Facing a lineup featuring zero familiarity with his pitching arsenal, Washington Nationals ace Jordan Zimmermann slammed the door shut on Minnesota's chances of an interleague sweep on the road.
Hard. And fast.
Zimmermann blew through a Twins batting order bereft of Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham in the first game of Sunday's split doubleheader, allowing only two hits and striking out eight, which ties his season high. Minnesota was shut out for the fifth time this year but can still salvage a series split in the day's second game, a 6:05 p.m. makeup of Friday's rainout.
With stars Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg both on the disabled list, Zimmermann provided the Nationals some salve in the 7-0 victory. Their 4-3, 11-inning loss to Minnesota Saturday marked their 12th setback in 18 outings.
"He was pretty good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Zimmermann, who dropped his ERA to 2.00 and lasted seven innings for the ninth time in 13 starts this season. "He's throwing the b...