Bill Ladson

Zimmerman understands why NLDS time was limited

Slugger, dealing with hamstring injury, proud of Nationals' season

Zimmerman understands why NLDS time was limited

WASHINGTON -- Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman didn't see much action in the National League Division Series against the Giants. He had four at-bats, all coming as a pinch-hitter.

It was expected that Zimmerman would be in the lineup in Game 3 against the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, but he started the game on the bench because of his history against the left-hander; he'd gone 3-for-17 (.176) with a home run and three RBIs.

However, Zimmerman acknowledged that he was not healthy enough to start and understood why he didn't see more action. He missed most of the second half of the season because of a Grade 3 strain to his right hamstring.

"I got some at-bats, but not too many at-bats with runners in scoring position. It's just kind of how the series went. It is what it is," Zimmerman said. "I was hurt enough not to play. If it was enough, I would have played. They would have found a place to put me, but this team was one of the best teams during the month of September, so it hard to mess with something like that. We didn't get enough hits to win. Unfortunately, that's what got us."

Zimmerman was disappointed that the Nationals were eliminated by the Giants, but feels the Nationals can hold their heads high.

"We did a lot of good things this year. We did a lot of things to be proud of," Zimmerman said. "We did a lot of things to learn from and build on. Hopefully, we'll get to be where we want to be next year.

"Winning the division two out of three years is pretty good. I think people shouldn't lose sight of that. It's not easy to win the postseason. Obviously, our goal is to win the World Series, but I think we have a lot to be proud of -- the amount of games we won in the last three years. Where we came from, I think the future is still very bright for this team."

Zimmerman expects the team to make some changes. He didn't say which changes, but he is likely to play first base next year, replacing Adam LaRoche.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.