Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez was asked after last night’s 12-2 win if he took any satisfaction from the fact that his team put together that sort of game against a Rockies team that is headed to the postseason and battling for first place in the NL West.
“For me,” Martinez said, “... it’s you compete every day, you know, and you just want to win, and I’m proud of the guys coming out there today and competing and playing really well.”
Particularly impressive, after he went 0 for 3 with a walk in the series opener in Colorado, was 22-year-old slugger Juan Soto, who picked up two hits including his 22nd home run, which tied him for second among all teenage major leaguers in MLB history, behind only the Boston Red Sox’ Tony Conigliaro, who hit 24 in 1964.
Soto finished the night with a .294/.407/.521 line in 115 games and 490 plate appearances in his rookie campaign.
“He’s been outstanding since we got him on Day 1,” Martinez told reporters in Coors Field.
“Like I’ve said, his maturity for a 19-year-old is beyond his years, and he’s only going to get better. I really believe that, because he’s so passionate about the game, he loves the game, he loves to play. I took him out the last inning, and he wanted to finish the game, and I said, ‘Can I please take you out just one time?’ And he said, ‘Okay.’
“But I love being with him, I love being at the ballpark and having conversations with him, I mean, he’s fun to be around.”
Soto and 21-year-old Nationals’ outfielder Victor Robles are likely to be around for quite a while.
Bryce Harper? Harper hit 22 home runs as a teenager himself back in 2012, and he’s hit 184 total in 926 games and 3,953 PAs with the Nationals so far in his career.
Will this afternoon’s game be his last one with Washington? It’s likely going be a long couple weeks of wondering for Nationals fans once the World Series ends and Harper hits the free agent market. For now, enjoy watching Harper in a Nats uniform one more time in 2018.