Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. He is hitting 5-for-11 (.455) in the series after hitting just .218 during the season. Zimmerman actually fell below .200 in June, July and August before slightly rebounding in September and early October to .222.
But this series, he looks more like vintage Zimmerman. The 32-year-old has had at least one hit in each game and has made some impressive stretching and twisting defensive plays at first base.
One of the biggest leaders of the team is appreciative of the chance to make a difference again.
"It's no fun not helping," Zimmerman said. "It's been a frustrating year. We've talked about it. Everyone's talked about it to me. The only thing you can do is keep working, keep going. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you. You just got to go out there and just continue to have confidence in yourself. I feel good right now and hopefully I can keep that going."
With all the talk about the bullpen, some might have lost the fact that Zimmerman is clicking. His manager, Dusty Baker, certainly noticed.
"We really, really, really needed those runs," Baker said of the Nationals' pair of four-run outbursts. "That was a big home run that Jayson (Werth) hit; not only big, but long. And then we got a couple more runs, some walks, and you know, Zimm almost hit that ball out of right field, and it's great to see him swinging the bat the way he is. And our bullpen did an outstanding job."
The Nationals have done something they have not been able to do in their two previous playoff series, go up two games to one in their best-of-five. Since the third inning of Game 1, the Nationals offense has outscored the Dodgers 16-5.
"Winning in the playoffs is hard," Zimmerman said. "Everyone says they want to win the World Series, but everyone's goal is to get to the playoffs. I think once you get in, it's crazy. You see crazy things happen every year. You got to catch some breaks. You got to get some big hits. Kind of what we learned the last couple of times is really helping us this time. We haven't done anything yet."
Zimmerman has the right attitude borne of a veteran who has seen a couple of series go south. Now the Nats focus on Game 4. No one in the clubhouse was going around patting anyone on the back assuming this series is over.
"We haven't done anything yet," Zimmerman said. "We played a good game today. Going back to spring training, that was Dusty's thing: try and win the game you play that day, whether it was a spring training game or a game in July or the game today. This game won't mean anything tomorrow.
"We've got to come in and execute like we did today. I know that team over there is not going to quit. They have a really good team. We got to come out and play well again tomorrow or they're going to win. We get to enjoy this a little bit, but then come in to tomorrow and try to win the game."
The game meant something and you could tell on Zimmerman's face that he was glad he made a difference in a Nationals win again. Just like old times.