Max Scherzer, deservedly, got all the headlines last night, but it was Anthony Rendon who once again sparked the Washington Nationals’ offense with a three-run blast in his first at bat. With the home run, the 28-year-old third baseman extended his career-best on-base streak to 33-straight games going back to August 21st.
In that stretch, Rendon has now put up a .369/.454/.662 line with 14 doubles, eight home runs, 18 walks, and 15 Ks in 152 plate appearances, taking him from an already-impressive .292/.350/.499 line to .312/.378/.540 on the season after last night’s win over the Miami Marlins.
In 15 fewer games and 25 fewer plate appearances than he made in 2017, after he missed 19 games on the DL with an injury to his foot earlier this season, Rendon has topped his own personal single season mark for doubles, set last season, with 43, and he’s one home run shy of last year’s total of 25, also a personal best. He was asked yesterday if he was proud that he’s been able to produce the sort of numbers he’s put up before in spite of missing time with the injury.
“I wouldn’t say proud,” Rendon said, “that’s a real boastful word to say.”
In typical Rendon fashion, the 2011 1st Round pick downplayed his own accomplishments and suggested that it’s mostly luck that’s led to his recent run of success.
“I really feel like it’s the same as usual,” he explained. “Maybe defenders are a little tired because it’s later in the season, so maybe my balls are falling more.”
His manager, Davey Martinez, and teammate Bryce Harper, were a little more willing to give Rendon his due for doing what he does on a daily basis, including his 3 for 3 game in the 9-4 win last night.
“He’s on fire, but you know this is Anthony Rendon,” Martinez said. “He works good at bats, he really does, and we talked about this earlier, about how he uses the whole field. His last at bat there, fouling off pitches, fouling off tough pitches, and all of a sudden hitting a ball to right-center field off the wall. That’s impressive. He’s got a chance to get 100 RBIs himself. I mean he’s got to knock in a bunch of runs, but he still has a chance. I’m really excited about what he’s doing and how he’s doing it, I mean, he’s a professional. He’s going about his business every day, as we all know, he just wants to go low-key and just play the game.”
Rendon’s nine RBIs short of 100, after reaching triple digits for the first time last season.
“Year in and year out he does his thing,” Harper said, “and he’s one of the best players in all of baseball, it’s sad that he doesn’t get the recognition that he should as one of the best third basemen in the game. It’s not fair, because he definitely is a big-time player, superstar player, just every single day. I don’t think he cares to be that type of guy, but he’s going to come in and do his job and play a great third base and keep his head down and keep going.”
Will Rendon extend his on-base streak tonight? Will he be in the lineup again?