(MLB.COM) Jordan Zimmermann will be going to New York to play for the National League squad at Citi Field.
Although right-hander Stephen Strasburg gets most of the publicity, Zimmermann has been the Nationals' best pitcher this year. Zimmermann is in the top 10 in the league in almost every major pitching category, including WHIP, wins, ERA and opponents' batting average.
"I'm going deeper in the ballgames. Last year, I wasn't going nearly as deep," Zimmermann said. "After six innings I was done. [Now], I'm keeping the pitch count low and I'm able to stay out there for the sixth, seventh, eighth innings."
Zimmermann found out he was going to All-Star Game after he was taken out of Saturday's game against the Padres. Once he entered the locker room, teammate Dan Haren gave him the news.
"I feel like Stras had a great first half. He could also be there," Zimmermann said. "Like I said, I throw the ball, they score the runs for me, they play the defense. I'm happy to be out here and pitching well."
Unlike in the past, Zimmermann has decided not to go for strikeouts. Letting opposing hitters put the ball in play is the best way to go, he believes. Zimmermann always remembered what pitching coach Steve McCatty told him: "Don't go for strikeouts and don't walk anyone."
"Every time he steps on the mound, he kind of solidifies or portrays the type of pitching staff that we want to be as a whole," teammate Tyler Clippard said. "He attacks guys, he goes after people and he pitches with no fear. As a pitching staff, when we watch him pitch, it makes us all better because he is aggressive and attacks people."
If one looks at his record (12-3) for this year, Zimmermann deserves to start for the NL in the Midsummer Classic. How does Zimmerman feels about starting in the game? He was humble when he answered the question.
"That's not up to me. We'll see what happens. We'll see what they say and go from there," he said