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Jerry Hairston and others filled in admirably while Ryan Zimmerman was on the DL.
"We're going to continue to play without Ryan," the Nationals general manager said. "He's a huge part of our ballclub, but we're going to have to find ways to win games without him."
Six weeks later, Zimmerman is on the verge of returning to the Nationals lineup. After playing in five rehab games at three different levels of the club's farm system, the third baseman is expected to be activated off the disabled list before Tuesday's game against the Cardinals, the start of a nine-game homestand.
Somehow, some way, the Nationals have managed to win their fair share of games in his absence, going 27-31 since the day he suffered the muscle tear sliding into second base at New York's Citi Field.
A .466 winning percentage may not be anything to crow about, but for a Nationals club that boasts one of the sport's least-productive lineups,