Ryan Zimmerman: Still Mr. Walkoff after all these years
by Amanda Comak
Ryan Zimmerman is used to this by now. Ninth inning, 10th inning, game on the line, standing at home plate. He’s used to hearing his bat crack, watching the flight of the ball, moving his way toward first base, thrusting that right arm in the air. He’s used to flipping his helmet away and diving into a pile of waiting, happy teammates.
He’s used to it, because, quite frankly, since he hit his first walk-off home run on June 18, 2006 — in the 88th game of his career — no one in the Major Leagues has done it more.
Zimmerman’s latest walk-off home run, a two-run shot that clanked off the right field foul pole and into the home team’s bullpen at Nationals Park on Tuesday night, was the 10th of the first baseman’s career. Ten. Some players — good players — go entire careers without hitting one. Zimmerman has hit 10.
“Pretty special, isn’t it?” Nationals Manager Matt Williams said after Tuesday’s game. “You don’t realize things like that until it’s pointed out. It just means he knows what he’s doing.”
Zimmerman is now in some heady company. The most walk-off home runs hit in National League history? He’s third on a list that starts with Stan Musial (12) and Tony Perez (11), and tied on that list with Mike Schmidt (10), Albert Pujols (10), and Barry Bonds (10). Among active players, only Pujols (11) and David Ortiz (11) have hit more walk-off home runs in their careers than Zimmerman. Pujols is in his 15th season. Ortiz is in his 19th.
So, as this is the Nationals’ 10th-Anniversary season, let’s take a walk down memory lane and check out each and every one of Zimmerman’s 10 walk-offs.
May 19, 2015 — Nationals vs. Yankees, tied 6-6, bottom of the 10th vs. LHP Andrew Miller:
July 26, 2013 — Nationals vs. Mets, tied 1-1, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP LaTroy Hawkins:
August 19, 2011 — Nationals vs. Phillies, tied 4-4, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Ryan Madson (walk-off Grand Slam):
July 31, 2010 — Nationals vs. Phillies, behind 4-5, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Brad Lidge:
July 6, 2010 — Nationals vs. Padres, tied 5-5, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Luke Gregerson:
September 6, 2009 — Nationals vs. Marlins, behind 3-4, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo:
May 12, 2007 — Nationals vs. Marlins, tied 3-3, bottom of the ninth vs. Jorge Julio (walk-off Grand Slam):
July 4, 2006 — Nationals vs. Marlins, down 3-4, bottom of the ninth vs. Joe Borowski:
June 18, 2006 — Nationals vs. Yankees, down 1-2, bottom of the ninth vs. Chien-Ming Wang: