Jun 22, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT
Since his return from a broken right thumb on June 3, Ryan Zimmerman has produced a bit of a mixed bag on offense. At first, he adjusted well with two doubles in his first game back. But then he fell into a slump and, until Saturday night, was hitting just .197 with a .552 OPS in 17 games since coming off the disabled list.
Zimmerman delivered with an RBI single in the sixth inning of the Nationals’ 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday and now has his manager hoping it’s just the beginning of a resurgence for the 29-year-old slugger.
“He’s close. He’s seeing it good, he’s swinging it good, he’s making good contact,” Matt Williams said. “The results haven’t been there, but I can count a number of times over the last two weeks where he’s had an opportunity and lined out.”
Big hits have eluded Zimmerman in recent weeks, he has just three extra basehits in his last 13 games. Williams, however, has seen positive signs from Zim, and even pointed to a few outs he made Saturday that were particularly impressive.
“You know, the one I’m most proud of is the one he hits in the last at-bat. He lined out to left, lined out to right and got a base hit up the middle.”
Zimmerman’s last at-bat ended in an out, but the ball was well hit. He roped a long flyball to deep right-center field off reliever Juan Jaime.
Williams was more focused with the contact Zimmerman made, rather than the result. He is looking for Zimmerman to just square up on the ball and let the rest take care of itself.
“You can’t steer it, man,” Williams said. “You’ve just got to hit it. They’ll fall eventually.”
Zimmerman is hitting .252 on the year with two home runs, nine doubles and 15 RBI in 28 games.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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