Ryan Zimmerman returned from the Disabled List tonight in Atlanta and homered on the first pitch he saw from Braves’ right-hander Tyrell Jenkins, sending a solo blast to left field for his 13th home run of the season.
Zimmerman went on 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs in Washington’s 11-9 win in Turner Field.
He singled and scored in the third inning to put the Nationals up 5-3, lined a single to left in the fifth, and after grounding out in the seventh, hit a sac fly to center in the ninth to make it 11-6.
Before he returned to the lineup tonight, for the first time since July 31st, when he was hit on the left wrist by San Francisco Giants’ reliever Santiago Casilla, Dusty Baker talked to reporters on Friday about wanting to get Zimmerman going again as the stretch run approaches.
“I’ve got to get Zim right,” Baker said, “because Zim, man, he can carry you for a month or six weeks.
He suggested that Zimmerman should just hit the restart button on the 2016 campaign.
“I encouraged him to start his season all over from tomorrow and forget whatever has happened and transpired in the past. And so he’s going to come up big.”
“Dusty kind of pulled me aside today and was like, ‘Hey, just start your season now,’” Zimmerman told MASN’s Dan Kolko after the game.
“I didn’t think he was going to hit it that quick,” Baker joked. “I mean, the first pitch he saw... if it was that easy, I would have said it a long time ago.
“I’m just glad that he was here to help us and I’m glad he feels good, because we certainly feel good.”
Zimmerman said he was just hoping to be able to help out down the stretch.
“I think we’ve got a pretty important six weeks left, we can hopefully do something special, and then continue on hopefully for about another month or so.
“But just got to stay positive take what we have and try to play good the rest of the way.”
Saturday’s win left the Nationals 73-49, 24 games over .500, but as Zimmerman said, there is still a lot of work to do.
“We have six weeks left and we haven’t done anything yet. It’s nice to be in this position.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position to kind of move forward like we want to but we don’t take anything for granted, we haven’t done anything yet.”