Through his first ten games this season, Michael A. Taylor was 6 for 41 (.146/.163/.220) with one home run, a walk and 12 Ks in 43 plate appearances. Over the last nine games, that's up a bit.
Taylor is 9 for 36 (.250/.308/.472) with two doubles, two home runs, three walks and 14 Ks over his last 39 PAs, with last night's 1 for 4 performance in the series opener with the St. Louis Cardinals leaving him with a .195/.232/.338 line on the year.
Taylor's leadoff home run in the first snapped a streak of 22-straight scoreless innings for the Nationals as a team, taking the pressure to score off his teammates shoulders just three pitches into the game.
Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker talked after what ended up a 5-4 win about liking what he's seen from the 25-year-old center fielder recently.
"He hit the ball hard three times tonight," Baker said. "He stayed off some tough pitches, some pitches that he was chasing before.
"That's the secret to hitting, getting a good pitch to hit and squaring it up and after that it's really out of your control, but it's nice when he can start us off 1-0 in the first inning."
In addition to Taylor's blast, the Nationals got an RBI single by Daniel Murphy, a sac fly by Jayson Werth and a two-run home run by Danny Espinosa.
Murphy's been hitting from the start this season, but the production from Werth and Espinosa definitely helped, with Espinosa's blast providing the margin of victory in the end.
"It's good to see some other guys coming through," Baker said, "and sometimes you've just got to be patient and wait on them. It's hard because everybody wants you to panic, but there's no panic around here."
Baker is sending the same lineup out there this afternoon for the second game of the three-game set in St. Louis: