Pedro Severino connected for his first home run of the 2018 campaign during the July 3rd game with the Boston Red Sox, hitting a 1-0 fastball from right-hander Heath Hembree out to center in Nationals Park. He talked after the game about starting to feel better about his swing, and starting to see things better at the plate.
“The day before I didn’t get hits,” Severino said, “... but I got good swings on the ball, so I’m just starting to feel better and starting to see the ball good.”
He was just 4 for 35 in the last 13 games heading into last night’s matchup with the Miami Marlins, though three of the hits were extra base knocks, with two doubles (his 8th and 9th of the season) and the home run.
Severino was 0 for 2 against Marlin’s lefty Wei-Yin Chen to start last night’s game, but going up against Fish righty Elieser Hernandez in his third at bat, the 24-year-old catcher got hold of a 1-1 fastball and hit a three-run shot to left on a line as part of the Nats’ seven-run inning in what ended up an 18-4 win.
It got lost in all the offense (with Mark Reynolds’ 5 for 5, 10 RBI game outshining just about everything that happened last night), but Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said he liked seeing Severino starting to hit the ball well when he was asked catcher’s work at the plate over the last few weeks, though he reiterated his belief that his main concern is what goes on behind it when it comes to his young backstop.
“He’s swinging the bat better,” Martinez said, “and like I’ve said, more importantly for me it’s his game-calling, and the way he handles the pitching staff and stuff, that’s more important to me, but I’m glad to see that his bat is coming around, and he’s working really hard with [Hitting Coach Kevin] Long trying to shorten his swing a little bit and just getting on top of the ball and hitting line drives. He missed a couple of balls yesterday too, I mean his swings yesterday were really good.”
Severino also celebrated the home run with a world-class bat flip:
When you know, you know, ya know? pic.twitter.com/LiVuvdf8aM— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 8, 2018
Martinez said he was not a big fan of the bat flip, however.
“I didn’t like that, no,” the first-year skipper explained.
“We talked about that too. I’m not a big fan of that. I get these guys that hit a lot of home runs, whatever, but when you have two? The bat flip doesn’t play.
“And he knows about that now.”