Washington’s lineup for the first game of today’s doubleheader with the Colorado Rockies in Nationals Park is included below, and here are some notes from the last 24 hours for you to read while you wait for the first of the two games the Nationals will play today in the nation’s capital...
Trea Turner hits for the cycle a second time + Matt Adams’ big opportunity + Yan Gomes’ big night.
Turner Hits for Cycle: Only 26 players in MLB history had hit for the cycle more than once before Washington Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner joined that exclusive club last night, becoming the 27th. Turner is apparently just the third player to do it twice against the same team, according to ESPN’s Stats & Info Twitter account, and the first since Christian Yelich, who did it twice against the Cincinnati Reds last season, in under a month.
Turner went 4 for 5 on the night, starting with a home run in his first at bat of the game, then connecting for a single the second time up in the second, and a triple in the fifth, before he doubled in the bottom of the seventh.
It was, as noted above, the second time in his career, against Colorado’s Rockies both times, after going 4 for 6 with seven RBIs the first time on April 25, 2017 in Coors Field, when he went single, double, home run, triple.
“It’s a feat that ... doesn’t happen often,” Davey Martinez said of Turner’s second cycle. “To be able to do it twice, that to me is a testament to how good a player Trea really is. What I like about it is he’s really staying on top of the ball and backspinning balls, and when he does that he hits the ball hard.”
What type of player is it that’s able to do what Turner did? What are the characteristics that allow players like Turner to do what he did?
“For me, as you see, he hit the ball everywhere today, and the guys that typically do that are able to use the whole field,” his manager said.
Matt Adams at 1B: Ryan Zimmerman went on the 10-Day IL on Monday, with Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez telling reporters that in Zim’s absence, Matt Adams would be getting the majority of at bats at first base. Adams went 2 for 5 with two RBI singles in the first game after the bad news on Zimmerman, driving in runs in the first and seventh innings, and his manager said he expects the 30-year-old slugger to hit more consistently if he’s getting regular at bats.
“For me, and we talked about this before,’ Martinez explained, “... when you come off the bench, you play once or twice a week, it’s tough, you get your pinch hits, but now he’ll get consistent at bats, I think you’ll start seeing the average go up a little bit, because he’s playing every day, and he’s seeing pitches every day consistently. But he’s been hitting lefties really well all year this year and that’s just working hard with [Hitting Coach Kevin] Long and just staying on the ball and using the whole field.”
Gomes’ big night?: Yan Gomes had two hits in his previous 11 games and 39 PAs before he went 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI in last night’s win, driving in the third run of the game for the Nationals before things got out of hand late in the 11-1 win. His manager liked what he saw from the catcher, who’s struggled at the plate all season in his first year in D.C.
“No fly balls today,” Martinez said, “... stayed on top of the baseball. His swing was a lot shorter, which was really nice. Had a big hit for us today, to drive in that third run, it was huge, so hopefully he stays that way for a while, and we get him going.”