Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Ryan Zimmerman Returns

A great night last night at Nats Park with the return of Ryan Zimmerman to the field. It was strange to see him in left filed as opposed to his regular spot at third base. As the players took the filed Zimmerman slowly trotted out to left field and gave a glance at third base.

His attitude toward this change in position is summed up in this quote from the Post:
“Our window is now,” Zimmerman said, sitting alone before a 7-0 victory over Philadelphia. “This team’s good enough to win a World Series, I think. But you just never know. Realistically, we’re only going to be together for this year and next year. You never know. I want to win, and it might have to be now.”
The return did not disappoint. A double at his first at bat unfortunately he was left stranded there. But then came this in the fifth:

With two outs in the fifth inning, Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg chose to intentionally walk Adam LaRoche. Avoiding the Nationals’ left-handed cleanup hitter meant facing Zimmerman. He fell behind, 0-2, then lashed a curveball into the right field corner for an RBI double.

As for the other Zimmermann, Jordan, he pitched one hell of game. He never seems to get ruffled. He walks off the mound the same way if he retires three batters in a row or if he's had to work for that third out with runners in scoring position. He is just amazing:
He allowed only five hits, walked one and struck out four over eight scoreless innings Tuesday in a 7-0 win over the Phillies. He threw 102 pitches in his longest, start of the season.

“It was big,” he said. “May was a pretty rough month for me. Hopefully June has better things to come. It was good to eight. I wanted to go nine but eight will be good enough.”

After a rough stretch last month, Zimmermann pitched like himself Tuesday thanks to better command and a better feel for his slider, the pitch he pairs with his fastball to neutralize right-handed batters. In past starts, the pitch was “a little flat.” Against the Phillies, it was sharper and, because of the humidity, he said he was able to have a better feel for the pitch in his hands.

What a wonderful night for baseball. A couple of things on obnoxious person sat behind me and talked the entire game. Even better in the last two games I've been to the Nats have hit six home runs. Best of all I'm 5-4 in the games I've gone to.

And even better than best, I get to go to another game tomorrow on my birthday. This will be the third year in a row I've gone on my birthday. I think this will be my new tradition.

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