One day after the bullpen dropped the series opener to the Minnesota Twins, the Nationals got a “little talk” from manager Davey Johnson. Johnson encouraged his batters to be more aggressive and for everyone to relax in a season of high expectations, yet has become comprised of miscues and injuries.
But today, behind the once again dominant Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals were able to start up some momentum with a 7-0 win over the Twins in Game 1 of the day-night doubleheader.
Zimmermann (9-3) pitched seven strong scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and two hits, lowering his ERA to 2.00. Behind him, the offense came alive, scoring seven runs and totaling 14 hits–their second-highest total this season. Ian Desmond recorded three hits and two RBIs
Despite the strong offense production, the shaky defense continued to rear its ugly head with an error from a Ryan Zimmerman throw sailing over Adam LaRoche‘s head and an Anthony Rendon dropped pop up.
Injuries continue to plague the lineup with Denard Span sitting out Game 1 with a bruised foot while Tyler Clippard took a line drive off of his left hand. Both players received X-rays after Saturday’s game which returned negative.
Even so, the Nationals didn’t seem worse for the wear in Game 1, and it seems they took Davey Johnson’s advice about being more aggressive to heart.
“I’ll have to say it every day if we get 14 hits and seven runs, but it wasn’t much of a meeting. It was about three minutes or something like that. I was just cheering ‘em up.”
The Nationals are now 30-31 and hope to climb back to .500 in the night game of the doubleheader.