After missing three games with a right knee contusion, Juan Soto returned to the Nationals’ lineup on Tuesday night, and hit a three-run home run in his first at bat of the series opener with the New York Mets in Citi Field. They only finished one-plus inning on Tuesday, so the two clubs resumed the postponed game at 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon, and going into the first of what was supposed to be two games, Washington’s skipper, Davey Martinez, said Soto came out of his return to the lineup feeling fine.
“He said he felt fine,” Martinez told reporters. “During the break he kept warm. Last night, he had some treatment done again, and he’s going to be in there again today. We’ll see how he feels after the first game and then we’ll go from there.”
Soto picked up where he left off at the plate. He walked the first time up on Wednesday, and singled in his third plate appearance of the game, in the fourth, before singling again to lead off the top of the sixth, before finally making an out when he struck out to start the top of the ninth.
After a 3 for 4, BB, K day at the plate for the 22-year-old slugger, Soto’s manager talked with reporters about what he saw on the home run and in the other plate appearances.
“He stayed through the ball once again, hit a line drive out to left-center field,” Martinez said of Soto’s 19th HR of the 2021 campaign, “... which is good. When he’s doing that, I really like his at bats when he’s doing that.
“He faced [Rich] Hill, hit a ball hard up the middle, against a lefty, so that was good too.
“He’s taking things [in] stride, and he’s going to compete and have good at bats, because that’s what he likes to do and like I said, he loves to play the game.”
How would he recover from his first game back? Would he be back in there today?