Zimmerman launches 470-foot homer

Ties longest hit this season; sets new Nationals Park record

April 29th, 2017

WASHINGTON -- admitted he does not like to talk about his current hot streak too much. He would prefer to keep everything the same, from his workout and pregame routine to his approach at the plate while attributing his success to the fact that he is healthy.

Zimmerman continued his torrid stretch at the plate despite Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Mets, where he went 3-for-4 and launched a 470-foot solo home run in the eighth inning. The homer tied Orioles third baseman Manny Machado for the longest in the Majors this season, as tracked by Statcast™. Zimmerman's homer is also the longest at Nationals Park in the Statcast™ era, surpassing a 461-foot blast hit by on April 18, 2015.

It was Zimmerman's fifth in the past six games and his 11th on the season. He is now tied with Brewers first baseman and early-season sensation for the most homers in the Majors.

"It's hard to describe," Zimmerman said about his feeling at the plate. "You don't want it to go away. Just keep doing the same stuff you been doing, keep doing your routine and your work and hope it somehow lasts for six months."

Zimmerman has matched his career high with 11 homers in a single month. He improved his overall hitting line to .410/.456/.892 and is leading the Majors in the three triple crown categories, batting average (.410), homers (11) and RBIs (27).

"It's fun to watch, obviously," right-hander said. "I think it's great to see a guy who's continued to work hard despite I feel like a lot people turn their backs when things aren't going well. He believes in himself and he put in the work. Biggest thing is he's healthy so I think the sky's the limit for him."

Zimmerman is also traditionally a slow starter during the season's first month, where he has posted the second worst OPS in his career of any month during the season. He attributed being able to have a full Spring Training uninhibited -- without rehabbing any injury and being able to play more often because of the new West Palm Beach, Fla., location -- for the first time in three years as a reason for his fast start.

And Zimmerman's resurgence after what was easily the worst season in his career is a large reason why the Nationals' offense began the day ranked at the top of the Majors. In 2016, he posted a career-low .642 OPS and was worth -0.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. He did not hit his 11th home run last season until June 30th.

Now, Zimmerman's OPS is 1.348 and he has already accumulated a 1.6 WAR.

"I really didn't have any expectations, because he couldn't be as bad as he was last year," Nats manager Dusty Baker said. "He was injured last year. He worked hard this winter. He had a full Spring Training, where last year he didn't. I had to really monitor his playing time, his at-bats.

"I don't have any expectations. I just want him to keep on rolling."