Looking to boost average, Ryan Zimmerman hits ball twice ... in one swing
Ryan Zimmerman has built a pretty successful Major League career hitting a baseball the boring, old-fashioned way -- once per swing. Off to a slow start this season, Zimmerman tried a new tactic -- albeit unintentionally -- during the Nationals' 4-1 win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon.
With the Nats holding a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning, Zimmerman took a cut at an inside changeup from reliever Dustin McGowan. The ball first struck his bat down near the handle, then somehow connected again near the end of the barrel before shooting back up the middle and into center field for an RBI single.
Zimmerman didn't feel the oddity occur at the time, only realizing what happened when he watched the at-bat on video after the game.
"At this point I don't really care how I get hits," said Zimmerman, who entered Sunday batting .156 this season. "I'll hit it three times if I have to."
That's what Giants outfielder Hunter Pence famously did in Game 7 of the 2012 National League Championship Series against the Cardinals. Pence, no stranger to weird plays, connected thrice with a Kyle Lohse two-seamer with the bases loaded. That also resulted in a hit up the middle, as Pence was credited with a two-run double, while a third run scored on an error.
Like with Pence, Zimmerman's bat broke on contact, which might have contributed to the double-strike. Alas, also like Pence, Zimmerman only gets credit for one hit on the play.