The Nationals are closing in on their longest winning streak since the team won 6-games in a row in May. The Nats now have 4 consecutive wins via two back-to-back doubleheader sweeps, and they once again won in dramatic come-from-behind fashion. The Nationals were losing by 3-runs in the 9th inning, and they tied it up on a bases loaded walk by Trea Turner who had to battle back in the count after an egregious strike 2 call by the homeplate ump. With the score tied at 6-runs, Juan Soto cranked his second home run of the game for the game winner.
“We never give up,” Juan Soto said. “We keep fighting.”
The Nationals had a 3-0 lead in this game, and starter Tanner Roark unraveled in the 5th inning surrendering 5-runs. The Phillies added on an insurance run to carry a 6-3 lead into the 9th inning. It was impressive how the Nationals worked some great at-bats off of Phillies closer Seranthony Dominguez to tie the game up and work it into extra innings.
Kudos to the Nationals bullpen and especially Greg Holland who got a “hold” in Game 1 of the doubleheader and came back 5 hours later for the “save” in Game 2 which is his third with the Nationals. Holland threw 46 pitches today, and that is a lot of pitches for a reliever who is conditioned to 20 pitches a day. Expect Holland to get Wednesday off, and hopefully Thursday as well.
“They keep playing and play hard,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Those boys just battled in their at-bats… I’m really proud of their at-bats all day.”
Manager Dave Martinez maneuvered his bullpen around and everything seemed to work. Unfortunately, he gave Tanner Roark too much rope as he gave up 5 runs over only 4 2/3 innings. This is the same team that rookie Erick Fedde shutout over 5 2/3 innings earlier. With this 4-game winning streak, the Nationals moved back over the .500 mark and now could move 1/2 game behind the Phillies with a Nationals win tomorrow for second place in the NL East.
This game was really about the teenage phenom Juan Soto who smashed two home runs over 400 feet, and his second home run of the game gave him 3-multi-HR games which is a teenage record. Soto also set the record for home runs on the road by a teenager with 13-dingers. On top of that, Soto also surpassed Ken Griffey Jr. on the teenage home run chart. With Soto’s 60 RBIs, he moved ahead of Sherry Magee (1904) and Bryce Harper (2012) for the eighth-most RBIs by a teenager in a season in MLB history. Next up for Soto (60) is Ken Griffey Jr.- (61) in 1989 who has the seventh-most RBI by a teenager in a season.
Here are the teenage home run leaders:
With this impressive doubleheader, Juan Soto pushed his batting average to .306 and his OPS to .950. If Soto, can keep on this pace, he would be the first teenager ever to finish a season with a batting average of .300, an OBP of .400, and a slugging percentage of .500.
These days it is the Washington Nationals doing the little things to win games these past few weeks.