It was like any great baseball night on April 14, 2011. The fans from Citizens Bank Park came to Nats Park to jeer the Nats and be their usual selves. Everyone expected a great pitching matchup, pinning Jordan Zimmermann against the Phillies Cliff Lee.
From the way Jordan Zimmermann was pitching from the first minute of this ball game, you could tell something special was in the air. Through the first 4 innings, JZimm threw just 47 pitches. His fastball was hitting 96 mph, Phillies hitters were believing his slider, and his command was outstanding. The defense made some great plays. After 5 perfect innings, all that came to an end with a Carlos Ruiz home run.
Not since Scott Olsen lost a no-hitter in the 8th inning on May 6, 2010 has Nationals Park been a flutter with the prospect of hitless baseball. Olsen now pitches for the Pirates, except he's on the DL with soreness on his throwing shoulder (shocking), but I digress.
Tonight, Jordan Zimmerman has shown exactly what he's capable of as a top of the rotation pitcher for the Nationals. He's still pitching a gem as we write, but this kind of outing from a healthy JZimm is what the Nats can look forward to in the future.