Ryan Zimmerman is Mr. Walk-Off (and the numbers to prove it)

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Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t hit a ton of home runs. He has 189 for his career through age 30, which is good for 35th-most among active hitters and is tied for 345th-most all time.

But he sure makes them count. Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning last night to beat the Yankees and closer Andrew Miller, who hadn’t allowed a run this season.

And then, as has become the Nationals’ tradition, he got a bottle of chocolate syrup squeezed onto his head by Max Scherzer.

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It was the 10th walk-off homer of Zimmerman’s career, which ties for him 10th in baseball history (via MLB.com and SI.com):

Jim Thome        13
Babe Ruth        12
Jimmie Foxx      12
Mickey Mantle    12
Stan Musial      12
Frank Robinson   12
David Ortiz      11
Albert Pujols    11
Tony Perez       11
RYAN ZIMMERMAN   10
Eight Others     10

There are only nine players in MLB history with more walk-off homers than Zimmerman and all nine of them have at least 379 career homers. He has 189.

Suffice it to say that Zimmerman has earned his “Mr. Walk-Off” nickname.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.