Washington Nationals: Takeaways From The Cardinals At Home

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Apr 12, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) reacts after grounding out against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Cardinals won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) reacts after grounding out against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Cardinals won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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RYAN ZIMMERMAN TURNS BACK THE CLOCK

Show of hands, how many of you thought Ryan Zimmerman’s role this year was keeping a bench spot warm? Come on, be honest.

Starting from the second-half of Spring Training, when he stopped grounding out every at-bat until now, he is on fire. Over the last seven games, Zimmerman has three doubles and two homers. Hitting .370 at a 10-for-27 clip, not only is his fifth spot in the lineup deserved, it is essential.

Whatever they found, it works. His launch angle is better. Zimmerman hits to all field. His defense has improved. He sees the ball better than he has in years. Although he does not draw walks, his OPS over the last seven days is 1.097. Those are All-Star numbers.

Watching him at the plate, you sense the joy and excitement that was missing last year. Zimmerman makes hard contact, but he hit lasers right at fielders last fall. This year, he splits gaps. With the injuries at short and the baffling bad start by Rendon, having Zimmerman play well is a bonus.

When his numbers come back to earth, Zimmerman can still be a productive player capable of power and production. This week he scored four times while driving in five.

Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, watching the Zimmerman of old is refreshing for us and him.

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