Kyle Schwarber’s walk-off winner last night was one of just five hits overall for the Nationals in the 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Washington, D.C. Max Scherzer gave up a couple hits in seven scoreless, and Daniel Hudson and Brad Hand kept the D-backs off the board until their new teammate connected for his first hit in Nationals Park, a 463-foot bomb that landed on the concourse above the second deck in his new home.
“Happy it was in this situation, but I wish it came sooner,” Schwarber said of hitting a walk-off shot for his first hit in front of the home crowd and first home run of 2021.
“To have it be that, in that situation,” he said, “to walk if off there in front of all the fans here, it was phenomenal, I mean, that’s a moment I’m not going to forget, and I’m super-pumped to be here, and super-pumped to be with these boys here, grinding with them and looking forward to the rest of the year.”
It meant a lot to Schwarber that Davey Martinez, his former bench coach in Chicago when both were with the Cubs, left him in to hit against a left-hander, reliever Alex Young, which is something the manager and the slugger discussed before the outfielder signed a 1-year/$10M free agent deal with the Nationals.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s great,” Schwarber said. “I know that I’m a really good hitter, and I know that I can do it every day, I mean, shoot, I’ve done it my whole life, coming up in the minor leagues, and I’m just happy for the opportunity to be here and to be able to grind. I don’t care if it’s right/left, I’m just going up there trying to put in a quality at bat.
“Gonna figure out this right-handed stuff here, but happy to be in that spot there.”
“We know he’s got power,” Martinez explained. “I talked to him before he signed here about lefties. I want him to hit lefties, we didn’t sign him here to platoon.
“So he’s going to get an opportunity to hit lefties, and you see what happens when he stays on the ball, he hits it really far.”
Like, really far. Like 463 feet far.
“That was definitely a fun one to watch go,” Schwarber said.
“We got to paint a seat up there,” Martinez joked.
Schwarber’s back in there today as the Nationals try to earn at least a split in the third of four with the D-backs in the nation’s capital.