Zimmerman’s June Slide Continues
Last night, the main struggle for the Washington Nationals offense was hitting with runners in scoring position. In their two games against the Dodgers, the Nats are 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and have managed to score only three runs.
They had a couple of chances to put the game away last night for Roark, but they failed to capitalize. One situation I want to look at came in the fifth inning. Roark led off with a double and eventually the Nats had second and third with two outs.
In that situation, Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir decided to intentionally walk Daniel Murphy with first base open despite Murphy hitting only .229 in June. That loaded the bases for Ryan Zimmerman and he failed to deliver. He struck out on four pitches to end the inning.
After hitting .262 in the month of May, Zimmerman has the worst batting average of any regular starter this month on the Nats (.167). Plus, he has four hits in his last 24 at-bats. His double in the fourth inning last night was only his third extra-base hit since June 8.
We have seen a few teams this season pitch around Harper or Murphy and Zimmerman, more often than not, has failed to make them pay. He is hitting .169 with two home runs and 19 RBI’s with runners in scoring position and he is 0-for-9 with two RBI’s and four strikeouts with the bases loaded.
Even though the offense as a whole has had its fair share of struggles, Zimmerman has to find a way to get more big time hits or as the season progresses, more teams are going to pitch around Harper and/or Murphy to get to him. Otherwise, maybe he needs to be moved further down in the order.
Next: Harper's Home Run Starts The Night