Jordan Zimmermann: “If it’s going to be any year, it’s going to be this year”

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Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann has a keen idea of what the expectations are for his team this season. On the heels of signing Max Scherzer, trading for Yunel Escobar, and altering the bullpen a bit, the Nationals are the clear favorites to not only win the NL East, but the World Series.

Via MLB.com’s Jamal Collier:

“If it’s going to be any year, it’s going to be this year and we all know that,” Zimmermann said after tossing two shutout innings against the Braves on Friday. “We’re all getting ready for a big year.”

Zimmermann, who can become a free agent after the season, will be a big factor in the Nationals’ success or failure in attaining their ultimate goal. The right-hander wrapped up the 2014 regular season, following a no-hitter against the Marlins, with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio in 199 2/3 innings.

Max Scherzer (hamstring) leaves start vs. Mets after just 1 inning

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WASHINGTON — Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start for the Nationals against the New York Mets after just 27 pitches Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the top of the second by Erick Fedde.

Scherzer was not as sharp as usual at the outset Wednesday, going 2-0 counts against each of New York’s initial two batters, walking one and giving up a single to the other.

The Mets eventually went ahead in the first on Dominic Smith‘s sacrifice fly.

Scherzer entered the game with an 0-1 record and 2.84 ERA this season.