Adam Eaton took two. Trea Turner one. Bryce Harper walked three times. Anthony Rendon, who walked more than he K’d in college (and in the majors in ‘17), walked once. Juan Soto walked three times, his 15th multi-walk game of his rookie campaign, the most by a teenager in MLB history. Wilmer Difo walked twice. Spencer Kieboom too.
That’s 14 total, which, as the Nationals noted on Twitter, set a franchise record, passing the previous high of 12 set in a September 2008 game against the San Diego Padres. The Nats also struck 11 times on Saturday, and went 4 for 11 with 13 left on base, but let’s stick with the positives since Washington went on to win, 7-1, over the Atlanta Braves.
First-year manager Davey Martinez, who’s preached patience at the plate and staying up the middle of the field all season, told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, that his players did a good job of taking what they were given and making the Braves pay for all the free passes.
“We talk about that all the time: Take our walks,” Martinez said.
“We’re pretty good when we take our walks. It seems like when we do that, we’re able to put the ball in play really hard. And they did that, we scored some runs.”
The Nationals also stole some bases, with Eaton taking one, and Soto stealing three (becoming the youngest player in the majors since 1900 to steal three in one game, besting the great Rickey Henderson, who stole three bases at 20 years and 241 days back on Aug. 23, 1979).
Wilmer Difo stole two as well, and Trea Turner had one stolen early in the game before he came off the bag and was tagged on a play that was upheld upon review.
The win left the Nationals 8-10 against the Braves this season with one more to play today.
They lost the season series to their NL East rivals, but they can at least take the final series of 2018 with a win in the rubber match today.