Ryan Zimmerman has a .378/.408/.822 line, five doubles, and five home runs in 49 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers this season, and a .306/.386/.516 career line against left-handers, so when he didn’t start against Texas Rangers’ left-hander Martin Perez, and didn’t pinch hit with a runner on third and lefty Alex Claudio on the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning this afternoon, it was safe to assume that he wasn’t available for today’s game.
Dusty Baker confirmed as much when a reporter asked about Zimmerman’s availability after what ended up a 6-3 loss to the Rangers in the nation’s capital.
“If he had been available he would have been playing against a left today,” Baker said, stating the obvious.
“And if he was available he would have been hitting against the lefty with the runner on third.
“So, I don’t know if he’s — he wasn’t available today, no, and then he’s questionable for tomorrow.”
Baker went on to say that the Nationals’ 32-year-old first baseman, who currently has a .365/.409/.697 line, 19 doubles, and 17 home runs in 57 games and 230 PAs this season in what’s been a bounce-back campaign for the veteran infielder.
Baker was asked what was bothering Zimmerman.
“He dove for a ball, I think in LA, and his back locked up on him,” Baker said.
“They’ve been working on him, and so that’s what he’s dealing with.”
Zimmerman confirmed the same when he spoke to reporters following the Nationals’ second straight loss to the Rangers, explaining that he injured the back in Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers.
Zimmerman said they're playing it safe with his back. Tweaked it Tuesday. Will see how it is tmrw but definitely expects to be back by Mon.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) June 10, 2017
Zimmerman did play two games after he injured his back, going 3 for 8 with a double and a home run.
Adam Lind filled in at first base for Zimmerman this afternoon, going 2 for 5 with a go-ahead home run in the sixth that put the Nationals up, 3-1, at that point.
Lind improved to 25 for 75 (.333/.395/.613) with six doubles and five home runs in 36 games.
With Zimmerman a question mark for tomorrow, Lind should see some more action in the series finale with the Rangers.