On the one hand, there’s little reason to ask Ryan Zimmerman to play in the final two games of the Washington Nationals’ 2011 season while dealing with soreness in his hamstring. The Nats, of course, have long since been eliminated from playoff contention. On the other hand, it’s not as if Zimmerman would be risking long-term injury necessarily or jeopardizing his chances to be productive in 2012 by playing in the season finale Wednesday.
He’s already been scratched from Tuesday night’s game against Florida, and might not suit up again this season. My guess is that he’ll play on Wednesday if the Nationals win on Tuesday. The club is hot, having won 10 straight on the road, and with wins in their final two, Washington would finish above .500. Definitely something worth playing for.
Davey Johnson sounds like he’s open-minded about Wednesday, but would prefer to err on the side of caution with his third baseman.
“A pulled hamstring, it’s something that stays with you,” Johnson said. “What’s the stakes? I’d like to see him play. Obviously, he gives us a better chance. But it’s not worth the risk.”
Zimmerman isn’t ruling out playing though in the finale.
“If I feel good tomorrow, I’d like to play the last game,” Zimmerman said.
For the season, Zimmerman is batting .289/.355/.443 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in 440 plate appearances. He missed significant time in April, May and June recovering from an abdominal muscle injury.
First pitch between the Nationals and Marlins Tuesday night is scheduled for 7:10 pm EST in South Florida.