His 1 for 4 game against the Miami Marlins on Sunday left Anthony Rendon with a .227/.314/.313 line on the year after 38 games and 169 plate appearances.
Late in Sunday's series finale with the Fish, Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker put Daniel Murphy, who'd been a late scratch with an "illness", in to hit for Rendon against A.J. Ramos, prompting questions in Baker's post game interview about the decision.
"Rendon hadn't been really driving the ball yet," Baker explained, "and in that situation I was hoping that -- that guy Ramos, I mean, he's tough, I think right-handers are hitting .138 on the year and left-handers are hitting .148, so I went with [Murphy] there.
"You're going with a .400 hitter vs a guy right now that's hitting .220. And if [Murphy] gets a hit then I was trying to get Bryce to the plate."
Murphy sent out No. 3 of the ninth to center, stranding two in what ended up being a 5-1 loss to the Marlins.
Rendon went 7 for 25 (.280/.319/.360) with two doubles, six walks and eight Ks in seven games on the Nationals' homestand.
Baker was asked to assess what his third baseman has been struggling with at the plate, and the former major league slugger turned manager said he thinks the time Rendon missed last season when he struggled with knee and oblique injuries was still an issue.
"Rick Schu and Jacque [Jones] and him are constantly trying to find out what the problem is. And it's just that right now it seems like he's not catching up -- getting the bat head out front. And so, we know Anthony can hit, everybody knows that Anthony can hit, but when you miss as much time as he missed last year, he's got to find his groove again and we know Anthony's going to hit, big time."
Ben Revere is dealing with the same problem, Baker said, in discussing the struggles his leadoff man is experiencing since he returned from the oblique injury he suffered on Opening Day.
After missing 27 games at the start of the season, Revere (who's effectively in a second Spring Training right now) has gone 4 for 41 (.098/.156/.171) with a double, triple, three walks and five Ks in nine games.
"It’s the type of deal where it’s there, but just the rhythm and everything is offset," Revere told reporters, including MASN's Mark Zuckerman, after the game.
"I don’t know. My guess is that I need to still look at some film and look over some stuff, just keep on swinging, swinging and swinging."
Baker was asked if he can afford to wait, and have a leadoff man struggling to get on base like Revere is right now?
"He wasn't getting on before, you know what I mean?" Baker said, referring to the leadoff men he used before Revere returned.
"We've got to stick with Ben, because you're not going to find it sitting, and Ben has hit the some balls probably on the nose as much as anybody in our lineup."
Revere agreed that the contact he was getting was a good sign.
"That’s one thing, then going deep in the count (is another). The average doesn’t say I’m doing great on paper, but it’s going to come along."
"He's frustrated," Baker said. "We're frustrated, but he's more frustrated because he's hit some balls well and he hasn't had any holes. All he needs is a couple little cheap hits and then I'm sure -- and some more at bats and hopefully he can be a Met-killer like he's been the rest of his career."
"He's had some pretty good games there and so we know we've got some tough games coming up and we know we're going to need Ben especially because they're probably will be low-scoring games."