Rookie pitcher and number one prospect Jordan Zimmerman was impressive in his major league debut last Monday against Atlanta, pitching 6 strong innings and only allowing 2 runs. He also earned his first win. Quite impressive.
But, even more impressive, he did it again, notching notched his 2nd win in as many starts to lead the Nationals in an 8-1 Sunday matinee romp of the New York Mets. Zimmerman (2-0) pitched 5.1 innings scattering 6 hits, striking out 5, and allowing just 1 run. Mike Hinkley, Garrett Mock, and Kip Wells combined for shutout relief work from the bullpen.
Offensively, the Nationals smacked the Mets for 8 runs on 13 hits. Austin Kearns and Jesus Flores homered for the Nats. Rookie Justin Maxwell, Ronnie Belliard, Kearns, Flores, and Alberto Gonzales all had multi--hit games.
The most thrilling for these Nats are they are being led by the youth. Maxwell is a top prospect in the system and hit lead off today going 2 for 5. Jesus Flores is off to a fine start as the Nationals undisputed starting catcher. In 49 at bats this year, Flores is now hitting .327. He was 2 for 4 with a homer, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBis today.
Here are the current Nationals big bats:
Christian Guzman (on the DL) has 33 at bats and is hitting .515. Nick Johnson is off to a great start hitting .362 with 58 at bats. Elijah Dukes is hitting .302.
But the story right now is Jordan Zimmerman, obviously making himself one of the top prospects in all of baseball this season. Zimmerman was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft behind first rounder Ross Detwiler. The much talked about Detwiler soon became an afterthought as Zimmerman impressed the Nats brass as he quickly rose through the minor league system, dominating at virtually every level.
Zimmerman was impressive this Spring Training, but lost out in the 4th start slot to Shairon Martis, but locked himself in to the 5th slot. Now, Zimmerman is looking more and more like the staff ace. In his first two major league starts, Zimmerman is now 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA. This kid is going to be a thrill to watch this season.
Play the kids, dammit, play the kids!