Jordan Zimmermann returns from flu to start for Nationals

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Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who was scratched from yesterday’s start with what the team called flu-like symptoms, is recovered enough to start today against the Braves.

Tanner Roark took Zimmermann’s place yesterday and tossed six innings of two-run ball in an 8-2 victory over the Mets. It’s unclear exactly what the Nationals’ plan was if Zimmermann weren’t able to pitch today, but manager Matt Williams hinted that he may have gone with a “bullpen game” using an assortment of relievers rather than changing Taylor Jordan’s schedule to make him the fill-in starter.

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Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
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The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.

Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.