Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto were a combined 4 for 7 with a double each, three homers between them, two for Rendon (30-31), one for Soto (30), and five runs scored in a 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins last night in Nationals Park.
Washington’s 3-4 hitters, Fish skipper Don Mattingly told reporters, are a handful for anyone to have to deal with right now.
“Those two right there together are a tough combo to get through,” Mattingly said after last night’s loss to the Nats, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jamal Collier.
“Both really good hitters, both put the ball in play, use the whole field. I mean, those two are a handful.”
“They work really good at bats, they really do, and they can beat you in many ways,” Davey Martinez said after his team handed Miami their 14th loss in 14 road games in August.
“I mean, they both hit the long ball, but they can both hit doubles, they can go the other way, they can take their walks,” the second-year skipper said.
“Those two guys, 3-4, they’re probably one of the best in baseball, like I said they can beat you in so many ways.”
Rendon went 41 for 104 on the month in August, (.394/.450/.712), with seven doubles, eight home runs, and 10 walks (vs 16 Ks) in 120 PAs.
Soto finished August 31 for 99 with eight doubles, 10 HRs, and 17 walks (vs 16 Ks) in 25 games and 116 plate appearances, with a .313/.414/.717 line on the month.
“I’ve been feeling really good,” Soto said after Saturday’s 2 for 4 game.
“Been working a lot since the beginning of the season, and right now I really feel really comfortable at the plate.”
Hitting behind Rendon, has its advantages. Soto said the biggest one was the view of Rendon’s home runs.
“The most fun part of that is to see the homers from the on-deck circle,” Soto said.
“He just can hit, this guy can hit.”
And watching how Rendon approaches things every day, Soto explained, provides a great example.
“It’s amazing,” the Nationals’ 20-year-old outfielder said. “This guy — it’s like he’s the same person every time. Don’t matter if he’s good or bad, he’s going to be the same, and every time he comes here he just tries to enjoy and play the game how he plays.”
The fact that they both hit their 30th home run on the same night was nice too, in back-to-back at bats in the first, and Rendon added another in the eighth, adding to a career-high total on the season (31).
“It’s amazing,” Soto said of reaching 30 together. “We’ve just been talking in the cage about it, just trying to be consistent.”
Reaching the 30-home run plateau, Soto became just the seventh player in MLB history to hit at least 30 home runs in his age 20 season, joining, the Nationals noted, Mike Trout: 30 in 2012, Alex Rodriguez, who hit 36 in 1996, Tony Conigliaro, who connected for 32 total in 1965, Frank Robinson, who hit 38 in 1956, Ted Williams, 31 in 1939, and Mel Ott, 42 in 1929.
“It’s amazing,” Soto said.
“For me it’s a blessing. I’ve been seeing a lot of people hitting 30 homers and they’ve been really good in their careers, so for now to hit 30 for me, I feel proud of myself.”
Rendon and Soto are back hitting 3-4 in the lineup for the finale with the Fish.