"It's not like they were hitting me hard. Perfect placement. It happens sometimes," Zimmermann said. "Obviously, I didn't walk anyone, which is a big plus.
"The slider was probably my best pitch tonight. I pounded the zone with fastballs and the slider. Most of these guys have a tough time with the slider. I didn't have to throw any curveballs, any changeups. I stuck with what was working and it was an OK night."
Zimmermann threw just 79 pitches in the game and could have pitched even longer, but the Nationals had runners on first and second in the seventh inning, so -- after Dan Uggla stuck out -- manager Matt Williams had Reed Johnson pinch-hit for Zimmermann. Reed grounded out to end the threat.
Zimmermann understood why Williams made the move.
"We have guys on first and second. Anybody in our lineup is a better hitter than me. So I'm fine with the move," said Zimmermann, who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts before Friday's game.