Zimmerman blasts way to Player of the Week
Nats third baseman's stretch included 12 hits, walk-off grand slam
WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was named the National League's Player of the Week on Monday, a designation he shared with Padres catcher Nick Hundley.
Zimmerman, who also won the weekly award on Aug. 6, 2007, will receive a watch, courtesy of Game Time, in recognition of his achievements.
The 26-year-old played in six games last week, ranking in the NL's top five in home runs (three), RBIs (seven) and total bases (23). He went 12-for-24 (.500) to raise his batting average to .312.
"Anytime you win anything in this league, it's special," Zimmerman said. "With the amount of talent, the great players who play every day, anytime you get recognized, it's a huge honor.
"The last two weeks or so is one of the best [stretches] that I've had as far as having good at-bats and driving in runs to help the team win."
Winning the award also proves that Zimmerman has fully recovered from his abdominal injury, which forced him to miss 58 games. Zimmerman acknowledged that when he was activated from the disabled list on June 14th, he couldn't do his daily routine before games and didn't have a full range of motion while playing third base.
"I've been able to do my regular routine," Zimmerman said. "That's the biggest deal. I was able to come back. But I knew it was going to be tough coming back the first two, three, four weeks, whatever it was. But I was so excited to get back on the field and be with the guys. It was worth it."
On Friday, the Nationals were happy Zimmerman was fully recovered. He hit a walk-off grand slam to earn an 8-4 victory over the Phillies -- his eighth career game-ending homer, the most in the Majors by any player since his Sept. 2005, Major League debut.
Zimmerman has reached base safely in 27 consecutive games -- a run that includes all six games last week -- and is hitting .413 in that span.
In Sunday's game against the Phillies at Nationals Park, Zimmerman led off the 10th inning with a double and eventually scored the decisive run in Washington's 5-4 victory.
"It's just good to be back and be able to try and be myself again," Zimmerman said.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.