Cause and effect; The little things count; Zim’s health

In the 6th inning yesterday after Adam Lind put the Washington Nationals up by the score of 3-1 with his 2-run home run, Michael Taylor struck out and Ryan Raburn stroked his second hit of the game. Jose Lobaton stepped into the batter’s box, and Brian Goodwin moved to the on-deck circle.

We will never know what would have happened if Lobaton reached first base. Ryan Raburn would have been in scoring position. Brian Goodwin would have stepped in to pinch-hit. Does he get an RBI hit? We will never know. We do believe Ryan Raburn would have stayed in the game instead of being double-switched out as Matt Albers took his place in the batting order to start the 7th inning. Brian Goodwin was inserted into Gio Gonzalez‘s spot in the batting order to complete the double-switch.

Nobody knows how the game would have played out if Lobaton ran a “hard 90” to first base. Cause and effect always sets the game on an alternate path.

Fast forward back to reality and the 9th inning. Stephen Drew led-off the inning with a pinch-hit double. Matt Wieters pinch-hit just to move pinch-runner Wilmer Difo to 3rd base. Lets stop the tape there.

If Zimmerman wasn’t available, you empty your bench if you pinch-hit Wieters there for Lobaton. Why would you not save Wieters who is a switch-hitter and insert him for Goodwin and pinch-hit Joe Ross to bunt in Lobaton’s spot? If the inning was a fail, you put Difo in leftfield for defense. If Ross succeeded, then you could pinch-hit Wieters for Brian Goodwin.

Again, we will never know. The other choice would have been the decoy of the year against the lefty reliever Alex Claudio and first base open if you sent Ryan Zimmerman up to pinch-hit for Brian Goodwin and they intentionally walked him. Then you get Trea Turner up to bat with one out.

Ryan Zimmerman was not in the starting line-up but F.P. Santangelo reminded us of the fact that the Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez had reverse splits (.360 BA against LH batters) and this is why Adam Lind may have been starting instead of Zimmerman. Nationals fans noted Zimmerman the night before was moving around gingerly.

It was very clear that Ryan Zimmerman was hurt or hurting as he stayed on the bench for the whole game. We found out after the game what we feared when manager Dusty Baker said Zimmerman hurt his back.

“Just one of those things where knowing what I’ve known in the past,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “If you continue to play and it gets worse, then something bad happens. But if you give it a day or two, then you can kind of just stop it right there. And that’s sort of the plan since it’s June and we have the ability to do that.”

Please Ryan Zimmerman, you have repeatedly said that your health is the reason you are playing so well this year. Don’t rush anything. Get back to 100%.

“We’ll see how it feels [Sunday] morning, Zimmerman continued. “Kind of go from there as far as [Sunday]. But even if I don’t play [on Sunday], I can’t see me not playing on Monday.”

Over the years we found quotes from Zimmerman such as this: “If this were the playoffs, I would be playing” or “I just need a couple of days” or “I could have played through it”.

There is a long history in Washington, D.C. with Ryan Zimmerman and these issues. The injuries started in 2008 when Zimmerman was just 23-years-old and he only played 106 games that year. In 2014, the injury situations worsened and the stats nose-dived. How can it be different this time to create a better outcome? Is a move to the DL prudent so Zimmerman does not rush back because a healthy and productive Zimmerman is what this team needs. In the totality of everything we have seen with Zimmerman’s health, why would you take a chance.

“I lie to you guys every day,” Zimmerman once admitted in an interview in Spring Training of 2014. 

That is the reason why Nationals fans will be nervous any time Zimmerman says anything about his health, good or bad. Ryan Zimmerman is arguably having an MVP type season with Triple Crown numbers.

“You have to continue to work and learn new things and adapt to stay healthy,” Ryan Zimmerman just said a few weeks ago. “I think, over the last two or three years, I’ve learned a lot about my body, and myself, and hopefully, I don’t have to go through it anymore.”

Zimmerman admitted yesterday that he hurt his back just making a routine dive for a ball on defense on Tuesday. Add that to the list of ailments to go with the shoulder injury, abdominal injury, broken thumb, plantar fasciitis, grade 2 hamstring strain, rib cage, oblique, and wrist injuries, and now the back. Yes, this could be minor, and as Zimmerman just said, “I can’t see me not playing on Monday.”

Cause and effect.

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