Yadiel Hernàndez’s 2 for 5 game in the series finale with the Colorado Rockies was his fifth consecutive multi-hit game, with the 34-year-old outfielder 12 for 22 (.546/.565/.727) with four doubles, one walk, and four Ks in 20 plate appearances over that stretch. He has hits in 8 of 9 games as well as he’s swung his way into regular starts in Washington’s lineup.
“I’ve said this before, the guy can hit,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters while the club was in Colorado, “… and it doesn’t matter if you’re left-handed, right-handed, he has good at-bats, and right now he’s swinging the bat really well.”
On the year, Hernàndez now has a .373/.394/.522 line in his third big league season.
Cruz’s Back or Cruz Is Back?:
In the four games he’s played on the road trip, Nelson Cruz is 1 for 16 (.063/.111/.063) with a walk and two Ks, leaving him 13 for 91 (.143/.233/.209) in 24 games and 104 PAs on the year.
Cruz sat out of his second consecutive game on Thursday, with Davey Martinez telling reporters before the finale with the Rockies the 41-year-old, 18-year veteran could have played, but he didn’t want to take a risk of having to pull him if his back acted up on him again.
“We’re at the point now where if we utilize him as a pinch-hitter, as far as just getting him out there, it’s great,” Martinez explained, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman before Thursday’s game. “I don’t want him to stiffen up during the game. So we thought we’d give him another day. For me, especially with our bench only being a couple guys, if we can use him later in the game, instead of putting him in and something happens … hopefully he’ll be in there tomorrow.”
Juan Soto went into the 3rd of 3 with the Rockies on a 9 for 31 run in his last eight games (.290/.389/.516), over which he’d hit a double and two home runs, with five walks, and eight Ks over that stretch, and the 23-year-old slugger went 2 for 3 with a double, a homer, and two walks in the series finale in Coors Field.
With hits in 7 of 9 games, over which he’s gone 11 for 34, Soto said he’s felt good at the plate since the start of the Nats’ road trip, though he has been swinging at pitches out of the zone a bit more than usual, with more strikeouts than walks (3/2) in the series with the Rockies, though he still has more walks (23) than Ks (19) on the season.
“For me, right now, I’m just trying to keep my confidence up and make sure to swing at strikes,” Soto told reporters, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato after the loss in the finale in Colorado.