Zimmermann stretches out with start against Mets

Zimmermann stretches out with start against Mets

VIERA, Fla. -- After experiencing a dead arm last week, right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was solid on the mound Wednesday, while the Nationals defeated the Mets, 8-5, at Space Coast Stadium.

Zimmermann lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned), striking out six batters and walking two. He threw 82 pitches, including 54 strikes.

"I felt good. The fastball was a lot better today," Zimmermann said. "I could throw it where I want it to. I got a few guys 0-2. I tried putting them away and tried not to waste any pitches. They got a few hits. Other than that, everything was working today.

"The other time, I felt a little sore, but today I felt really good. It felt good to stretch it out and throw [82] pitches. I would have liked to get that last hitter, there were a couple of close calls. I'll take 4 2/3 [innings], I guess."

Zimmermann is still developing his changeup, and it was working Wednesday. In the third inning, Zimmermann was able to get Ike Davis to ground out to second baseman Danny Espinosa.

"It's good and it's where I want it to be," Zimmermann said about the changeup. "I have some days where it doesn't feel [right] and other days where it feels [right]. More times than not, it's feeling good. I just work on it every single day playing catch, throwing it and getting used to throwing it."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.