By the time the shadows had receded and Ryan Zimmerman could finally see the ball yesterday afternoon, the Nationals already trailed by six runs. He came to the plate against Lance Lynn in the fifth with the Nationals all but dead, and the face of the franchise revived them as much as he could.

The 98-win Nationals still have the same best player as they did when they were the 59-win Nationals, and on Monday, even in a rout, Zimmerman played like it. He clobbered the first home run in Nationals playoff history off Lynn, a rocket into the bullpen beyond the left field fence.

Zimmerman finished Game 2 going 2 for 4 with a sacrifice fly. He smoked the ball in all three at-bats that came after the third inning, after the sun stopped making it hell to even see pitches. After a maiden playoff game that felt tense, Zimmerman had settled into his usual rhythm Monday.

"Today was definitely a lot less hectic," Zimmerman said. "I think once you get into the groove a little bit — it's definitely a different feeling the first day. It's different. To play a couple games, get those under our belt, kind of get a lot of firsts out of the way, I felt a lot more comfortable today than I did yesterday."