Victor Robles hit his seventh home run of the season in Tuesday night’s loss to the New York Mets, which gave him the team lead in homers, and his 26 runs after the series opener were the most on the club as well, with his 37 hits second-most, behind only Adam Eaton (45).
Three of the seven home runs, including Tuesday’s, were off Noah Syndergaard, but the 21-year-old rookie said he wasn’t doing anything different against the Mets’ right-hander than he’s done against other pitchers.
“I take the same approach same focus to the plate with him and let things happen and what comes, comes,” Robles said.
On Wednesday night, in the second of three with the Mets in D.C., Robles hit an 0-1 fastball from righty Wilmer Font out to left-center for his eighth home run of 2019, sending one out into the Red Porch seats to make it a 4-1 game in the Nationals’ favor. He ended the night 2 for 4 with two runs scored in the 5-1 win.
Has his manager, Davey Martinez, been surprised by the power on display by Robles, whose previous season-high in the minors was 10 home runs.
“The biggest thing for him is staying through the ball, staying in the middle of the field,” the Nats’ skipper said.
“When he does that, he’s good. I mean, if you look at Victor up close, he’s not a small guy.
“He’s well-built, he’s big, you know, and he’s strong, he’s a strong kid, and like I said, he’s doing really well. He’s a 21-year-old kid that loves to play the game and every day he’s learning something. So I’m proud of the way he’s playing, I’m proud of the way he’s handling himself, there’s no excuses with him, when he messes up he takes blame and he just moves on.”
His two-hit night left Robles with a .257/.305/.474 line in 167 plate appearances on the year, though he’s struggled in recent weeks, with a .203/.268/.391 line over 18 games and 73 PAs between April 26th and May 14th, which took him from a .286/.326/.500 line to where he is at this point.
“I work hard,” Robles told reporters, through translator Octavio Martinez after the second game of the series with the Mets.
“The work is delivering the fruits out there, and you know that’s all I can do is go out there and take a good swing at a good pitch and it’s paying off.”
Martinez was asked if there was any concern that the power he’s shown could lead to the rookie altering his approach to try to keep hitting them out, and if they had taken steps to address that possibility with Robles.
“No,” Martinez said. “You just kind of let him play and just keep teaching. My job is to keep teaching him and just let him go play baseball.”
Martinez told reporters before Wednesday’s game, that he might move Robles back down in the order as the Nationals start to get some of their injured players back off the Injured List, but he’s hitting second again today in the series finale with the Mets.