When it comes to Detroit Tigers pitching, fans often wonder what version of each pitcher will show up to the mound. Not with Jordan Zimmermann.
He has faced batters in three games so far and his ERA remains at a solid, enviable 0.00.
He has been so dominant at the plate that Miguel Cabrera (in an interview with Jason Beck with MLB.com) described him as: “He’s unbelievable.” The Triple Crown winner is still getting used to the quick-pitch style that Zimmermann delivers to batters. Miggy said: “Pitch, pitch, pitch. He keeps you in the game. That’s good.
Right now, his 3-0 record and 0.00 ERA makes him the top pitcher in the American League. He has faced 77 batters in games against the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Kansas City Royals. The fact that he has been able to keep All-Stars, MVPs, and an entire team of World Series champions from crossing home plate is admirable.
According to Beck’s article, the last Detroit pitcher to have the 0.00 ERA through 19 innings was Doug Bair, who was with the team in 1983. Bair joined the Tigers midway through the season as a relief pitcher. He pitched for three seasons with the Tigers, including the World Series championship year of 1984. Right now, Zimmermann has more consecutive scoreless innings that any starting pitcher to wear the Old English D.
In those 19 innings, Zimmermann has thrown a total of 312 pitches. He struck out 15 batters and walked 6. He has allowed a total of 15 hits. Even without the scoreless innings, those numbers are exceptional.
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In a comparison, Justin Verlander has thrown 315 pitches in his 16.1 innings. He has faced 71 batters, striking out 15 and walking 6. But, he has allowed 20 hits and 3 home runs. JV currently has a win-loss record of 1-1 and a sorry ERA of 7.16. While Zimmermann is off to an incredibly hot start, JV seems to need a bit more time to get going.
Zimmermann is so effective against batters because he does not give them much time in between pitches. He attacks right from the start. He is also effective at hitting his spots, no matter where it is in the zone. Even though he did record hits in all of his games, he can thank his middle-infielders for helping him get the outs that are keeping his scoreless ERA.
It is easy to look fondly back at the moment that Al Avila grabbed Zimmermann in the off-season. The idea of Zimmermann being a 30-plus game starter who can go the distance is becoming crystal clear. Out of all of the current starting pitchers in the Detroit clubhouse, he is the only one with any modicum of positive consistency. It is still early, but all signs point to the $110 million deal was quite a bargain.