This was Ryan Zimmerman on Monday night.
It’s not a facial expression Zimmerman typically makes, in my experience.
Here’s another view, one that’s arguably less flattering to the third baseman/left fielder.
What is going on here? Well, friends, that’s a long story, one involving a missing Zimmermitt, a tumbling teammate, two bats, a ball, a helmet, a ceremonial wash, and many many screenshots.
This happened in the seventh inning, which you might have figured out by that “7” above. There were zero outs (Ibid). Ryan Zimmerman was on second base, although for some reason he had not applied his signature Zimmermitt. Then Wilson Ramos singled. Kilgore:
When Ramos drilled a single to right, third base coach Bobby Henley windmilled Zimmerman home, which may or may not be the only action his right arm is capable of. Zimmerman tumbled to the dish as catcher Wilin Rosario muffed the tag.
“Tumbled” is one word for what Zimmerman did. Other words: dove, plunged, crashed, lunged, pounced, leaped, made like a toddler toppling down one of those moon bounce slide things.
He touched the plate, in an explosion of helmet, ball, tag and bat.
What happened next had all the grace of garbage can being thrown off the side of the Aggro Crag.
“It felt like I fell off a motorcycle,” Zimmerman said.
To skip ahead a bit, he was ruled safe. “After all those replays, how about the slide?” F.P. Santangelo eventually said. “My goodness, what a great slide by Ryan Zimmerman.”
But before that, the slide had transformed into a floor routine, and so Zimmerman rolled. And kept rolling. Golf balls on the greens at Bethpage Black don’t roll like this.
And so the slide turned into something resembling a game of bowling. Zimmerman was the bowling ball. Danny Espinosa was the pesky 7 pin, armed only with one flailing palm, a feather waved in front of the roaring 16-pound sphere of urethane.
Zimmerman picked up the spare. Pretty comfortably, really.
Good-bye, Espinosa’s body. We enjoyed having you as part of this entry. Now you are gone.
“Watch him hit Espinosa,” F.P. Santangelo said, as replays showed the collision, each one as entertaining as the last. “Just tumbling into Danny Espinosa,” Santangelo continued. “That play was awkward in every way.”
By the way, have you thought at all how much easier this post would have been had Washington Post lawyers not decided that we can’t use Vines and Gifs to illustrate entertaining sporting sequences? If you’d like, you can print out all of these screengrabs and make your own flip book. It’s a new-wave Gif. Get ahead of the curve. Everyone will be doing it soon.
So anyhow, the pitcher tagged Zimmerman again, just in case. I know that look. It’s the look you give the woman at the lost-and-found counter, when you’ve gone back for the fifth time to ask about your missing laptop, the one with priceless notes that can’t possibly be replaced, and you ask if they’ve maybe found it, even though you surely realize that it’s long gone, and that the woman will inevitably shrug her shoulders and grimace and maybe make the safe sign once again, if a bit apologetically this time.
The runner remained safe.
Then Zimmerman stuck out his tongue, expunging dirt and grime and the previous few moments of delicious anarchy.
And then he washed that collective muck off his body, using a paper cup.