Anthony Rendon drove in one of the three runs the Washington Nationals scored in the day half of yesterday’s doubleheader, hitting a leadoff home run on a 97 MPH first-pitch fastball from Colorado Rockies’ righty Carlos Estévez in the bottom of the seventh, for what ended up being the winning run.
Davey Martinez talked after the 3-2 win about the consistent production the Nationals have received from the 29-year-old infielder, who went 1 for 3 with a walk in the game, which left him 22 for 66 in July to that point, with seven doubles and two home runs in 17 games.
“When you watch him hit,” Martinez said, “... he just — he gets ready to hit, on every pitch it looks like he’s ready. He might be fooled with a slider, but he gives himself a chance to take a good swing on every pitch and no different today. He got up there, the guy throws 99, and he wanted to get off early, and he did that. Got the ball out front and hit the ball over the seats.”
In the nightcap, Rendon was 1 for 3 with a double and a strikeout after connecting for his 29th two-base hit of the season and driving in two runs in the bottom of the seventh, and he finished the night 1 for 4 with the double, two RBIs, and a hit-by-pitch in what ended up being a 2-0 win.
It was the Nationals’ 18th win in the last 24 games, the 23rd in the last 31, the 32nd in the last 46, and the 36th in the last 51, leaving the Nats 4.0 games out in the NL East and 1.0 game up in the NL Wild Card race. That all of it came after a 19-31 start to the season? It’s surprising to everyone watching, but not necessarily to the people playing the games.
“We’re 100 games in and we still have, what 62 games left? I went to college for a little bit,” Rendon said after the first of two on Wednesday, “... but I mean, a lot of people wrote us off, and were saying we need to make moves already or we need to do this, we need to do that, but you don’t win the division, you don’t win the pennant, or whatever you want to call it in the first 50 games of the season, let alone even the first 100 games of the season, so anything can happen, injuries happen, it’s happened to us in the past, it can definitely happen to other teams. We don’t want anybody to get hurt, but it’s baseball, it’s a long season, you have to take care of your body, and it can get crazy.
“So we’re going to continue to grind each and every day and just try to win one at a time.”
Will they go 1-0 today in the finale with the Rockies this afternoon?