Ryan Zimmerman had taken his position at third base 1,119 previous times in the big leagues, so his trot from the Nationals dugout across the infield Monday evening should have been the epitome of routine.
This, however, wasn't like any of the previous occasions. This was the first time Zimmerman played third base since leaving his natural position for left field upon returning from the disabled list four weeks ago, a move necessitated by his longstanding shoulder woes. And so, this was no ordinary trot out to the hot corner.
"It was different," he said. "But I've played there quite a bit. I took some balls there the last week or so to get ready for it. It's obviously different than left field, but not too bad."
Not too bad, indeed. The Rockies hit only three balls to third base during Monday's game — one of them a routine pop-up — but Zimmerman handled them all flawlessly and even showed off some of the skills that earned him a Gold Glove award five years ago.