“It’s just a baseball game,” Ryan Zimmerman said before he made his first career start in left field on Tuesday against the Phillies. “I’m just a little further out.”
The Nationals’ longtime third baseman was technically correct. It was just a baseball game, Zimmerman’s first in the majors since he broke his thumb on April 12. But after all the buildup to Zimmerman’s move to the outfield and the beginning of a new chapter in his career, after all the blog posts wondering how Zimmerman would adjust to his new spot, Tuesday’s 7-0 win felt and looked like something more.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 3, 2014
During his weekly appearance with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday, Nationals manager Matt Williams said the pregame media scrum at Nationals Park resembled the type of crowd he’d expect before Game 7 of the World Series. F.P. Santangelo agreed.
— F.P. Santangelo (@FightinHydrant) June 3, 2014
Zimmerman gets a big applause when announced as starting left fielder. Very strange to see him run out there. #Nats
— Chase Hughes (@chasehughesCSN) June 3, 2014
Ryan Zimmerman gets a standing ovation as he steps into the batter’s box for his first at-bat off the DL.
— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 3, 2014
Zimmerman received a standing ovation before his first at-bat and teammates left a ball in his locker after the game that read, “First hit, 6-3-14.” This wasn’t “just a baseball game.” Zimmerman handled his two chances in left field without incident, or we’d really have something to talk about today.