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Nationals place Ryan Zimmerman on DL; Clint Robinson comes up big in win over Mets

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Clint Robinson got the start at first last night with Ryan Zimmerman on the DL and the Washington Nationals' first baseman drove in two of the three runs the Nats scored in their 3-1 win over the New York Mets. Will Robinson continue to produce while Zim heals?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When he spoke to reporters before Friday's night's matchup with the Mets in New York, veteran Washington Nationals' first baseman Ryan Zimmerman acknowledged the frustration that came with landing on the DL for the sixth straight season. A left rib cage strain led to the latest stint on the 15-Day Disabled List for the 31-year-old first baseman.

"Any time you get hurt it’s obviously frustrating," Zimmerman told reporters in Citi Field.

"But it happens and the important thing now is to just kind of get it better and if it were to happen we had the All-Star Break to kind of put in the middle of it and just get healthy and be ready to come back and finish strong in the second half."

Zimmerman said he suffered the injury at some point during the Nationals' homestand-ending win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, in a game in which he went 2 for 3 with a home run, his 12th, and a walk.

"It started acting up, actually, the last game at home," he said.

"The third at bat kind of grabbed a little bit and the fourth at bat I still -- I feel like we caught it relatively early before it got really bad, so hopefully that's the case and it won't take that long."

With Zimmerman unavailable, Nats' skipper Dusty Baker went with Clint Robinson at first base for the second game of the Nationals' first-half-ending series with the Mets and Robinson homered for the second time in two games in New York.

"Clint, he's done a great job for us," Baker told reporters after Washington's 3-1 win, in which Robinson hit a two-run blast to right off Noah Syndergaard.

"He hit a very good pitcher out of the ballpark that got us on the board. He works hard. This guy works hard and it took him a long time to get here and he's planning on staying here.

"The old saying is, 'It's harder to stay here than it is to get here,' and it was certainly hard for him to get here. And that's the most emotion I've seen from him in a while too. And I'm just glad for Clint and glad for us because that was a really big win tonight."

Will Robinson continue to produce? How long will he need him to fill in for Zimmerman? Zimmerman said he hopes to get back as soon as possible so he can contribute.

"At this point in my career you kind of just -- there's nothing you can do about it," Zimmerman said.

"It's frustrating. Obviously we all work hard to try and play every game and be on the field, that's the ultimate goal, but things happen.

"I've unfortunately had to deal with this quite a bit but it's part of the job and part of the game and my job now is to do whatever I can to make sure I'm healthy and be ready for the end of July and obviously August and September when those games are really important and I want to be a part of that."

• We talked about Zim's injury, Robinson's blast and Stephen Strasburg's outing against the Mets last night on Nats Nightly: