Ryan Zimmerman and the Curse of the Goose

by Richard M. Langworth on 2 August 2014

Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zim­mer­man

On June 23rd Wash­ing­ton Nation­als star third base­man Ryan Zim­mer­man went out with a ham­string injury that may side­line him for the rest of the sea­son. The effect on the team’s play was aston­ish­ing. At the close of play on August 1st the com­pa­ra­ble W-L sta­tis­tics were:

With­out Zim (first time): 21-24, .467 (equates to 76-84)
With Zim: 34-19, .642 (equates to 104-58)
With­out Zim (since 7/23): 3-6 .333 (equates to 53-109)

Mark Zuck­er­man of Nats Insider wrote on July 23 that from June 30th when they all came together, the Nation­als were the National League’s most pro­duc­tive team. “That was in no small part due to Zim­mer­man, who since that date was hit­ting .387 with a 1.050 OPS.

“Now, there are other fac­tors in that equa­tion. Zimmerman’s time in the lineup has coin­cided with gen­er­ally good health across the board for the Nation­als. But to think this team can con­tinue to play at this impres­sive pace with­out one of its key stars would be foolish.”

Well, since Zuck wrote that the Nation­als have zucked—and that’s WITH the rest of the team healthy, and our lead-off guy on a roll.

Is it true? Can one man make that much dif­fer­ence? Are we a dif­fer­ent team with Zim out, afford­ing less “pro­tec­tion,” invit­ing pitch­ers to han­dle the lineup dif­fer­ently? Have we any­one to sub for Adam at 1B who can really hit?

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Goose Goslin

*Curse of the Goose: Back in the days when they were peren­nial con­tenders, the Wash­ing­ton Sen­a­tors fell off when they traded Goose Goslin—and won another pen­nant when they got him back.

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