Ryan Zimmerman was 4 for 9 with a double and two home runs in the first two games of the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies three-game series in the nation’s capital this week, with the second of the two home runs a walk-off blast on Wednesday night.
He sat out on Thursday, however, with Philly righty Aaron Nola on the mound in the finale of the three-game set, not because he was 3 for 20 against Nola in his career, however.
“It’s part of our communication,” Davey Martinez told reporters on Thursday morning, in the manager’s pregame press conference, when asked about the decision to sit Zimmerman.
“At the end of [Wednesday’s] game I talked to him knowing that we had a quick turnaround and he’s got to do a lot to get going. We just spoke last night and he was pretty sore. I give him credit, yesterday he was kind of sore, and he went out there and played and obviously he got big hit for us.
“I told him today, ‘You’ll get half a day off, and then be ready to play and get another big hit.’”
Martinez was asked if it was anything in particular that was sore.
“Just the usual,” he sort-of explained.
“Like I said, this is part of our daily communication with him and other guys that I think it’s best that he doesn’t start the game so he’s available later on.”
In 17 games this month (14 starts), the 33-year-old first baseman is 18 for 54 (.333/.413/.759) with five doubles, six homers, eight walks, and 10 Ks in 63 plate appearances.
That stretch has taken him from a .232/.298/.435 line to .260/.332/.526 on the season.
Zimmerman’s back in the lineup tonight for the series opener with the New York Mets in Citi Field, where the 14-year veteran has a .269/.347/.462 career line with 11 doubles and 11 HRs.