Quick Links

Zimmerman gets another cortisone shot, offseason surgery likely

889969.png

Zimmerman gets another cortisone shot, offseason surgery likely

Upon receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder on June 24, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman acknowledged he might need another one (or more) before season's end.

Nearly three months later, the time finally came.

Zimmerman received a shot prior to today's doubleheader against the Dodgers, a step taken after a recent recurrence of discomfort in the shoulder, and one designed to allow him to finish the season before he's likely to require arthroscopic surgery.

The Nationals said the discomfort Zimmerman has been feeling isn't as severe as it was in June, when he got his last shot prior to the club's series finale in Baltimore.

"I think the difference between this one and the one in Baltimore is that he wants the cortisone shot now, because he's feeling it a little bit," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "In Baltimore, he needed the cortisone shot to perform up to his standards. That's the big difference."

Zimmerman has been dealing with the injury -- diagnosed as a sprained AC joint in his shoulder -- since April, and he's now received four shots over the course of the year. The first two didn't make much difference, but the one he received on June 24 turned his season around. In 55 games prior to that date, he hit .218 with three homers, 22 RBI and a .590 OPS. In 75 games since that shot, he's hit .332 with 19 homers, 62 RBI and a .994 OPS.

Zimmerman's production hasn't dropped much at all in recent weeks -- he's hitting .298 with five homers in September -- but the discomfort was recurring enough to convince him to take this step.

"He's playing great as far as I'm concerned," manager Davey Johnson said. "But the results from the last time he did it were so good, and he felt so much better."

Both Johnson and Rizzo confirmed what has been suspected for some time: Zimmerman will likely need arthroscopic surgery to clean up the shoulder during the offseason. That procedure would be considered minor, and Zimmerman would be fully healed well before the start of spring training.

"I think it's something that's been discussed a couple times from three months ago, and we even discussed it a little bit last night," Johnson said. "It's something that will definitely be seriously considered."

Quick Links

Bryce Harper returns to lineup as the Nationals host the Marlins

Bryce Harper returns to lineup as the Nationals host the Marlins

Nats (93-66) vs. Miami Marlins (78-80) at Nationals Park

At long last, we've reached the final series of the regular season. The Nationals will host the Miami Marlins in a weekend set that will likely determine playoff seeding. Washington's magic number to clinch home-field advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division series is two, so a win and a Los Angeles loss could sew it up on Friday night.

Seeding aside, the biggest development heading into this game is the return of Bryce Harper, who's back in the lineup after missing four games with a thumb injury. Prior to the injury, Harper had hits in five out of his previous seven games. The Nats have to hope he can pick up where he left off.   

Right hander A.J. Cole, who is currently appealing his five-game suspension as a result of Sunday’s brouhaha with the Pittsburgh Pirates, will get the start tonight. The 24-year-old is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA. He’ll be opposed by the Marlins Andrew Cashner (5-11, 5.13 ERA).

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - A.J. Cole vs. Miami Marlins - Andrew Cashner

NATS 

CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
2B Stephen Drew
1B Clint Robinson
SS Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RHP A.J. Cole

MARLINS

TBA

Quick Links

Max Scherzer argues Metro should stay open later for Nats playoffs

Max Scherzer argues Metro should stay open later for Nats playoffs

The Nationals are back in the postseason, which means it's time once again to revisit D.C. Metro's policy about staying open late.

As of now, it is not in the plans for Metro to remain operative beyond their usual 12 a.m. cutoff. And, with games that often run late and past midnight, that could leave many fans at Nationals Park for playoff games with a choice between leaving early or getting stranded.

Scherzer joined Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan on Friday and spoke out on the matter:

“God, I would hope to believe that playoff games here in D.C. would mean more than shutting down the lines for a couple hours,” Scherzer said.

“I mean, isn’t it a supply and demand issue? We have a supply of people that demand to use the line to go the park. Why wouldn’t you want to meet that?”

Scherzer went on to suggest a movement on Twitter to convince Metro to make an exception.

“You need to get like a hashtag going and like keep the metro line open, and try to get some peer pressure through social media that way."

Metro responded to calls for staying open late by arguing it would be a "slippery slope" and lead to other requests throughout the year. They are holding strong on it, too, as they have in the past. In 2012, the company Living Social paid to keep Metro open later. And in 2014, American University did the same. The price to keep Metro open is around $30,000 an hour.

It may take another company to step up like that to ensure Nats fans won't be left out in the cold.

[RELATED: Wilson Ramos hopes to be back with Nationals]

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE NATIONALS STORIES