Jordan Zimmerman: The Perfect Game

Griffen Catallo

“I’m going to call him (Tyler Moore) out on the radio, but he had no idea we had a no-hitter going until the ninth inning,” Steven Souza said on the radio with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

On September 27, 2014, Jordan Zimmermann no-hit the Miami Marlins.

The two-time all-star gave it his all when he came out to the mound on the 162nd game of the MLB regular season. Mr. Zimmermann, starting the game with 13 wins on the season and 2.78 ERA, had no idea that this was going to be one of the best days of his life.

“An epic day for an epic season,” Denard Span said after the historic afternoon.

Zimmermann’s play started to get people’s attention when he didn’t allow a base runner through three innings.  Zimmerman was flawless, throwing more than 75 strikes in 104 pitches. He had three mistakes the entire game, two losing the shot and a no-hitter and the other keeping the no-hitter.

Zimmermann was perfect through four innings, but in the fifth one a mistake occurred. First, Jordan walked Justin Bour to lose the chance of the “perfect game”. Two innings later, Garrett Jones managed to get on base only by a strikeout. Jones struck out, but the ball got away from Anthony Rendon, the nationals catcher. Those were the two base runners the entire game.

The ninth inning had the crowd on the edge of their seats, eager to see if he could finish.

It began with Adeiny Hechavarria leading off the ninth inning. Hechavarria took a first pitch strike from Zimmermann, trying to increase the pitch count so maybe it would decrease his stamina. Zimmermann then fires another strike, this one looking good to Hechavarria and forcing him to ground out to second base.

One out.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia steps up the plate, pinch hitting for AJ Ramos. Saltalamacchia, being a veteran, has the best chance to get a hit off the almost perfect Zimmermann. He takes ball two but eagerly jumps on the second pitch; misses. 1-1. The third pitch is called a ball. Saltalamacchia, eager as he is, jumps on the fourth pitch and misses. 2-2. Finally, on the fifth pitch he strikes it towards center field but not deep enough as it is caught by the centerfieder, Denard Span.

Two outs.

The crowd is dead silent. You could hear a pin drop in the stadium.

Christian Yelich steps into the batter’s box. Digs his feet into the dirt and looks up at Jordan, nodding to tell him that he is ready.

Strike one. Jordan nips the plate and instantly he is two strikes away from a no hitter, the first no hitter in the Nationals franchise.  Suddenly, Jordan pitches two straight balls, making the count 2-1. This last pitch was the game changer that Jordan would remember for the rest of his life.

“HE’S GOT IT! HE’S GOT IT!” shouted announcer Dave Van Horne as Steven Souza makes an incredible catch in left center field to preserve the perfect game for Jordan.

“I’m telling you, praise God, because I don’t think I have that gear in me all the time, but I just took off and everything in me wanted to catch that ball for him, and I would have broken my neck and laid on the ground if I had to catch that ball for him.” states Steven Souza after his phenomenal catch to end the game and preserve the no hitter.

Jordan Zimmermann made history on the last game of the season, by pitching his team to a 1-0 victory and into the playoffs in the best way possible.

FINAL STATS: 9 IP, 104 pitches, 10 K’s, 0 H