Ryan Zimmerman’s 442-foot home run to right field last night was, according to the MLB Stats Twitter feed, the longest opposite field HR by a Nationals’ hitter since at least 2015.
“We were talking about it on the bench tonight — about he’s a first round draft pick that just shows everybody who he was every time he comes out here,” fill-in manager Tim Bogar said in his post game Zoom call with reporters, after filling in for Davey Martinez, who went back to the doctor for a follow-up procedure on his surgically-repaired ankle.
“What was it 442 [feet]?” Bogar asked. “Is that what you said. Opposite field though, don’t forget that, he went upper tank, opposite field. That’s the most impressive thing, let’s just say it was a little reminiscent of [Juan] Soto going up on the train tracks in the World Series.”
It was Zimmerman’s 11th home run in 44 starts this season, and his 14th home run in his 99 games and 246 plate appearances overall in his 16th big league campaign after the Nationals drafted him with their first first-round pick in 2005. The fact that he’s still hitting monster, oppo-shots as his 37th birthday approaches (on September 28th)?
“It’s very impressive,” Bogar said. “Being  years old and having to get yourself prepared every day to go out there and help the ballclub win, Zim is a professional about the ways he goes about things. He shows up every day, and he knows what he needs to do, and when he’s in the lineup he takes every minute of the day to be prepared to go play that day, whether that’s getting ready in the cage, throwing extra in the cage, working with our strength and conditioning guys to be ready go out there.
“I’m just privileged to watch Zim come to the ballpark every day, I consider him one of the better players I’ve ever been around, so it’s been a pleasure to be with him.”
Last night’s home run came off Miami Marlins’ lefty Jesús Luzardo, against whom Zim went 1 for 3 with a homer when they faced off in loanDepot park in Florida last month.
“We faced him down in Miami and I swung at a good amount of balls out of the zone against him last time,” Zimmerman said in his own post game Zoom call last night. “So I was really just trying to keep him in the zone and not try to do too much, honestly. And got to a good hitter’s count and he left the ball out over the middle of the plate, but yeah, just stuck with the plan and put a good swing on it.”
When you catch one like that, and hit it 442 feet the other way, does it feel different?
“Obviously some feel better than others, but all of them — every homer is cool,” he said.
“Doesn’t matter if it goes in the upper deck, or one row out, but yeah, I mean, obviously I hit that one well, but like I told Bogie, I said good first at bat, and the other ones were kind of trash. But yeah, obviously a good swing, and any time I get a chance to play, I try to do something to contribute and help the team win.”
He’ll have to contribute off the bench if he gets an opportunity today...