May 14, 2010, 6:32 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan labored as the night went on, but he was bailed out by a robust lineup.
DENVER — It's easy to forget on a night like this, when Ryan Zimmerman was peppering the left-field bleachers at Coors Field, that the Nationals' No. 3 hitter missed nearly half of his team's games through the season's first month.
It was only two weeks ago that Zimmerman was still recovering from his second hamstring strain of the young season, a nagging injury that kept him out of the lineup for 12 of the Nats' first 23 games.
For some players, that kind of prolonged layoff (especially so early in the year) would necessitate several more weeks of game action to get back into peak form. Almost like a second spring training.
For Zimmerman, the transition has been seamless. And with one of the best offensive performances of his career tonight — 3-for-5, two homers, six RBI in the Nationals' 14-6 thumping of the Rockies — Zim proved once again that he plays in a stratosphere reserved for only the sport's elite.
Of course, this is a guy who stepped to the plate in Philadelphia after a five-day layoff last month and still managed to club a game-winning homer.
"The good thing about my injury before was, I could still hit," he said. "If I wouldn't have been able to hit anything for a week, I think it would have been difficult. But I was able to stay on top and stay sharp, so when I did come back I wouldn't really miss that much."
Based on Zimmerman's overall stat line, you'd never know he was sidelined that much. He leads the Nationals in homers (eight), doubles (11) and total bases (65) and is tied with Josh Willingham with 22 RBI. Since returning from the second hamstring injury AprilRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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