This week’s Nationals player of the week goes to Anthony Rendon for his eight RBI’s in five games.
During this week’s games, the Nationals went 3-2 against the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves. Even though five games in a week is a small sample size, there were still some candidates for player of the week.
Jayson Werth had two home runs and extended his on-base streak to 42 games, Reynaldo Lopez picked up his first Major League win on Saturday night, Tanner Roark gave up one run over seven innings yesterday in a win, and Trea Turner had nine hits, including two three-hit games. But, today’s player of the week goes to third baseman Anthony Rendon.
While Rendon went 5-for-18 at the plate this week, four of those hits were extra-bases as he had two doubles and two home runs. The two doubles came in Wednesday’s win over the Indians, which included a two-run double down the left field line in the bottom of the fifth.
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Over the weekend, the 26-year-old hit home runs in two of the three games against the Braves. Yesterday, his three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth helped the Nationals break the game open and take a 7-1 lead against Tyrell Jenkins.
Rendon has had his struggles against the Braves this season (.161 batting average in 31 at-bats), but two of his five hits are home runs. In addition, his six RBI’s vs. Atlanta are the second most he has against any team in baseball this season (ten against the New York Mets).
With Bryce Harper back in the lineup yesterday, Rendon was hitting fifth in the batting order, but when you add in Werth and Daniel Murphy in the lineup (off yesterday), Rendon could be hitting as low as sixth. Nevertheless, that still makes for a strong first six hitters in the batting order.
This month, Rendon is hitting .316 with two home runs and 12 RBI’s in 38 at-bats. His 12 RBI’s lead the Nationals and he is tied for fourth in the National League with players such as Freddie Freeman (Braves) and Brandon Belt (Giants).
As I wrote about last week, Rendon’s offensive numbers have stepped up since the All-Star Break. During that 24-game stretch, he is hitting .310, has six home runs, drove in 21 runs (tied for ninth in the NL), and his on-base percentage of .380 is second on the Nationals (Daniel Murphy – .388).
With the success of Murphy and Wilson Ramos and having the reigning NL MVP in the lineup, Rendon can tend to get overlooked by people outside of the Washington D.C. area. But, if his bat continues to click for the Nationals in the middle of the order, there’s no reason the Nationals can’t continue the offensive success they’ve had this month (68 runs – third in the NL).