Sunday, August 5, 2007

ZIM - MER - MAN!!!

If you've had the pleasure of attending a Washington Nationals home game at RFK Stadium this year, then you are probably familiar with the "Zim - mer - man!!!" chant given to the Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman when he's up in a pressure situation. Zimmerman, as you may recall, came thisclose to being named Rookie of the Year in the National League last year after slugging 20 home runs driving in 110 while hitting .287. With such a promising start to his career, people were expecting big things from him in 2007.

The Nats and Zimmerman both unfortunately got off to slow starts in 2007, the Nats opening with a 9-25 record... Since that horrific start, the team has played a lot better going 41-35 (.539) since May 9th. They also have been red-hot of late, winning five straight and 16 of their past 24 played since my birthday on July 7th.

It took Zimmerman about two months longer than the rest of the team to finally wake up. For most of the season, his batting average remained remarkably consistent - ranging from .239 to .255 from May 13th through July 13th. Through the games played as of July 7th, Zimmerman's numbers didn't look all that great - his batting average stood at .251 with 47 runs scored, 13 home runs and 43 RBI through 87 games. While this would put him on pace to better the 84 runs scored (2007 pace 86) and the 20 home runs he hit last year (2007 pace 24), it was going to leave him woefully short of last year's numbers in RBI's (on pace for 80) and batting average. Very obviously, no longer having Alfonso Soriano in the lineup ahead of him has taken away a lot of Zimmerman's RBI opportunities this year.

As some of you know, I attended the Nats game the day after my birthday - July 8th - and Zimmerman has been RED-HOT himself ever since! That day he went 2-for-4 including a two run home run in the Nats 7-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The game began a remarkable resurgence in the Nats' best player - in his past 23 games he's hit .344 with four home runs, 17 RBI's and 16 runs scored. I wonder who or what could have possibly inspired him that sunny summer afternoon four weeks ago??? In yesterday's 12-1 rout of the 2006 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Zimmerman had the first two home run day of his career!!! He is now on pace for 25 homers, 88 RBI's and 91 runs scored... Of course, if he continues on his recent pace, he may be set to post even better numbers than that this year.


Well, A-Rod was not the only one who reached a milestone yesterday. In San Diego, Hank Aaron's 755 historic number was finally tied by Barry Bonds as he crushed the first pitch he saw in the game into the left field stands off of Padres starter Clay Hensley in the top of the second inning. ESPN's been covering the home run chase extensively, but I actually missed viewing the historic moment live - I was tuned into the Dodgers game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and actually found out from legendary Dodger announcer Vin Scully - who said he was very happy not to have been put in the awkward position of having to announce either the record tying or breaking home run. Bonds plans on taking Sunday off, meaning he more than likely will break the record at home in San Francisco this coming week.


From the "you better watch what you wish for department"... Rory Sabbatini is a very good golfer as his recent stretch of four top three finishes in six events, including a win at the Colonial, will attest... However, Sabbatini's probably a lot more well-known for his comment "beatable as ever," in referring to Tiger Woods the last time he was in a position to defeat him. This coming several days after the South African shot a 74, while Woods shot a 69 to claim the Wachovia Championship two months ago - Sabbatini wound up tied for third in that tournament.

Woods shot a one-under-par 69, while Sabbatini shot a two-over par 72 on Saturday to set up another Sunday showdown between the two. Sabbatini goes into today's final round at 4 under par, while Woods is a stroke back at 3 under par. Kenny Perry is at 1 under par, and is the only other player in red numbers. You can catch final round coverage of the tournament on your local CBS affiliate starting at 1 pm ET/10 am PT.


No comments: