Ryan Zimmerman has been a member of the Washington Nationals for his entire career. He emerged as a franchise cornerstone, fell off a cliff, and then suddenly resurfaced as a star once more this season. Now, he is beginning his assault on the franchise record books. The first baseman hit two home runs against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night, moving into a tie for first place in one very important statistic in all-time franchise history.

Zimmerman launches a pair

In the first inning, the Nationals were already sporting a 1-0 lead when Zimmerman came to the plate.

A fielder's choice ensured that there were no runners on base, but the first baseman was undeterred. He blasted a homer to left-center field, increasing the team's lead to 2-0. Daniel Murphy made it back-to-back homers during the very next at-bat, setting the team up for success for the remainder of the night.

The star first baseman had more to offer up, however. Five innings later, he came to the plate in a completely different game scenario. Despite scoring a run in the inning, his team trailed by a run, 5-4. His home run skills were needed to give the team a boost. Zimmerman came through, belting a two-run shot to left center field, scoring Bryce Harper and putting his team up 6-5. The Nationals would go on to win the game 10-5, with Zimmerman recording another hit and scoring another run during the contest.

Making Nationals history

With his second home run on the night, Zimmerman made some team history - well, matched some team history. He now has 234 home runs, which is the same amount Vladimir Guerrero had when he played for the Montreal Expos, a team he departed just prior to their move to the United States.

Guerrero held the lead for most homers in franchise history for the last 14 years. Because of a weird quirk, however, Zimmerman won't become Washington's home run leader until he reaches 238 home runs - Frank Howard hit 237 as a member of the Senators.

Zimmerman's huge season came out of nowhere. He was worth a negative amount of Wins Above Replacement (WAR) last year for the first time in his career, hitting .218 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs.

He's already surpassed last year's home run and RBI total, hitting .372 in the process. He currently leads the National League in batting average, home runs, OPS, and slugging percentage. His MVP-caliber season is also a big reason why the Nationals have a huge lead in the NL East