Ryan Zimmerman Helps Spark Nationals in NLDS

Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There is a movie being filmed in the nation’s capital this October. The Washington Nationals are certainly playing excellent baseball this postseason. The Nationals began their playoff run by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card in fantastic fashion. The “film” is about a Nationals legend, Ryan Zimmerman, and has the possibility for a beautiful sendoff. The exciting revival of Zimmerman’s play has a movie-like feel this October. The Nationals initially saw some pitching woes in the one-game elimination game but found a way to win with a late-inning rally.

The Script of a Season on the Line

The “script” begins as the veteran Zimmerman is on the bench during the NL Wild Card game. The old guy gets up to pinch-hit multiple times, but kept getting sent back to the dugout. At the top of the stairs yet again wondering if he will get a chance to help his team, he moves into the batter’s box.

With only 4 outs remaining, his team’s season hangs in the balance, as the Nationals are down 3-1. With a man on first and a chance to make a play, the manager Dave Martinez waits to use his seasoned player with the game on the line. The Virginia Beach graduate approaches the box. After 3 pitches, the count reads 2-1, and Ryan Zimmerman stands in with an opportunity to be a hero. Zimmerman ignites the game winning rally with a broken bat single. Is this the script being pitched in Hollywood? No, this is just October playoff baseball.

Zimmerman started the rally for the Nationals and has done it again to force another elimination game, this time in the NLDS. The brilliant performance by Zimmerman has helped the Nationals find a spark in hopes that it lands Washington battling for the NL pennant.

NLDS Game 4 Heroics

Before game 4 of the NLDS, the players were in pregame interviews, as the Nationals were facing elimination. Multiple reporters asked Zimmerman how he felt about the game possibly being his last in a Nationals jersey. The Nationals’ longest tenured player is Ryan Zimmerman. He is the first player drafted for the team in 2005 after relocating from Montreal. Zimmerman certainly did not want anything to do with the question and proved it to be utter nonsense. The reliable veteran hit a home run late in the game. It kept the Nationals in the fight. It sent them to a winner take all game 5, where the winner will head to the NLCS.

Nationals Showing Resiliency

The Dodgers were predicted to easily defeat the Nats and be happily resting and waiting for the winners of the Cardinals and Braves. The Nationals have had different plans. The Nationals arguably have been the best team in the National League over the last month, and it has continued into the postseason. The resilient pitching, the speed of Trea Turner, and the outstanding play of the veteran Zimmerman has made this an NLDS to remember.

Will This be it for Zimmerman?

The 2017 comeback player of the year is undoubtedly having a fantastic postseason and is giving fans in D.C. a tremendous sense of hope. With the offseason looming, there is a chance that we may see Zimmerman in a different uniform next spring. The Nationals will have a different feel if they decide to move on from Zimmerman this offseason. The other possibilities could be a short term contract to remain with the Nationals, or we may see Zimmerman retire. No matter what the decision may be, it has been a hell of a ride.

Author Twitter: @ChristianSRauh

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