Ryan Zimmerman’s 4 for 4, two double, two home run night on Friday was something to behold. Zimmerman, who turned 33 this week, doubled in each of his first two at bats against Gerrit Cole, then homered in consecutive plate appearances against the Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen, hitting his career-best 35th and 36th dingers.
It was Zimmerman’s seventh multi-home run game of the season, tied for second-most in the majors with the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, behind only Giancarlo Stanton’s MLB-best 10 multi-home run games for the Marlins in 2017.
Zimmerman’s first blast of the night was his 250th career home run, and he set a new career-high with the four extra-base hits total on the night.
Not bad for a washed up, weak-shouldered, third-turned-first baseman who many, as Dusty Baker likes to remind folks now and then, thought was done after a few injury-plagued seasons and a rough campaign at the plate in 2016.
On the year, Zimmerman now has a .301/.355/.572 line, 33 doubles and 36 home runs in 142 games and 572 plate appearances, over which he’s been worth 3.2 fWAR, which will be his best fWAR season since he finished at 3.9 in 2012.
“It was really a pleasure to see Zim hit his 250th home run,” Baker told reporters after the Nationals’ 6-1 win over the Pirates on Friday.
“When Zim gets locked in, boy, he’s something to watch.”
The Nationals, as a team, scored six runs on 12 hits, going 3 for 5 with runners in scoring position overall in earning their 97th win of the season.
Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, Zimmerman, and Jayson Werth all had multi-hit games as the Nats took the second straight from the Pirates in the regular season-ending series.
“We had some guys swung the bat pretty well,” Baker said. We played good defense. Nice to see Murph swinging the bat like that, and Zim — before the game you guys were wondering about his strikeouts, but hey, Zim can strike at any minute, and it’s been a great year for a lot of guys, especially in the middle of the order. Nice to see Trea swinging well, getting on base early.”
[ed. note - “Not sure what the pregame questions/comments about Zim’s strikeouts were, but since it was mentioned, he has struck out 50 times in 190 PAs in Aug/Sept, and that’s 26% of his PAs. It took him 275 PAs to get to 50 Ks total at the start of the season, but in spite of the rising K totals, he’s heating up at the right time apparently, with a .313/.353/.650 line so far in 85 PAs in September, after he put up a .234/.282/.455 line in 85 PAs in July, and a .233/.343/.433 line in 105 PAs in August.”]
Will the Nationals keep it up in tonight’s matchup between Max Scherzer and Jameson Taillon?