VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann had his best outing of the spring during a 5-1 loss to the Tigers at Space Coast Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Zimmermann pitched a team-high six innings, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. After Andy Dirks led off the game with a single, Zimmermann retired 18 straight batters and had 14 ground-ball outs. Zimmermann threw 67 pitches, 48 strikes, and then went to the bullpen and threw 20 more pitches.
"I had all four pitches working," Zimmermann said "It's one of those days when you have everything working. You can locate anything that you want. They don't come by often, I will say that. When you have everything working, it's a lot easier. I was keeping everything in the bottom of the zone. That's why I was able to get all the ground balls."
Zimmermann is developing a changeup, and the Tigers were getting weak ground balls on the pitch. He threw the pitch while the hitter was ahead in the count.
"If you throw a first-pitch fastball for a ball, you can comeback with that changeup, and if you can locate it, it's definitely a good weapon to have," Zimmermann said.
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.