Before last night’s game, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked about having Yadiel Hernández back on the bench, after he went down to get regular at bats at Triple-A in mid-June to early July.
“Yadi, I love having Yadi off that bench, I really do,” Martinez said. “I mean, he gives us that left-handed bat where he can drive the ball, and you saw him yesterday come up with a big base hit, there, but I like having him and when [Ryan Zimmerman] doesn’t play or Josh [Bell] doesn’t play, having those guys off the bench. I think Yadi understands what he needs to do off the bench. He’s very aggressive as we all know, and he’s ready to hit every pitch. He’s got a special talent to do that, and he’s swinging the bat well coming off the bench.”
Hernández, after hitting a game-tying, pinch hit, RBI single last night, is 10 for 39 (.256 AVG) with a double and a home run as a pinch hitter this season.
The hit off left-hander Richard Bleier, who had held left-handers to a .196 AVG before last night’s game, came on a tough pitch inside.
Hernández fell behind 0-2 with a runner on second and two out and took two sliders, fouled of a sinker low and in, then turned a sinker inside out to left field to drive in a run and tie the game up at 3-3 before the Nationals added two runs in what ended up a 6-3 win.
“Yadi put a really good at bat together against a lefty, drove in a big run for us and kept the inning going,” Martinez said.
It was another example of why the manager loves having Hernández on the bench.
“I love having him there, man, he’s had great success against left and right in the minor leagues, he just puts the ball in play,” the skipper said.
“One big thing we talk to him about getting the ball up against Bleier, he’s a sinker-ball guy,” Martinez added, “you kind of look for the ball up in the zone, and he took some pretty nasty sliders to get a pitch up where he could put the ball in play and it was a great at bat.”
Hernández is now 4 for 8 with a walk in the last seven games. He’ll be available off of the bench again tonight.