Sports Outside the Beltway

Ryan Zimmerman hits successfully for the 27th straight game

The hitting streak by the Washington National 3rd baseman marks the longest by a player at that position since a 28 game streak by Wade Boggs in 1985. From AP-

Ryan Zimmerman homered to extended his hitting streak to 27 games. Adam Dunn hit one out of the park for the second night in a row.

And the Arizona Diamondbacks squandered one opportunity after another.

The play that everyone was talking about after Washington’s 2-1 victory over Arizona Saturday night, though, was made by Nationals right fielder Austin Kearns and catcher Jesus Flores.

“Unbelievable,” Washington starter John Lannan said. “I’ve never seen that happen before.”

With the Nationals leading 1-0 and the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning, Arizona’s Josh Whitesell lined what looked like a base hit just in front of Kearns. Felipe Lopez, the runner at third, had to hold close to the base in case the ball was caught, and Kearns rifled a throw home.

Flores stretched out like a first baseman to make the grab for the force out.

“That was the play of the game, actually,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “It was just a tremendous play.”

I have seen a similar play in high school ball but can’t remember one at the MLB level.

Zimmerman remains one of the few assets the Nationals have. He is hitting .338 for the year and has 6 homeruns for the season so far. Washington in spite of winning 5 of their last six, are 10-18 for the season so far. I expect the Nationals to lose 95 or more games this year.

Yesterday’s game marked the 2nd time AJ Hinch was the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was appointed to replace the fired Bob Melvin.

After firing Bob Melvin, the Arizona Diamondbacks have turned their fortunes over to a 34-year-old former catcher with no experience as a manager.

A.J. Hinch was introduced as Melvin’s replacement as manager Friday at a news conference, where general manager Josh Byrnes acknowledged the hiring was “unconventional.”

“He brings unique leadership and perspective to the job,” Byrnes said. “We’re not here to reinvent the wheel, but to change the nature of the job a little bit? OK, we’ll do that. A.J.’s a leader. He connects with people. He gets things done.”

Hinch, who has a degree in psychology from Stanford, was in his fourth season as the Diamondbacks’ director of player development. He becomes the youngest manager in the majors since Eric Wedge was hired by Cleveland in October of 2002.

So how is the unconventional hiree doing? Arizona is 0-2 since giving Melvin. So much for fast turnarounds. I only expect Arizona to be moderately more successful this year than Washington is.

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