Who knew Anthony Rendon’s seventh inning grand slam, which put the Washington Nationals up 10-0, would ended up being the biggest hit of the game for the Nats when the Cincinnati Reds rallied with seven runs between the eighth and ninth to make a game of it.
Rendon’s slam was his second homer of the game and his 18th home run of the 2017 campaign, and the 27-year-old third baseman added a single late to finish the second game of four with the Reds in Great American Ball Park 3 for 3 with two walks, six RBIs and a .315/.420/.582 line on the year.
Rendon’s two walks were his 50th and 51st of the season, versus 48 strikeouts after 83 games and 348 plate appearances.
“Rendon had another great game,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the win.
“Daniel Murphy (2 for 4, 2 R) and Bryce Harper (2 for 5, 2 R) and all the guys chipped in as well, but that — you never knew that that grand slam was going to be the deciding run.
“You never know in this game, cause you know those guys don’t quit over there and they’ve got a real good offensive team. I was trying to rest some of my players and trying to rest my bullpen, I had to end up going to my bullpen anyway, so there are still a few things for us to figure out.”
Baker was asked if Rendon, who he considers one of the more underrated players in the majors, has exceeded even his expectation so far this season.
“No, not really,” Baker said. “I mean this guy has good a hands as anybody in baseball, offensively and defensively, and so Rendon is a dangerous man, and we like having him behind Murphy, because you know Murphy is going to be on a lot, and the hitters preceding Murphy are going to be on base a lot, so that’s a lot of opportunities for Anthony and we feel good. The middle of our order, they’ve all got 60 RBIs, they’re all hitting .300, and they’re carrying most of the weight on this team.”
The middle of the order will be without Ryan Zimmerman this afternoon, as the 32-year-old first baseman gets a planned day off.
Rendon, Murphy, and Harper are back in against the Reds, however, as the Nationals try to make it three straight in Great American Ball Park.