Even Kershaw Can’t Hold Zim Back, Other Updates

On a night when Clayton Kershaw struck out 11, threw 8 2/3 and gave up 0 ER, Ryan Zimmerman managed to go 3 for 4. It is just a sign of how locked in Zim appears to be right now. In his return from the DL, he had an 0 for 4 night with 4 strikeouts. It wasn’t pretty.

Since that night, ZimSwingZim has seen only 39 PAs, a mere 9 games of baseball. But in that time, he has gone 12 for 32, hitting .375/.487/.500. He has picked up the offense where Bryce Harper left off, after hurting his toe then crashing into the wall. Zim has taken some real flack this year, both from his slow start at the plate and especially his throwing woes. But in the last 2 weeks he has shown just what he can do at the plate.

He won’t stay quite this hot, and he’ll most likely hit a few more home runs here and there (he hasn’t hit any since he came back) so the AVG and OBP will go down, although the SLG might not. When he hits like this, he’s one of the premier players in the league, at any position. If he does this without throwing the ball away, he’s the best third basemen in the game.

With Bryce out for some amount of time, Werth on the DL the Nats need Zim to deliver. Sure, they’ve still got Desmond and LaRoche, who has cooled off a  bit after his recent hot streak (although still keeping his hitting streak in tact at 11 games), but at his best, Zim’s a true middle of the order bat, and its great to see him hit like it

Harper Situation

Bryce Harper doesn’t have a concussion, according to an interview with Mike Rizzo on 106.7 this afternoon. Which is pretty far from what I expected him to say this morning. That doesn’t really explain the nausea, in fact, Rizzo seems to be surprised when it was brought up.

I will reiterate – I don’t think this team is putting their interest in winning the next couple of games over Harper’s health. If they showed anything with Strasburg, it’s a degree of caution on health matters that exceeds what many teams would do.

That being said, I am not convinced that everything is a-ok with Harper, and I would personally feel better if he sat out a few more games, judging by his own comments on his potential difficulties with keeping food down. Concussions are very serious, and I worry about him coming back not fully healed, and then having an extended absence, like Chase Utley, Denard Span or Justin Morneau.

What Makes a Good Start

Clayton Kershaw was dominant last night, according to every website that covers baseball, and Dan Haren also pitched. The funny thing is, Kershaw went 8 2/3 and didn’t give up an ER, whereas Haren only went 7, giving up 2 ER. The Dodgers only had 4 hits off Haren, 1 HBP and no walks. Kershaw had 6 baserunners, 5 hits and 1 walk.

Kershaw’s 11 Ks to Haren’s 4 give a tip on the dominance side to Kershaw, although JZimm is often dominant without the Ks. Haren’s issue, in fact, was that he gave up his hits in the same inning. A HBP to Kershaw, then 2 hits before getting 3 outs allowed those two runs to score. Kershaw gave up 5 hits, but only the first inning saw multiple baserunners.

Part of Kershaw’s luck was that although he gave up a few hits – they were mostly to Ryan Zimmerman. It’s pretty hard for Zim to hit twice in a row, so Kershaw was safe there. And Haren just ran into some bad luck from that “hit timing” perspective. But if the first inning went just a little bit different we might be talking about Haren’s dominant performance instead.

 

 

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