What do you think was going through Jordan Zimmermann’s mind as he watched the Nationals pull away from the Rockies and pile up a season-high 12 runs and franchise-record-tying 21 hits last night?
“Guys ... stop ... save some of that for me, please?”
That’s just a guess.
Zimmermann would take 12 runs of support over a span of four starts, much less one. Here’s hoping the Nationals keep the offensive roll going and get the guy some runs tonight.
Yesterday’s offensive production was long overdue, and it seemed like a party was going on in the Nationals’ dugout the way guys were smiling, cracking jokes and dishing out fist pounds.
At the plate, everyone got in on the act. Each of the nine starters, including pitcher Gio Gonzalez, had a hit. All-in-all, the Nats had eight doubles and three home runs.
Even Mark DeRosa recorded his first extra-base hit of the season, a knock which had to feel great given all he’s dealt with recently with a lengthy injury absence and the death of his father.
The Nationals did plenty of damage to the ERA of poor Guillermo Moscoso, who allowed eight runs and three homers over just 1 2/3 relief innings. Moscoso’s ERA jumped from 6.20 to 8.54, and Rockies manager Jim Tracy just left him in there to take the beating.
One of the guys who helped do the damage to Moscoso’s season numbers was Ryan Zimmerman, who had three hits, including a sixth-inning home run, last night.
Since getting a cortisone shot in his shoulder prior to Sunday’s game against the Orioles, Zimmerman has gone 6-for-13 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs. His average has jumped 14 points over the last three days, but much more importantly, he’s finally starting to look like the Ryan Zimmerman that we’ve seen in a Nationals uniform the last eight years.
He’s working himself into favorable counts. He’s catching up to fastballs up in the zone. He’s using the whole field. He’s capitalizing on mistakes and stinging the ball.
This is a beautiful sight for Nationals fans who have watched Zimmerman suffer through shoulder pain for much of this season. He’s grounded into 12 double plays this season, tied for the most in the National League, and has looked like a shell of himself for months.
But the last few days have been different. Zimmerman appears to have found a groove again, and the timing of his hot streak is likely no coincidence. The cortisone shot took away the pain in Zimmerman’s right shoulder, allowing him to swing free and easy.
Who knows how long the shot will work and Zimmerman will be pain-free. Who knows whether the Nationals will be able to give him more shots once this one eventually wears off.
For now, though, Zimmerman is locked in and swinging the way we all know he can.