In 2012 Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann held a 2.94 ERA, tenth best in the majors, through 195 2/3 innings pitched. He took the victory in just 12 of his 32 starts.

In 2013 Zimmermann has a 2.46 ERA, good for ninth in the majors, and has 12 wins already in just 17 outings. He’s matched his career high and it’s only July 1st.

If it were simply run support, perhaps it would make a lot of sense. But during games Zimmermann pitched last season, the Nationals gave him an average of 4.91 runs per game. This year he’s only seeing 4.12 scores come across.

Whatever the reason for Zimmermann’s now MLB-leading win total, whether it’s more timely hitting or what, the 27-year-old isn’t complaining. If you ask him, he feels like he’s getting more help than ever. Maybe it’s because seven of his last ten starts have seen the Nats score at least five.

“They’re giving me great run support, that’s all I can say,” Zimmermann said. “In years past I wasn’t getting that, but this year is a whole different story. It’s definitely fun going out there when you know they’re going to give you four to eight runs a game. It’s nice.”

Zimmermann does have a point with the “year’s past” part. In 2011, his first full season in the majors after having Tommy John surgery, Zimmermann saw the sixth worst run support in the majors at 3.31. Even his 3.18 ERA that season couldn’t offset that number as he went 8-11 in 26 starts.

In the Nationals’ 10-5 win against the Brewers on Monday night, Zimmermann was supported by his teammates early in the game. He took the mound in the top of the fifth inning with an eight-run lead.

But, to continue a bizarre trend, Zimmermann nearly gave up the lead his teammates had built. Two innings later he had surrendered four earned runs and made the game more interesting than it needed to be.