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Belated Happy B-day, Zim

So I forgot to mention that yesterday was Ryan Zimmerman's 23rd birthday. Old man.

He went 0 for 4 last night with three strikeouts against Cole Hamels. Tough draw. Unlikely he'll reach .270 this year after hitting .287 a year ago.

I was thinking of writing about his defense and the Gold Glove, etc., but Chris from Capital Punishment beat me to it. He has a great post, and I'm going to follow up on it in the paper.

I'm going to work on the Nationals Journal 2007 Awards Show this afternoon, and I'll probably run that on Monday morning. For now, enjoy the rest of a crazy Saturday. Phillies will know the Mets' result in the early innings. Another crazy scene at Citizens Bank Park today, I'm sure.

Enjoy.

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 29, 2007; 11:14 AM ET
 
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Next: The Morning of No. 162

Comments

Happy B-day, Zim. How about a look at his 2007 season?

While at first-blush Zim's 2007 key batting numbers are down vs. last year (hits, .avg, .OBP, RBI, SLG, OPS), he provided much-needed power (24 HR) while keeping his strikeout total (119) at about the same as last in year in with 40 more at-bats. Offensively, it was another learning experience, and if Barry was to ask Zim about his year, he'd probably say so himself. I think he suffered more than anyone in the lineup when Soriano left and Johnson went down. Having Dmitri step in salvaged what could've been a disastrous season and frankly really could've retarded Zim's growth at the plate. I'd like to see him steal more (only 4 vs. 11 in '06). At least double digits would be a nice perk.

With the glove, his huge number of assists is downright amazing (343!) as his total chances tally (502). He leads all 3rd basemen by more than 20 assists. The amount of balls he gets to is a tribute to his quick feet and set-up fielding position. Though that stretch of bad throws really scared me, he seemed to work his way through it.

Overall, I'd give Zim a strong B+ on his 2007 season. When you think about what this club has asked of him at his young age, the Nats have been very fortunate to depend on such a rock like Zim. All the other young infielders in the NL East (Ramirez, Wright, Rollins) have a counterpart (Cabrera/Uggla, Reyes, Utley). I think if the Nats could find a shortstop or 2nd baseman of that caliber who could take some of the pressure off Zim, the Nats could have that cool young combo like the Mets, Marlins, and Phillies have. For me, Lopez, Guzman, and Belliard don't stack up.

Here's wishing you finish '07 with a couple more homers and you get to the 95 RBI plateau, Zim.

Posted by: FS Nats Watcher | September 29, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Happy b'day, Zimm!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Many happy returns, Zimm.

Mets up 5-0. CBP should be a nuthouse. Can't wait.

Posted by: Hendo | September 29, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

There was a term used when I was kid watching baseball in the '60's and '70's that I don't hear much anymore: "the sophomore slump." More often than not, a player who had a solid rookie season took a nosedive in their second year only to rebound and have a good career. I remember Ron Menchine and Shelby Whitfield discussing Del Unser in 1969 and remarking that they were surprised he didn't succumb to the "sophomore slump."

Perhaps Zimmerman fell to the "slump." Bad throws are mental, not mechanical. Swinging at outside breaking stuff is mental. My guess is he'll re-dedicate himself this off season and he'll have a breakout season in 2008. .300-30-120 wouldn't surprise me.

One thing to remember: Zimmerman had something like 12-13 bunt hits last year but virtually none in 2007. Those bunts were good for 9-10 points on his batting average. He's not bunting (and probably not stealing) because Acta told him not to.

Hopefully, he'll be bunting again next season.

Posted by: Farid @ Beltway Boys | September 29, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Now it's Mets 8, Marlins 0 through 4...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Is Dmitri in the lineup today?

Posted by: Wigi | September 29, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

da meat hook returns to the line up today. how good does the line up look 3-7...

zim, hook, kearns, church, pena...

nasty

Posted by: love | September 29, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Mets 11, Marlins 0 now

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

There's something verrrrrry interesting happening right now in Flushing with a certain young pitcher who happens to hail from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Very interesting, indeed.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Holy smokes. Check out the line for the Mets game if you're not already following it. That's all I'm sayin. (Not sure if the "no talking about it" rule applies to teams other than your own.)

Posted by: JennX | September 29, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It does unless you want to jinx them.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

no hitter no hitter no hitter no hitter

Posted by: love | September 29, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Im going to talk about it. I love seeing the mets struggle. Its a shame that they might have this NO HITTER and still not make the playoffs. Its really hard for such a young pitcher to maintain the composure needed to pitch a NO HITTER. Best of luck on his NO HITTER!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 29, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come now. Remember the Maine! I'm pulling for him. And not just because I think he's handsome.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 29, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Yet another product of the Bethesda Big Train.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 29, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

he just lost it in the top of the 8th with 2 out

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Wright had a chance to make the play but he pocketed it and didnt take the chance.

Zim wouldve gotten the out.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 29, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

thats the way ronnie, break up eaton's no hitter

Posted by: love | September 29, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have clinched 4th place in the NL East! Way to go boys!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 29, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Eaton gets pulled in the 3rd? Wow.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 29, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Hippo Birdie Two Ewes, Z-man!

We clinched 4th! Woohoo!!!

Posted by: Juan-John | September 29, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Way to pinch-run, J-Max!!

Posted by: Juan-John | September 29, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to thank the race for the NL east spot for bringing me the nats in HD today.

it's good to see what our team actually looks like instead of just by the size of their ears or hair.

btw, these errors really put the E in philliEs.

Posted by: y8s | September 29, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

As promised, here are my friend Darrin's pics from the NJ tailgate:

http://www.flickr.com/gp/14272989@N05/390Ci9

Posted by: JennX | September 29, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"This guy can pitch, I'll tell you that. Talk to hitters around the National League, they do not like Rivera."

a bit of recognition for an over-worked member of our beleaguered bullpen. it's nice to hear it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

They've still got at least two more innings to add to their tally of gaffes, but congratulations to Matt Devlin and Tim McCarver for butchering the following names:

. Benny Ayala (for Luis Ayala); credit - T.M.

. Randy St. Pierre (for St. Claire); credit - M.D.

. "Nuke" Logan (for Nook Logan); credit - T.M.

There may have been more; if so, thankfully spared by the mute button.

Posted by: Gaffe Central Scrutinizer | September 29, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

In the first inning they also screwed up one of the phillies names. Kyle Low-see instead of the correct Kyle Low-sh.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 29, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Is there a more annoying broadcaster in baseball than Tim McCarver? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | September 29, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Grab the defibrillators...

Posted by: Juan-John | September 29, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Gaffe Central Scrutinizer:

he called Luis Ayala "bobby" a shout out to former Mariner great Bobby "we all live in" Ayala submarine

Posted by: love | September 29, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

it all comes down to tomorrow! Go NATS!

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 29, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Solid outing by the Chief. No resuscitation necessary!

Posted by: JennX | September 29, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

YESSS!!!!!

4th place clinched -- check.

Sub-90-loss season -- check.

Give Phillies Phans heartburn -- DOUBLE CHECK!!! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 29, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

They also gave Matt Chico some props (but no shout-out to "Randy St. Pierre.")

---

a bit of recognition for an over-worked member of our beleaguered bullpen. it's nice to hear it.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Devlin was seriously annoying when he kept going on and on about all of the Phoolies comeback wins (as they continued to be felled by the mighty Wookie).

---

Is there a more annoying broadcaster in baseball than Tim McCarver?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Gosh that was sweet... I hope Hendo survived.

I'd love to see a one-game playoff... so we need to root for the Marlins tomorrow.

Posted by: Wigi | September 29, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Me, too. I think that he brought the Nats luck!

Does anyone know whether, if there was a one-game playoff, it would be on cable or on network tv (Fox)?

---

Gosh that was sweet... I hope Hendo survived.

I'd love to see a one-game playoff... so we need to root for the Marlins tomorrow.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"he called Luis Ayala "bobby" a shout out to former Mariner great Bobby "we all live in" Ayala submarine"

Oops. Right. Bobby, not Benny. My bad for misquoting Tom McCarver.

Posted by: Gaffe Central Scrutinizer | September 29, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I think the 1-game playoffs would be on TBS. Don't quote me on that.

Also, the Nats clinched that there will be 9 teams worse than them in the MLB.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 29, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, natsinthevalley.

I was just trying to calculate that -- great minds think alike! I was thinking that the O's, Devil Rays, Royals, Marlins, Reds, Pirates, and Giants had clinched in that regard?

---

I think the 1-game playoffs would be on TBS. Don't quote me on that.

Also, the Nats clinched that there will be 9 teams worse than them in the MLB.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope Eli Saslow is in the Phillies clubhouse right now getting lots of juicy quotes for tomorrow's gamer in the Washington Post. I'll be looking for it. Or is the Post only interested in the Phillies when they're winning?

Posted by: Section 419 | September 29, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and one more thing:

MA-NNY AC-TA
clap clap clap clap clap

That is all.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 29, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, great post on "Grab the defibrillators," exactly what I would have said if I had been as clever.

Nice move bringing on Rauch in the 7th, Manny (of the year) playing pennant-race baseball.

Ok, so on paper, we're not close to the Mets or the Phils (or the Bravos). But, as numerous Mets bloggers have noted over the past week or so, their season has been essentially the opposite of ours -- good start, .500 finish.

We can play with these guys! We need a top shelf pitcher and one other top-of-the-order hitter, and we're in it.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 29, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

"Is there a more annoying broadcaster in baseball than Tim McCarver? Inquiring minds want to know."

The whiney one? No.

Jack Buck is no great shakes, either.

Together, they are an extremely annoying pair for post-season games.

Nats did themselves proud today after that mess Friday night.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | September 29, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, we might just prove that we're the best team in the NL East (this week), though the Mets make that a little easier to believe.

I was thinking earlier... what a cool lineup this would be:

Guzman
Church
Zimmerman
Young
Pena
Kearns
Schneider
Belliard
pitcher

Just an idea... Not the best hitting team, but not bad...

Posted by: Wigi | September 29, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

So I'm NOT the only one who knows that song! : )
--------------
Hippo Birdie Two Ewes, Z-man!
Posted by: Juan-John | September 29, 2007 05:10 PM

Posted by: cevans | September 29, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Alive and well here.

Big question of the day among Phillies fans: Why, oh why, did they start Eaton?

Moyer vs. Bergmann should be interesting tomorrow. Bergy gets some props among the knowledgable Philly fans (of whom, by the way, there are more than a few among the buffoons we love to deride). Other interesting tidbits as well from my chats among the Phillyites, but those can wait.

Hope to see an exciting and worthy climax to the regular season.

Posted by: Hendo | September 29, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and about the game today:

Headline on the mlb.com site is "Rookie Chico shuts down first-place Phillies."

That jolted me. Yep, Chico's a rookie, now that we mention it -- but good grief, he looked this afternoon like a guy who'd been at it forever. Worked fast, changed speeds, threw strikes when it counted.

By contrast, the Philly pitchers (admittedly, the first one was Eaton) looked clueless. And the fielding... bleah. Now I'm not sure I want to see either the Phillies or the Mets go to October.

Let's get 'em tomorrow.

Posted by: Hendo | September 29, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

for quality entertainment, everyone should go read the postgame for Marlins v. Mets at metsblog.com, wherein diehard Mets fans refer to our beloved team as "we" and celebrate Matt Chico and Ryan Zimmerman like they weren't talking bad about their mothers last week. Hoping for the longball by Kearns? CLASSIC.

sample: "ugh...some clutch hitting from the Nats would be nice. If they need any inspiration, I have their last series burned into my memory and could re-tell them about the time they swept the first place team with TONS of clutch hitting."

it just brings so much joy to my heart.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Took me long enough to find this -- from Barry's preseason question: "what's the story for 2007 going to be?"
__________

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I just went and read that metsblog.com... It is very interesting. 90 percent of them are rooting for the Nats... the other 10 percent are envious.

Very interesting.

Posted by: Wigi | September 29, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

What a week. Nothing better than watching Mets fan suffer. Its second only to watching Philly fans squirm. Go Nats! One more to go... lets do our part and put a collective frown on the face of the city of brotherly love.

Posted by: Nats Fan In KC | September 29, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

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