Cheeseburgers weren’t the only things creating a buzz at Nats Park on Tuesday.
It was the return of the prodigal son, as Ryan Zimmerman took the field after a 58-game absence, which included abdominal surgery and a stint in the minors.
He had to shake off some initial cobwebs, but his bat showed up when it was needed most.
After being down 6-1, a Zimmerman double scored Jayson Werth and started a rally that would end with the Nats winning 8-6. It was Zim’s only hit of the night, but it provided a moment of relief for fans and for teammates who have been struggling without their captain.
“I think it’s been a long, frustrating two months," Zimmerman told the Examiner before Tuesday’s game. “I’ve had to be patient. I think we went about it the right way, to make sure to kind of give myself some time to make sure I’m as close to 100 percent as I can be when I get back and still be effective and help these guys win without having to come up here and play a couple games and take the day off.”
If you don’t mind, we’ll be holding onto our celebration for a bit. The Nationals, who sit at the bottom of the division at 31-36, have a long way to go.
Manager Jim Riggleman, who was a little more reserved in his praise, seems to agree.
“I thought he had some good swings, some good takes. ... It’s been a while, it’s major league pitching, but just to come in and get comfortable, it’s big. I think as we go through, we’ll feel his impact in the lineup.”