Nats win on the bat of Soto! What else is new!

The 19-year-old did it again when the Washington Nationals needed some offense scoring lead-off man Bryce Harper and #2 batter Trea Turner. Soto’s double went with a walk on the night, and his double in the 8th inning proved to be the game-winner.

Max Scherzer went 7.0 innings of 2-run baseball and finished in a 2-2 tie. Kelvin Herrera earned the win in his 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Sean Doolittle secured his 20th save in a scoreless 9th.

“I think we’re all amazed every single day,” Max Scherzer said of Juan Soto. “He’s got some antics. He’s got some flair… He’s the bat we kind of need in our lineup right now that’s hot, and teams are going to have to figure out how to get him out because it’s tough right now. He’s really locked into what he wants to do, and every time he steps to the plate — he competes, and he takes his walks. He understands, and he has a great feel for the strike zone that he doesn’t expand as much as you would think for a young guy. To have that type of eye — it’s remarkable for him to be able to do that at this time, at this age and at this level.”

The Nationals squandered other opportunities in the game and Soto picked up everybody. Anthony Rendon tied the score with a long home run and even Pedro Severino and Wilmer Difo provided offense. Bryce Harper in the lead-off spot had two walks and a huge double in the 8th plus he scored the first run of the game for the Nationals with a sacrifice fly. Trea Turner had a walk and a single and hit into hard luck just like Michael Taylor who managed to extend his hitting streak to a dozen games while being robbed earlier in the game.

In the 7th inning, Wilmer Difo tripled to lead-off the inning which was excellent, but did not get back to the bag quick enough to tag-up on a Daniel Murphy liner and you can see Difo slipped on the base in the video. Difo was thrown out at home in a bang-bang play. There really is little excuse for not beating the throw because Difo went far down the line and then had to scamper back and did not get back to the base quick enough for a well-executed tag-up. If he was back on the bag anticipating a catch, he easily scores the go-ahead run making Max Scherzer the winning pitcher on the night. It is the “little” things in the past week that has cost the Nationals many runs, and this is just another prime example.

Wilmer Difo lead-off triple with coaching by Bob Henley; Photo for TalkNats by Marlene Koenig

Luckily Juan Soto picked everyone up at the perfect moment. With this win, the Nationals won 5-of-6 from Baltimore this season. Almost 37,000 showed up for their series finale.

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