Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, a former University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) standout, played in Wisconsin for the first time in his four-year Major League career when the Nationals took on the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on Saturday, July 28.
Zimmermann got the start on the mound for Washington and allowed one run on five hits in six innings of work, as he walked one and struck out six in a 4-1 win for the Nationals.
Zimmermann was a second round draft pick (67th overall) by the Nationals in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft out of UWSP, after he helped the Pointers make back-to-back NCAA Division III World Series appearances in 2006 and 2007, as he became the first player from a non-championship team to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Division III World Series in 2007.
In 21 starts this season for the Nationals, the Auburndale native has an 8-6 record and is fourth in the major leagues with a 2.28 ERA, as Washington entered this week with the best record in baseball (61-40) and are 3.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East Division.
Zimmermann is also tied for second in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) among starting pitchers in the major leagues, as he trails only 2011 American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award Winner Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, and is 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA over his last seven starts following the win over the Brewers.
In four seasons with Washington, Zimmermann is 20-24 overall with a 3.34 ERA, and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after the win over the Brewers last Saturday:
“It was definitely awesome,” said Zimmermann of his first big-league outing in his home state. “A dream come true to pitch in front of my family and friends, and everyone who came out to watch.
“I’m just glad I gave them a good showing. I didn’t want to go out there and have a terrible outing. I thought I threw the ball well and got some quick outs. They’ve got a pretty good lineup and I was able to do pretty well.
“I left 45 tickets but I’m sure there’s a lot more people. I saw quite a few people that I knew in the stands. They were out in the parking lot tailgating since 3 o’clock today, so I’m sure they’re all feeling pretty good right now.”