WASHINGTON -- On paper, right-hander Jordan Zimmermann had a better outing during Saturday afternoon's 5-3 loss to the Phillies than he did against the Red Sox five days earlier. In the game against Boston, Zimmermann allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 2 1/3 innings.
On Saturday, Zimmermann pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits, struck out three batters and walked four, which is unusually high for the right-hander. The last time Zimmermann walked four in a game prior to Saturday was Aug. 2, 2013, against the Brewers. Two of the four walks he allowed against the Phillies scored.
"I had four walks and that was unacceptable," Zimmermann said. "I have to clean that up and I'll do better next time. I was trying to be too fine and I ended up missing. I would be falling behind and I would really make a mistake and miss badly. I get 2-0 or 3-0 and I would tell myself, 'You have to throw a strike.' When you do that, it's never a strike. It's not like me."
The solution is to pound the strike zone and attack the hitters. Zimmermann will try not to think as much the next time he is out on the mound.
"I know my stuff is better than these guys," he said. "I just have to go after them and not be so fine and try to make [pitches]."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.