In four games back from the All-Star break, Juan Soto is now 10 for 17 (.588/.650/1.588) with two doubles, five home runs, three walks, three Ks, eight runs scored, and 11 RBIs. Soto is in a good place, he thinks he figured things out in the HR Derby, and at this point, really, who’s going to argue with him? So what does a hot-hitting Soto mean for the Nationals as a team?
“It just makes everybody better,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the Nationals’ 18-1 win in the first of three with the Miami Marlins in Washington, D.C. “It picks everybody up and it stretches out our lineup tremendously, so he’s swinging the bat well, and he’s hitting the ball all over the field very hard. Today, once again he hit a line drive to left field for a homer, one to left-center field, and then the double down the left field line.
“I talked about this earlier with some of you guys about watching his batting practice and letting the ball travel, especially the balls middle in, where he’s just really trying to stay on it and hit the ball hard, and stay on top and hit line drives to left. You saw that tonight and when he does that he’s really good.”
As Martinez noted, Soto was 3 for 4 with the double and two home runs last night, his 15th and 16th on the year.
Soto’s surge is coming at an important time for the Nationals, who stumbled into the All-Star break.
If they’re going to make a run, there’s no time like the present, and Martinez explained last night that they need it to all come together, now-ish.
“As we all know, we’ve been beat up, and the guys that are playing they’re playing hard every day, but this is the time now, we’re playing a team in our division, is to just go 1-0 every day,” Martinez said.
“And as I mention every day, try to forget about what happened the last game and just focus on today’s game, and keep playing, anything can happen, keep playing hard, we still got a lot of baseball, we got a very good team, I know that. I’ve said this before, when our pitching gives us some length, our starting pitching, the back end of our bullpen is going to be good. The guys in the middle have been getting a beating because they’ve been used a lot, but they’re going to be fine, and we’re starting to swing the bats all the way through our lineup. So we’re going to have a fun time, we really are, and we’re going to win some games. We’ve just got to focus on the here and now, and worry about tomorrow and then go from there.”
Will the Nationals go 1-0 today, and win a third straight overall?