Juan Soto and Asdrúbal Cabrera combined to go 7 for 8 with three doubles, three homers, six runs scored, and eight RBIs in last night’s 16-4 win over the New York Mets in Citi Field.
Soto was 3 for 4 with a double, home run, three runs scored, and three driven in.
Cabrera went 4 for 4 with two doubles, two homers, three runs scored, and five RBIs.
As a team, the Nationals combined for 17 hits, five doubles, and four home runs, and went 8 for 17 with runners in scoring position on the night.
It was an impressive team effort, but Soto and Cabrera stood out amongst their teammates in a big win for the defending World Series champs.
“They’re both hitting the ball well,” Davey Martinez said after the game. “We’ve seen Soto do this often. Cabrera is just a professional hitter. I’m just proud of all the boys today.
“They all came out swinging the bats so we had good at bats today, and that was good to see.”
Soto’s blast traveled 463 feet to center in Citi Field, clearing the home run apple beyond the outfield fence by a good distance.
No New York Met has hit a HR at Citi Field in the @statcast era further than this 463-foot homer off the bat of Juan Soto.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 11, 2020
How do you like them apples?@JuanSoto25_ // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/IS7r1RIpJs
The 21-year-old outfielder said he watched it soar hoping it would hit the apple.
“I saw where it landed right when I hit it,” Soto said after the game. “I followed the ball all the way, I wanted to see if I got it in the apple. But yeah, I saw it, and it was way far.”
“When you hit the ball like that, it’s just a good feeling and more when you try to help your team and try to get the lead early, it feels good,” he added.
“He just hits the ball really hard,” Martinez said of the massive blast. “All of his at bats were impressive today, they really were. He hit that one far. He did it in BP today, he was hitting balls up there in BP, but he’s another one, when he stays in the middle of the field he can do damage, and you saw that tonight.”
Soto was as impressed with Cabrera’s performance as his skipper was impressed by Soto’s homer.
“He’s amazing,” Soto said.
“How he’s swinging the bat right now, and how he’s doing everything, he’s been great.
“The second home run today was impressive, because it was almost with one hand and everything he’s just amazing.”
Cabrera, a switch hitter, started the night 5 for 7 (.714 AVG) with two doubles from the right side of the plate this season, and went 2 for 2 with a home run and a double off Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz, before hitting his second homer of the game off left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve.
He may have made it look easy last night, but as Cabrera said, “It’s never easy. I’m just trying to do my best all the time to help the team to win. I felt really good at the plate today.”
His success from the right side of the dish? What’s behind it?
“I’m not sure,” Cabrera told reporters.
“Like I said, I just come here and try my best all the time, I’m seeing the ball pretty well right-handed right now, so I can change a little bit, too, with my left hand.”
“I think right now he’s staying back and he’s really not trying to do too much,” Cabrera’s manager said, offering more insight into what he seen working for his infielder from the right side.
“He’s just trying to stay in the middle of the field. He’s talked about that. I heard him say that to me a few times, and he’s just letting his hands work. Like I said before, he’s a professional hitter. And when he gets like that and he gets hot like that he can do some damage.”
After the second home run of the game for Cabrera, he celebrated in the Nationals’ dugout by taking a ride on his manager’s back. Yep, he got a piggyback ride:
Davey Martinez doing his best Ali Modami impression after Asdrúbal Cabrera's second home run of the game. pic.twitter.com/xKUgfOmWUS— Blake Finney (@FinneyBlake) August 11, 2020
“When I get to the dugout they told me, hey, jump to Davey, so it was fun,” Cabrera said.
He was impressed with Martinez’s strength.
“He is strong, because I weigh 230, so I don’t know if he’s going to be fine tomorrow, but he’s fine tonight.”
“K-Long gave one before me,” Martinez explained, referring of course to the ride hitting coach Kevin Long gave to Trea Turner after the shortstop’s two-run blast.
“And they asked me to do one, so I said, ‘Well, next guy that hits a home run, I’ll do it.’
“It happened to be Cabby, and that was his second one. It ain’t easy, especially with that mask on. I’ll tell you.”
Soto was asked if he ever surprises himself with the power he displays, and the distance of some of the home runs he hits.
“Not at all, because most of the time I don’t see where they landed,” Soto said in something of a humble brag. “I just see after in a video. But mostly every homer I hit I feel really good.
“I try to see it as long as I can, but it’s tough, I got to run the bases, but it feels good to see how far they landed and everything.”