Instant analysis: Nats 3, Astros 2

Instant analysis: Nats 3, Astros 2
April 19, 2012, 1:56 am
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Game in a nutshell: They've turned every game into a down-to-the-wire, heart-attack-in-waiting affair, so why stop now? Trailing 1-0 most of the night when they couldn't score a run to support Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals stormed back late and scratched out three late runs to pull off another one-run victory. At 10-3, they now hold a 2 12-game lead in the NL East.

Hitting highlight: For a team that has struggled so much with situational hitting the last two weeks, the Nationals finally got someone to deliver a quality at-bat in a crucial situation. With the bases loaded, one out and the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, Wilso Ramos lofted a flyball to center field. That was more than deep enough to score Adam LaRoche with the eventual winning run.

Pitching highlight: Run support or no run support, Zimmermann has pitched brilliantly this season. He only allowed one run tonight, and that came without a ball leaving the infield. Zimmermann also didn't walk a batter -- he's issued only two free passes in three starts. It would be next-to-impossible for him to have pitched any better to begin this season.

Key stat: Zimmermann has allowed three earned runs in 21 innings this season. The Nationals have scored two total runs for him.

Up next: Edwin Jackson, brilliant in his last start at Nationals Park, is back on the mound looking to do it again. Right-hander Bud Norris starts for the Astros in the 7:05 p.m. series finale.