Ryan Zimmerman had a big game for the Washington Nationals, but his offensive explosion wasn’t enough to help a struggling Gio Gonzalez.
The Washington Nationals offense has struggled to find a consistent rhythm in 2016, in part because nearly every player has been slumping at the plate for most of the season.
Prior to this week, Ryan Zimmerman was one of those players. The 31-year-old hit .219 in the month of April with very little power, hitting just one home run.
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Recently, however, Zimmerman appears to have turned things around.
Over his last seven games, the first baseman is hitting .296 with three home runs and five RBIs. Two of those homers came against the Cardinals last night, in what was arguably Zimmerman’s best day at the plate this season.
On the night, Zimmerman went a perfect 4-for-4 with the two homers. He drove in three runs and was single-handedly responsible for nearly all of the Nationals’ offense last night, save for a homer from Bryce Harper.
Unfortunately for the Nationals, Zimmerman’s big night was overshadowed by another concerning start from left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez struggled mightily on the mound, allowing six runs on six hits in just 4 2/3 innings. It was the second poor start in a row for Gonzalez, who allowed seven runs in his previous start.
The left-hander was one of the team’s best starters for weeks to start the season, but his recent struggles present a concerning trend for Gonzalez, who has seen his ERA climb from 1.86 to 3.57 over the course of his last three starts.
Gonzalez is arguably the weakest link of the Nationals’ talented rotation, but when he’s on his game, he can be as good as anybody. And for a while, it looked like he had finally found a way to be consistent on the mound in 2016.
If last night is any indication, however, Gonzalez still has a long way to go to reach the level of consistency that he needs to be able to help his ball club win.