Rich Tandler's Nationals blog.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Zimmerman starting to hit

It was looking for a while that my prediction that Ryan Zimmerman would not have a breakout season this year was going to be all too true.

While he never was flirting with the Mendoza line as were some of the other supposedly big bats in the lineup were, Zimmerman still struggled. He was swinging at bad pitches and leaving runners in scoring position in key situations.

He came into May batting .245 and while he's not hitting a lot better this month, his .265 average for May is carrying a lot more pop. He already has 5 homers and 12 RBI this month after tallying two and 11 up until the end of April.

Yesterday at Camden Yard he delivered exactly what the Nationals need him to do on a regular basis. In the eighth inning of a 1-0 game he came through with an opposite-field shot for a double to drive in Felipe Lopez with an insurance run. It turns out that the insurance paid out as the O's posted a run in the bottom of the inning.

The Zimm ship still needs some work before it's sailing right. He needs to be more patient and draw more walks (he has just seven this year). That would help get his on-base percentage up from .276. It should be at least 100 points higher.

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