Wednesday, September 21, 2005
A Rare Appearance
It's good to know that Ryan Zimmerman is still hanging around. I got to watch a really good game from really good seats (thanks, DM) with an all too familiar outcome, a late inning collapse with a rally that came out a few inches short in a 4-3 Nationals loss to the San Francisco Giants. Let me get this out of the way first, I booed Barry Bonds. But I have to tell you that HR to the upper deck in RF was the hardest hit/longest HR I have ever seen in person. As much as many will not agree, I have to tip my cap to him. That was impressive. No surprise to anyone, Frank Robinson trotted out his veteran lineup again. They didn't show a whole lot against Giants uber-prospect, Matt Cain. The rookie RHP was certainly impressive, 7IP 4H 2R 2BB 7K. Fortunately for Nats' fans, Livan was more impressive (Bonds HR aside) until the 9th inning where he surrendered the eventual game winning HR to Moises Alou. The Nats tried to make a game of it in their final AB where Ryan Zimmerman was called upon to deliver in a critical situation and in my estimation, delivered. Zimmerman came to the plate with the Nats down 4-2, bases loaded, and 1 out against Armando Benitez. Zimmerman showed great patience working the count to 3-0 , taking a strike, and then following a fastball straight back to the screen, a clear indication that he had his timing down right. He followed that up with a SF to LF driving clsoing the gap to 4-3. This was my third time watching Zimmerman play in person and I'm drinking the Kool-Aid. This kid is good. Really good. He looks comfortable at the plate, rarely overmatched, and definitely not like someone who was playing college baseball three months ago. He didn't let the pressure of the situation impact his AB. He didn't let the pressure of 5 days of no game activity impact his AB. He didn't let the implied pressure from Frank Robinson and his disdain for younger players impact his AB. What he did was work a count to his favor and get himself into a position where he could drive the ball in hopes of scoring multiple runs. And he says the right things to the press. "I guess you could say I did part of the job," said Zimmerman, satisfied with the sacrifice fly but wishing he had singled in two runs instead (Washington Times). I am looking forward to what Zimmerman will do in Arizona and I hope he gets a legitimate chance at the 3B job in the spring. Because he is proving he may be this damned good.