Ryan Zimmerman Falls Short of Cycle But Homers Twice as Nats Fry the Fish

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Photo: @ESPNStatsInfo

By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals bounced back from their tough loss on Tuesday night with a big 10-1 win over the Marlins in the third game of four at Nationals Park. A big day at the plate for Ryan Zimmerman as well as  a dominant start from Gio Gonzalez was the difference in this game.

Zimmerman would go on to have a special night at the plate finishing just a triple shy of the cycle while setting a franchise record for career RBI’s.
He got things started in the bottom of the second with his 25th home run with a solo shot into the seats in left field. The home run set the franchise record for RBI’s as it was his 906th RBI of his career.

In the third, Brian Goodwin led off with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Adrian Sanchez which set the table for Harper. The 2015 National League MVP drove Sanchez in with a line drive single to left field for his 85th RBI of the season. Zimmerman came up for his second at bat and laced a line drive into center field that was deep enough for Harper to race around the bases to score while Zimmerman made it to second for a double. It was 3-0 Washington after three.

After the Marlins got a run back in the fourth the Nats answered back in the fifth by guess who? That’s right, Zimmerman. Once again Harper got on with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Zimmerman took care of the rest with a single up the middle to score Harper. Zimmerman was now just a triple away from the cycle.

The last time a Nationals player hit for the cycle was when Trea Turner did it in Colorado earlier this season. As good as this lineup is, we all miss him! Brad Wilkerson was the first National that achieved that feat in Philadelphia in the Nats second game and the team’s first ever win. Christian Guzman also achieved the cycle feat when he did so in 2008 which came at Nationals Park during their inaugural season in an 11-2 win over the Dodgers.

We’ll get back to Zim in just a second. The sixth began with a new pitcher in for starter Adam Conley as the Marlins went with Hunter Cervenka from the pen. He struggled with his command by walking Goodwin and hitting Sanchez. With Harper up, Cervenka corked a wild pitch that allowed the runners to advance a base. Harper hit a sac fly to left field that scored Goodwin from third and the face of the franchise was up again with a runner at second. Not only a shot at the cycle but also a chance to add another RBI to the stat sheet. Boy was the crowd into it. Unfortunately Zimmerman wouldn’t even get a chance to swing the bat as he was walked on four pitches.

Anthony Rendon popped out and Matt Wieters would walk during a (you guessed it) four-pitch at-bat and with the bases loaded Howie Kendrick drove home two runs with a grounder through the left side of the infield between shortstop Miguel Rojas and third basement Derek Dietrich that went into left field that made it 8-1.

In the seventh, Sanchez got on with a double and Zimmerman came up for another shot at the cycle. Instead of a triple he smacked a ball to deep left field that went over the fence and into the Nats bullpen for his second home run of the game. Oh well, A for effort and two home runs.

In all, Zimmerman had a 4-4 night with four runs, two home runs, and five RBI’s.

Now onto Gio as he was making his first start since both that emotional night in Miami last Monday and the birth of his second child. Gonzalez went seven innings allowing one run on seven hits while striking out six, earning the win to improve his record to 10-5.

The Nationals go for the series win tonight at 7:05 p.m with Tanner Roark (9-7, 4.82 ERA) up against Dan Straily (7-8, 3.77 ERA).

SCENES FROM NATS PARK

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