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Game Notes: The Rays Bullpen vs Zimmermann

Steve Geltz gets the start

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

16 runs. 23 hits. 4 home runs.

Suffice to say, last night's game against the Washington Nationals was a blood bath.

Alex Colome gave up six earned runs in two innings, the bullpen didn't fare much better, and the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays got to see not one, but two position players trot out to the pitcher's mound. And while there has not been an official change in his position on the team's website, I'm still convinced Nick Franklin adds more value as a mop up pitcher than as a cleanup hitter.

In tonight's game, the Rays will send reliever Steve Geltz to the mound for the start. The bullpen will likely be active all night, as Kevin Cash is expected to make good use of his bench in pinch hitting opportunities.

Jordan Zimmermann gets the start for the Nationals.

First pitch is at 7:00 pm.

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Yunel Escobar - 3B
Jake Elmore - 1B Anthony Rendon - 2B
Evan Longoria - 3B Bryce Harper - RF
David DeJesus - LF Clint Robinson - LF
Logan Forsythe - 2B Danny Espinosa - 1B
Steven Souza - RF Ian Desmond - SS
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Jose Lobaton - C
Curt Casali - C Michael Taylor - CF
Steve Geltz - RHP Jordan Zimmermann - RHP

The Book on Jordan Zimmermann

If one were to merely look at traditional statistics, it would be quite clear that Jordan Zimmermann's first three starts in the month of June have not gone nearly as well as his previous five starts during the month of May. After posting a 1.91 ERA in five starts last month, Zimmermann has posted a 5.51 ERA over his combined 16 ⅓ innings of work in the month of June.

Although Zimmermann's ERA is significantly higher this month than last month, his FIP is significantly lower. Despite posting a respectable 3.23 FIP in the month of May, he has lowered it to a mere 2.59 in the month of June.

This lower FIP is due in large part to the fact that he has yet to surrender a home run or hit a batter. Additionally, his walk rate of 2.20 per nine innings has stayed consistent with the previous month.

Nevertheless, Zimmermann has been hit significantly harder in his last three starts than he has all season as batters have hit a collective triple slash of .352/.392/.443. Zimmerman has also seen a 5.7% increase of hard hit balls and 13.2% increase in the number of line drives in his last three outings.

However, the most likely culprit of Zimmermann's heightened ERA and triple slash against is most likely plain, old bad luck. Zimmerman's batting average on balls in play this month has been an astronomical .417, well above the league average of .290.

Jordan Zimmermann's 2015 Arsenal:

PITCH VELOCITY FREQUENCY vs RHH vs LHH
Fourseam 93 mph

56.04% vs RHH

/

71.38% vs LHH

Sporadic; though he often throws it inside the strike zone and toward the upper half of the zone. Upper third of the zone and above the strike zone, especially high and away.
Sinker 92 mph

1.47% vs RHH

/

1.54% vs LHH

Hasn't thrown it since April. Hasn't thrown it since April.
Change 87 mph

0.00% vs RHH

/

0.77% vs LHH

Never thrown. Rarely thrown.
Slider 88 mph

38.64% vs RHH

/

8.15% vs LHH

High and in or low and away. Sporadic.
Curve 81 mph

3.85% vs RHH

/

18.15% vs LHH

Low and away. Under the knees or up and away. 

Noted Tendencies:

*Zimmerman throws a fourseam fastball or slider nearly 87% of the time.

*Against right-handed hitters, Zimmerman throws a fourseam fastball or a slider 95% of the time.