PHILADEPHIA -- Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann made his 19th start in Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Phillies, his last of the first half. He was solid, pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and striking out six batters. However, Zimmermann continued to have problems with his neck and is considering not going to the All-Star Game. If that happens, it will mark the second consecutive Midsummer Classic in which a Nationals player has dropped out, after shortstop Ian Desmond gave up his spot last year because of an oblique injury.
"[The neck] is a little tight. I've been dealing with that for a while now. But I got it loosened up. It's good enough out there to go and pitch," Zimmermann said. "It's a possibility [that I might drop out of the All-Star Game]. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. We'll see how the next few days go and go from there."
Zimmermann is not sure why he is having problems with his neck, but he continues to have treatment in hopes that the pain will go away.
"I would rather be healthy for the second half than pitch [in the All-Star Game]," Zimmermann said. "I would like to pitch in it. But I'm not going to go out there and pitch an inning, and I have to battle [with the injury] the whole second half."
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.