Big League Stew - MLB

This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call begins in the District of Columbia, where the Nationals don't care how many Zimmermanns they have to add to the roster, or how many "N's" they have add to Zimmerman(n), just as long as they startt winningg.

Game of the Day: Nationals 3, Braves 2

Zimmerman(n)ia!: The major league debut of right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (right of Jesus Flores) was marked by chilly and wet weather, hardly anybody showing up to see it and less than hardly anybody waiting around to make sure the Nationals improved to 2-10. But that doesn't mean it didn't all happen, and that it wasn't a key moment in Nats history.

Catch some Z's: Not to be confused with the franchise third baseman who almost has the same last name, Zimmermann allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in his first big league game. Ryan Zimmerman, who recently received a Longoria-ish contract extension, called the pitcher " 'THE Zimmermann.' I guess I'm 'the other guy' now."

The new guy sounds confident and cliche-ready. "I feel I can get anyone out with the stuff I have," Zimmermann said, "as long as I make the right pitch."

Hey, is it me or does Ryan Zimmerman look a little like 'Duk?

Relieve themselves: Disappointed and even angered by how bad the bullpen has been, the Nats shipped out a bunch of the malingerers and brought in new grist for the mill. So far, it's Grist 1, Mill 0, because Nats relief went three hitless innings and Joel Hanrahan picked up his first save since the transactions were made. The previous three games, the pen had imploded in the ninth. That's better than exploding. Don't you hate when the pen explodes, getting gooey ink all over?

Tree falls, forest, etc: Toss in a rain delay and a late finish near midnight — which means fans had to mind the D.C. subway closing — and it was surreal out there in the ninth.

"It was different. It was kind of like pitching in high school again," Hanrahan said. "They've got 10 fans there. You can hear everything they say."

Good thing he got the save for once.

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Feelin' Rundown (whatever wasn't rained out): 

Pirates 8, Marlins 0: Bucs to the Fish: Chill! Pittsburgh pitched its fourth shutout already. Is Ross Ohlendorf finally putting it all together just as the Yankees suspected he would just as soon as they traded him? I blame Joe Kerrigan, the best pitching coach this side of Dave Duncan. The other side, too.

Reds 4, Astros 3: Joey Votto driving the bus like Otto with a big two-run double, helping Bronson pick and grin his way to 3-0. The Reds have trailed in 10 games but are 7-5. Is it because of Dusty Baker's greatness as a leader? Discuss!

D-backs 6, Rockies 3: Hey, weren't the Rox just IN Arizona to start the season? I remember something about Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark hitting back-to-back home runs from both sides of the plate. I'm not goin' loopy, right? Does this mean they're going to play each other 30 times this year? I'd like to see that, actually. Hey, did you realize the D-b's are already 5 1/2 games behind the Dodgers? That's not too many, and yet, it probably will be.

Red Sox 12, Orioles 1: Patriots Day kicked off with some home movies from Bill Belichick, continued with the underutilized Ryan Freel getting hit in the head and concluded with David Ortiz legging out a triple. Anything else you need to know, look here.

Padres at Phillies; Athletics at Yankees, ppd. (rain): Keep your stubs.

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Words of Mouth

"It was gross out there." Chipper Jones, on the weather conditions in D.C.

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