Ryan Zimmerman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Saturday due to a strained rib muscle. According to what Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, it’s possible he may not play again this season.
“We’re just going to be really conservative about when we put him back
out there. We’re just really concerned that — what I don’t want to have
happen is that he plays in a game, swings and hurts it, and now it’s a
month into the offseason that he’s got to rehab the injury. That’s not
the way you want a player going into the offseason — before he’s got to
get on track with what he’s got to do to get on track for next year,
first he’s got to rehab an injury. If we can avoid that, we will.”
Zimmerman, who turns 26 in three days, is batting .307/.388/.510 with 25 homers, 85 RBI and an 899 OPS this season. He’s often overlooked because of the team he plays for, but with his superb defense at third base, Zimmerman currently ranks second in the majors among position players in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) this season, according to Fangraphs. Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are busy making the headlines, but Zimmerman is certainly worthy of some MVP consideration, as well.
Prior to the fifth inning of Game 6 of the ALCS, Luis Severino was dealing. He tossed 53 pitches, 42 landing for strikes, 13 fanning three batters through four scoreless innings. Justin Verlander matched him at every turn, keeping the Yankees at bay with six strikeouts through five innings (including a filthy curveball to Todd Frazier that just looked ridiculous), but it’s the Yankees who are eligible to join rare company with a win later tonight. Should they overcome a three-run deficit to defeat the Astros, either with a Game 6 victory or a Game 7 tiebreaker tomorrow evening, they’ll be the sixth MLB team to dismantle two 100+ win opponents in the same postseason.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, these are the others:
Predictably, most of the teams were World Series champions: the 2004 Red Sox, 2003 Marlins and 1988 Dodgers. The 2001 Yankees were responsible for kicking the winningest team out of the postseason after taking down the 116-win Mariners, whose record hadn’t been replicated since the 116-36 Cubs in 1906. They pushed the World Series to seven games before dropping a 3-2 nail-biter to the Diamondbacks. The 1998 Padres were even unluckier after finding themselves on the wrong end of a four-game sweep by the Yankees.
It’s not looking particularly swell for the Yankees tonight. Severino was booted in the fifth inning after Brian McCann dented the right field wall with a ground-rule RBI double and Jose Altuve cleared the bases with a two-out, two-RBI line drive. Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius put runners on corners in the sixth, but Verlander refused to relent, inducing an inning-ending groundout to preserve the Astros’ three-run lead.
Houston currently leads 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth.