Nationals 5, Giants 2: Postgame thoughts

The way the Nationals won Sunday was far from ideal, but let’s not kid ourselves: None of their wins are going to be ideal until Ryan Zimmerman gets back.

For the next six weeks, they’re going to field a lineup on most nights that includes a player or two who would be better served in a bench role. And even after banging out 10 hits against the Giants on Sunday, they’re hitting .229 as a team for the season.

Jim Riggleman discusses the Nats’ 5-2 victory over the Giants with the media

Still, they’re 13-14, and by beating the San Francisco Giants’ best two pitchers (Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain), they’ve at least guaranteed themselves a series split with the world champions.

Normally, I’ll save my Golden Geese and Goose Eggs for my Second Look feature the morning after the game, but I’m going to add a little twist to it today: I’m going to let you pick the Golden Geese.

I’ll add another entry after this one, and there, you can pick your player of the game. The top three choices will be honored tomorrow in my Second Look feature from this game.

Now, a couple more thoughts on the 5-2 win over the Giants: There have been several times in Jordan Zimmermann’s career where we’ve seen a slow start throw off his entire outing. But after giving up two second-inning runs, he battled back nicely, throwing a sharp slider that lived on the outer half of the plate against righties. His 107 pitches were the most he’s thrown since returning from Tommy John surgery, and he made an impressive defensive play in the fourth inning when he fielded a Matt Cain grounder between his legs, throwing to first for the final out of the inning.

And Ivan Rodriguez continued to show he’s got some value on the Nationals’ roster. He was 2-for-4 today, driving in two insurance runs with a big hit in the eighth inning, and he’s thrown out both Jose Reyes and Darren Ford stealing on this homestand. His arm is still as good as any catcher’s in the game, and while he doesn’t bring the same kind of offense he once did, he compares favorably to most of the backup catchers in the game. If you start Wilson Ramos four or five times a week and Rodriguez two or three, that can be a very good combination at catcher.

Those will be two of the players you can pick for a Golden Goose in the next post.