"It means a lot," Zimmermann said after the Nationals' 7-0 victory. "Means I'm doing my job. Wins aren't everything as a starting pitcher as long as the team wins, but to get that many means I'm doing something right."
Zimmermann is in his seventh season with the Nationals, the first three of which he pitched with Hernandez. The two remain on friendly terms and even share texts from time to time.
"I can actually write Livan now and brag a little -- it feels good to pass up a good friend," Zimmermann said. "Couple weeks ago, I mentioned something to him about the wins and he didn't know anything about it, but he thought it was pretty funny."
Zimmermann reached the achievement with one of his most effective outings. He lasted 6 1/3 innings against the Astros, shutting them out while allowing seven hits and fanning seven for his fourth straight quality start.
"Just more of the same from him," said Nationals manager Matt Williams. "He attacked the zone, missed with some command up in the zone, but threw the pitches he needed to when he had to."
Zimmermann ranks 14th on the franchise's all-time list, which includes the Expos. The Nationals are 62-41 (.602 win percentage) in games he's started since he returned from Tommy John surgery in August 2009.