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Ryan Zimmerman's clutch home run was a familiar sight for a former Braves pitcher

Ryan Zimmerman's clutch home run was a familiar sight for a former Braves pitcher

In Game 4 of the NLDS between the Dodgers and Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman delivered yet another big hit in what's been an illustrious career.

Launching a three-run shot off Pedro Baez in the bottom of the fifth, Zimmerman gave the Nationals a 5-1 lead and sent the ballpark into a frenzy.

The heroics of the longtime franchise player is nothing new, and his latest big moment seemed familiar to other points in his career for those who have followed along.

In addition, a former opponent of Zimmerman's felt like he'd seen something like that before as well. Peter Moylan, a former pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, was on the mound on March 30, 2008, when the Nationals played their first game in their new home park. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Moylan surrendered a solo shot off the bat of Zimmerman to give Washington a 3-2 walk-off win.

An electric moment, Moylan knew that what he had just witnessed in 2019 looked a lot like what he saw 11 years ago.

More than a decade later, pitchers are still getting Zimmerman'd.

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New Mets manager Luis Rojas has several ties to the Nationals' organization

New Mets manager Luis Rojas has several ties to the Nationals' organization

The New York Mets formally announced Luis Rojas as their new manager on Friday, and the 38-year-old has several ties to the Nationals franchise.

Rojas is the son of Felipe Alou, who managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 through 2001. Alou's 692 wins with the club are the most in Expos/Nationals history.

Alou was a long-time minor-league manager before he was given the Expos job at age 57. While Rojas is getting his first big-league managerial job at age 38, he credited his father for much of what he knows.

"My father has been my college, my university of baseball," Rojas said during his introductory press conference. "He's helped me a lot throughout this process and before the process. When I was growing up, I grew up in a Big League clubhouse when he was the manager. I got to see a lot of things, the way he operated, collaborated with staff, he also interacted with his players. I was grateful to see that.

"[He] taught me the game of baseball," Rojas continued. "He taught me the game of baseball and life, and helped me balance it throughout this journey. He was my example to follow the whole time. Still will be."

The new Mets skipper's half-brother, Moises Alou, played under his father Felipe for the Expos for six seasons. Moises was a two-time All-Star with the Expos and finished third in MVP voting in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Moises was unable to attend Friday's press conference, but Rojas thanked him for all his help, too.

"To my brother Moises, you were very impactful in my career," Rojas said. "Our discussions led to great ideas. That's helped me a lot throughout my career."

As a player, Rojas spent five years in the Nationals' system. But after his playing career ended, he was hired by the Mets as a coach for the Dominican Summer League Mets. Rojas, a Dominican native, worked his way up through the Mets organization.

In 2011, he got his first managerial experience with the Gulf Coast League Mets. Rojas joined the Big League staff as a quality coach in 2019, his first experience with the parent club. With the dismissal of manager Carlos Beltran following the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, Rojas was promoted to manager of the Mets.

"This is a dream come true," Rojas said. "To become the New York Mets manager, that was my dream."

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Source: Nationals have minor-league deal with catcher Welington Castillo

Source: Nationals have minor-league deal with catcher Welington Castillo

The Nationals have agreed to a minor-league deal, which includes an invitation to major-league spring training, with veteran catcher Welington Castillo, according to a source.

Castillo, 32, gives the Nationals a fallback option if Yan Gomes or Kurt Suzuki are injured. The team also typically likes to have three veteran catchers at Spring Training.

Castillo played the last two years for the Chicago White Sox after hitting 20 home runs in 2017 for Baltimore. His time in Chicago did not go well. He produced a .710 and .684 OPS in his two seasons, respectively. Overall, Castillo has played 10 major-league seasons, showing good power for the position but a poor batting average at each stop.

Major League Baseball suspended Castillo for 80 games in 2018 after he tested positive for Erythropoietin, a steroid listed on the league's banned substance list. He returned to game action later that season and hasn't failed a drug test since.

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