Nationals Arm Race

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Ryan Zimmerman; Mr. Walkoff


Zimmerman's 9th career walk-off homer couldn't have come at a better time.  Photo Greg Fiume via amazingavenue

Zimmerman’s 9th career walk-off homer couldn’t have come at a better time. Photo Greg Fiume via amazingavenue

Its been a little while since Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off home-run (about two years) but on Friday night 7/26/13 he delivered again, giving the Nats a second walk-off win in two days.

In his Washington career he’s had some memorable walk-off homers:

  • A 2-run walk-off against Chien-Ming Wang on Fathers Day 2006 against the Yankees, a game in which the team set its long-running regular season attendance record (only surpassed on Opening day 2013).
  • A 2-out, 2-strike come-from-behind homer against Florida on the 4th of July that same year.
  • Perhaps his most amazing walk-off homer; the game-winner in the Nats Stadium opener in April 2008, a leading candidate for “Best Nats game of all time.”

Zimmerman had accumulated no less than eight walk-off homers by the end of his 6th professional season in 2011, and he seemed a sure bet to shatter the all time MLB record for such events.  The long-standing record for career walk-offs was shared by this quintet of Hall-of-Famers at 12: Jimmy Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and Frank Robinson before one Jim Thome hit his 13th in June of 2012 to take over the career lead just before he retired.  Friday’s was Zimmerman’s 9th, and you’d have to think he remains a good bet to possibly take over the career lead before his career (which is seemingly only about half way done) is over.

The current active leader in walk-offs is another noteworthy name; David Ortiz connected for his 11th such walk-off homer on 6/6/13, as detailed by  Ortiz’ most noteworthy walk-off homers though are the post-season variety, not captured by these regular season records.

Zimmerman has had a 2 year walk-off drought; will we see another moment of magic later this year?

Written by Todd Boss

July 27th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

4 Responses to 'Ryan Zimmerman; Mr. Walkoff'

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  1. Nice summation on the Walk-off HR leaders. Interestingly enough all those who are in the “Dozen Walk-off HR” Club are Hall-of-Famers so far except Thome who isn’t eligible yet for induction.

    Ryan Zimmerman certainly has a great shot to join that club.

    Andrew Lang

    27 Jul 13 at 11:41 pm

  2. The listed names are all HoFamers for sure, and I think Thome is going to join them. Maybe not first ballot, but I think he gets there.

    Zimmerman as a hall of famer. Hmm. So far I just don’t see it. 31 career war thus far, which probably doesn’t double by the time he’s done. But that’s still a lot of war. Problem is, Zimmerman has gotten zero MVP love yet by virtue of playing for bad Nats teams all these years. And, when the team does do well in the future, its going to be Harper that gets the MVP votes from Nats players. His injuries have prevented him from making all-star teams, and from consideration for GG and SS awards. He may end up in the Hall of Very Good.

    Todd Boss

    28 Jul 13 at 8:34 am

  3. I was wondering that night what the record numbers were and had no idea where to find it. Thanks, Todd.
    This one of those ultimate clutch statistics.
    The one statistic that isn’t shown enough is average with runners in scoring position, a very important statistic.
    It can’t surprise people that the St. Louis Cardinals average in these is 130+ points better than the Nats.

    Mark L

    28 Jul 13 at 10:15 am

  4. Careful to use “clutch” and “baseball statistic” in the same sentence; you don’t want some Sabrematrician calling you an idiot :-)

    Todd Boss

    28 Jul 13 at 10:46 am

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