Washington Nationals News: Ryan Zimmerman still looking for his groove in 2016

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Jun 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) reacts to striking out during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) reacts to striking out during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on Ryan Zimmerman’s struggles in 2016 and how the Washington Nationals’ bullpen is returning to its dominant  ways with Jonathan Papelbon back from the disabled list.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga discusses Ryan Zimmerman’s struggles this season. As Svrluga notes, the veteran first baseman has yet to get into a grove in 2016, and he’s hoping that his performance in today’s game, in which he went 2-for-3 with a homer, will send him in the right direction.

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As Svrluga writes in his column, few in the organization or the fanbase are too worries about Zimmerman’s lack of production at the plate — where he’s batting just .216. After all, Zimmerman has been in the rocks before, and he’s always managed to pull himself out of even the deepest slumps.

Hopefully for the Nationals, Zimmerman can pull himself out of this one sooner rather than later. The second half of the season and the all-important stretch run is right around the corner. If Zimmerman’s bat can come around for the most important part of the season, he could help the Nationals steam roll into October.

Also in today’s Daily, ESPN’s Eddie Matz discusses how the Nationals’ bullpen looks just fine with closer Jonathan Papelbon back from the disabled list. As Matz writes, Papelbon’s success in his first two outings after the injury suggests that, if he continues to succeed, the Nationals may not need to seek bullpen help at the trade deadline after all.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs,

On Baseball: Ryan Zimmerman is still waiting for his season to get going

(Barry Svrluga, Washington Post)

The ball off the bat — hard and far, just to the right of center field — was the best version of Ryan Zimmerman, which is something like seeing a bald eagle along the Anacostia this spring and summer. They’re there. You just might not see them very often.

But here was a ball, at a time when Zimmerman needed it, that showed the 26,330 gathered at Nationals Park on a sweltering Wednesday afternoon that there’s still something left, that July, August and September won’t necessarily become mirror images of April, May and June and the misery they have carried. A 1-0 slider from Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza, sitting there, waiting. Read full article here.

Next: Washington Nationals: Offense Recovers In 7-4 Win Over Brewers

With Jonathan Papelbon back, Nats bullpen looking just fine, thanks

(Eddie Matz, ESPN)

WASHINGTON — With Jonathan Papelbon mended and missing bats, maybe the Washington Nationals don’t need bullpen help after all.

In Wednesday’s 7-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, Papelbon came on to work the ninth inning and promptly struck out the side. While that might not sound like a big deal for a big league closer, it is for Papelbon.

Over the past few seasons, the 35-year-old reliever’s average fastball velocity has fallen more dramatically than Manu Ginobili trying to draw a charge, from a high of 94.8 mph in 2011 to 90.8 this season. Read full article here.

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