Aug 19, 2011, 4:59 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Jesus Flores gets high-fives after hitting his first home run in more than two years.
As Jesus Flores crossed the plate, pride swelling after clubbing his first big-league home run in more than two years, Jordan Zimmermann stood there waiting to offer some choice words of congratulation.
“About time!” the Nationals pitcher told his batterymate, prompting both guys to start laughing.
If anyone could appreciate what this moment meant for Flores, it was Zimmermann. The two spent the second half of 2009 and the first half of 2010 in virtual isolation together at the Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera, Fla. Each was rehabbing from a major arm injury, Zimmermann’s torn elbow ligament actually less damaging than Flores’ shredded right shoulder.
Zimmermann was back in the big leagues last August, 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery. Flores didn’t make it back until earlier this season, nearly two full years after he first took a foul ball off his shoulder, fracturing the bone.
“Some people had their doubts if he’d ever make it back up here,” Zimmermann said. “He was busting his tail down there in Florida and finally got healthy. He called a great game tonight, and he’s swinging the bat pretty good, too.”
It’s been a long time coming, but Thursday night both players made major contributions to a Nationals victory. Zimmermann gutted
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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.
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