The San Diego Padres decade long dominance of the Washington Nationals franchise in San Diego came to an end on Sunday night as the Nats beat the Padres 2-0 and claimed a four game series. It is the first series win the Washington franchise has earned in San Diego since 2001.
The game remained scoreless, with both teams having ample opportunities to score, but pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Tim Stauffer stifled the offenses. It was not until the top of the ninth-inning that with the bases loaded the Nationals struck first. Brian Bixler, after taking over as pinch hitter for Matt Stairs who (finally) singled, scored on a Danny Espinosa sac fly that fell just short of a grand slam. The next batter Laynce Nix hit a single to score Alex Cora to finish off the Nationals scoring. Reliever Drew Storen came in and finished off the Padres for the afternoon with his 15th save of the season.
Zimmermann was nothing short of stupendous. The young right-hander gave up only four hits, no runs, walked only one and nailed down 10 strike outs. He also drew a walk in an at-bat. It finally seems Zimmermann is falling into a groove and visions of a Strasburg, Zimmermann rotation in 2012 is making Natstown salivate.
The Nationals move to 30-36 record and are on a three-game win streak. The Nationals will enjoy an off day Monday before taking on the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on Tuesday with the possible return of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.