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Jordan Zimmermann

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Jordan M. Zimmermann

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jordan Zimmermann was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 2nd round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Steve Arnieri for $495,000 and made his pro debut that summer.

Zimmermann made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals on April 20, 2009, beating the Braves with a solid pitching performance in which he gave up 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk in six innings. He was a teammate of Ryan Zimmerman - no relation - on that team. He made only 16 starts for the Nationals in his debut season, going 3-5, 4.63, but showing some excellent stuff in striking out 92 batters - against only 29 walks - in 91.1 innings.

On May 6, 2011, Zimmermann struck out the side on 9 pitches in the second inning in a start against the Florida Marlins. He was the 42nd pitcher in major league history to accomplish the feat.

In July of 2012, Jordan became the third Nationals' pitcher to win Pitcher of the Month honors in the National League, following teammates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. He went 4-0 with an 0.97 ERA, issuing just for walks during the entire month. His record at the end of July stood at 8-6, 2.28. His strong performance helped the Nationals maintain their hold on 1st place in the NL East heading into the season's home stretch.

On April 26, 2013, he threw his first career shutout, and it was a beauty, a one-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in which he needed only 91 pitches to win, 1-0. The only blemish that day was a single by Xavier Paul to lead off the 3rd inning. That game followed a combined one-hitter by Gio Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano a day earlier and gave the Nationals a record over .500 for the first time since the season's first week. On May 13th, he became the first major league pitcher to notch seven wins that year, when he defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-2. He pitched 7 2/3 innings and drove in three runs himself in a typical strong performance. On May 29th, he seemed headed for a major-league leading 9th win, entering the bottom of the 7th against the Baltimore Orioles with a 6-3 lead on the strength of three homers by his almost namesake Ryan Zimmerman. However, he suffered a rare collapse as he and Tyler Clippard gave up six runs that inning, and Jordan fell to 8-3 while the Nats lost, 9-6. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time, but bowed out of the game because of a stiff neck. He ended the season with a record of 19-9, tied for the National League lead in both wins and shutouts (2). He also pitched 213 1/3 innings, a career high, as were his 161 strikeouts.

On June 8, 2014, Zimmermann pitched one of the best games of his career when he shut out the San Diego Padres, 6-0, allowing only 2 hits and striking out a career-high 12 batters; he also did not walk anyone in the contest. He followed that with another great start on June 13th against the St. Louis Cardinals, when he allowed only 3 hits over 8 innings. However, one of these hits was a solo homer by Matt Adams, and his opponent, Lance Lynn, only gave up two hits and no runs before turning the ball over the Trevor Rosenthal in the 9th, and Jordan ended up with a 1-0 loss. On September 28th, however, starting the last game of the season for the NL East champions, he pitched a no-hitter, defeating the Miami Marlins, 1-0. Ironically, his opponent that day was Henderson Alvarez, who had tossed a no-hitter on the final day of the 2013 season. A solo homer by Ian Desmond in the 2nd inning gave Jordan the only run he needed, and LF Steven Souza saved the day by making a tremendous diving catch on a drive by Christian Yelich to end the game. It was the first no-hitter in Nationals history, although there had been four of them when the team was the Montréal Expos. Zimmermann finished the season at 14-5, 2.66, with 182 strikeouts in 199 2/3 innings. He started Game 2 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants­ on October 4 and was brilliant for 8 innings, keeping the Giants off the scoreboard. He had a 1-0 lead entering the top of the 9th and retired the first two batters, Matt Duffy and Gregor Blanco. One batter away from a complete game shutout, he walked Joe Panik and manager Matt Williams made a highly controversial move, deciding to lift him in favor of closer Drew Storen. Storen gave up a single to Buster Posey and a game-tying double to Pablo Sandoval and the game was not decided until the 18th inning, when Brandon Belt homered to give San Francisco a 2-1 win. The Nationals never recovered and lost the series in four games.

In 2015, Jordan's numbers went down as the Nationals had a very disappointing season that left them short of a postseason slot. He went 13-10, 3.66 in 33 starts - tied for most in the National League. He pitched 201 2/3 innings and struck out 164 batters while walking 39. His ERA was the highest since his first two seasons in 2009 and 2010, but it was still good for an ERA+ of 110. He became a free agent after the season and on November 29th, the Detroit Tigers gave him a contract fit for an ace, offering $110 million over five seasons.

Jordan had an excellent first start for the Tigers in their home opener on April 8, 2016, facing the New York Yankees before a full house at Comerica Park. He pitched 7 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits, as the Tigers shut out the Bronx Bombers, 4-0. He kept it up over his next two outings, which were both also wins, and in which he also held hips opponents scoreless. Thus, after three starts for Detroit, he was 3-0 with a virgin ERA in 19 1/3 innings. He was named the American League's Pitcher of the Month for April after going 5-0, 0.55 in his first month in the circuit.

He is not to be confused with Jordan Zimmerman, a pitcher from the 1990s, who spelled his last name with only one n.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time NL All-Star (2013 & 2014)
  • NL Wins Leader (2013)
  • NL Shutouts Leader (2013)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2013)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (2013 & 2015)

[edit] Further Reading

  • Anthony Fenech: "New Tiger Zimmermann calls himself workhorse, not star: From high school to college to the pros, the Tigers' new starting pitcher is used to being overlooked", The Detroit Free Press, February 20, 2016. [1]

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