outs. It was his worst outing of the spring. He was throwing between 89 and 91 mph — that’s his cutter.
Jordan Zimmerman’s line: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 strikeout and 13 (13!) groundouts. His strongest outing of the spring by far — and even in a while. Wilson Ramos caught seven innings for the first time and went 3 for 3 at the plate. Nationals trail, 4-1.
MID 6: Jordan Zimmermann has utterly shutdown the Tigers lineup. He has sat down 18 of the 19 batters he has faced. He induced 13 groundouts. His sinking fastball and slider have been unhittable. Most of the recent groundouts haven’t even been hard hit; they’ve been dribblers to the infielders. Nationals lead, 1-0.
MID 5: It’s a pitchers’ battle in Viera between Jordan Zimmermann and Max Scherzer. Zimmermann has retired 15 of the past 16 batters. He has induced 10 groundouts by pounding low in the strike zone. He’s cruising.
Adam LaRoche smashed a solo shot to left field on an outside fastball from Scherzer. His swing is so effortless and smooth he has an uncanny ability to turn on high heat from pitchers. It was Scherzer’s lone blemish. Nationals lead, 1-0.
END 3: Jordan Zimmermann pitched another perfect inning; he has retired nine straight Tigers hitters. His arm looks lively and command superb.
The Nationals threatened in the third when Wilson Ramos singled to leadoff the inning. He was erased with a fielder’s choice groundout by Jordan Zimmermann. Jayson Werth singled to right on a slicing hit, but a diving Torii Hunter recovered and threw into the infield. Werth took a wide turn to second, likely trying to buy time for Zimmermann to try and score from third, but Werth was gunned down diving back to first. Tie game, 0-0.
END 2: Facing most all of the Tigers regular lineup, Jordan Zimmermann has retired six of seven batters he faced. He was perfect in the second inning: groundout, groundout and a pop out. He’s thrown 32 pitches.
Denard Span singled in the first inning but was thrown out trying to steal third base. Ian Desmond drew a two-out walk in the second but that’s it for the Nationals against Max Scherzer. Tie game, 0-0.
MID 1: Jordan Zimmermann allowed a leadoff single to Andy Dirks but struck out Torii Hunter looking and got groundouts from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to end the inning. Cabrera’s groundout went to Ryan Zimmerman, who made his first in-game routine play. He fielded the ball cleanly, took two crow hops towards first and launched the ball to Adam LaRoche’s chest for an out. It wasn’t a bullet but a solid throw for the third baseman in his second game in the field this spring after offseason shoulder surgery. Tie game, 0-0.
PREGAME: Jordan Zimmermann faces a near-complete Tigers lineup; the second-straight day for a Nationals starter. Ryan Zimmerman makes his second start at third base.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jayson Werth, RF
3. Bryce Harper, LF
4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
5. Adam LaRoche, 1B
6. Ian Desmond, SS
7. Danny Espinosa, 2B
8. Wilson Ramos, C
9. Jordan Zimmermann, SP
1. Andy Dirks, LF
2. Torii Hunter, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Don Kelly, CF
8. Omar Infante, 2B
9. Ramon Santiago, SS
– Max Scherzer, SP