Pat Neshek replaced Tommy Hunter on the mound in the ninth inning of last night’s game after Hunter walked Bryce Harper in what was a 3-2 game in the Phillies’ favor at that time.
Neshek got up 0-2 on Anthony Rendon quickly in the next at bat, starting the third baseman off with back-to-back sliders, then threw one up and away before hanging another breaking ball over the middle of the plate that Rendon launched to left field for a go-ahead home run in what ended up a 5-4 win for Washington in the second of three in Citizens Bank Park.
MASN’s Dan Kolko asked Rendon about his approach against the side-winding right-hander after he fell behind 0-2 to Neshek.
“Just try to see the ball as deep as possible and try to get ready early and make sure you’re not late and just try to put a good swing on a ball you can hit,” Rendon said.
“Great at bat,’ Davey Martinez said after the win.
“And really, a testament to these guys is that they stay in the at bats, they really do, and if we can do that for the next five weeks we’ll be in good shape, cause we’ve got an explosive lineup. We do.”
Ryan Zimmerman exploded for a career-best three doubles in a 3 for 4 game, with the third of three doubles, which came one out after Rendon’s two-run home run, leading to the first baseman’s second run scored, which ended up being the winning run when the home team scored one in the bottom of the ninth.
“It’s amazing,” Rendon said when asked about what’s Zimmerman’s been able to do while he’s been swinging it over the last few weeks (24 for 73, .329/.405/.699, nine doubles and six home runs in 22 games in August).
“He has the opportunity to hit the ball hard every single time,” Rendon said, “and especially when he’s locked in you think he’s going to hit the ball every single time, not just have that chance to, so it’s fun just to be a part of the lineup with him.”
Both Zimmerman and Rendon are back in the lineup tonight for the series finale with the Phillies... and apparently Bryce Harper is getting a night off.
HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE 3RD OF 3 IN CITIZENS BANK PARK:
#Nats at #Phillies 3 of 3 in CBP (Bryce Harper getting a night off): Eaton - RF; Turner - SS; Rendon - 3B; Soto - LF; Zim - 1B; Wieters - C; #DifOBP - 2B; MAT - CF; Gio - LHP— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 29, 2018