Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen. By Wednesday afternoon, he was already back to working out.
According to Ben Goessling of MASN, the 26-year-old was able to walk a mile on treadmill Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The mile took 30 minutes to complete, but the workout represents a sure sign that Zimmerman’s surgery went well and that he is on track for a projected mid-June return to the major leagues.
“I’ve learned you never cancel out either being early or being late,” Zimmerman told MASN. “The human body’s a weird thing – longer, shorter, you never know. But the doctors said everything looked good and hopefully we’ll be right at that mark.”
Zimmerman was batting .357/.486/.536 with one home run and four RBI over his first 37 plate appearances before suffering an abdominal strain in an early-April game against the Mets.
HardballTalk’s own Matthew Pouliot took a look last week at how Zimmerman’s absence will affect the Nationals both offensively and defensively. The conclusion? It’s not pretty.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.