Washington Nationals: 5 To Watch In Philly

Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports /
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As a leadoff hitter, Cesar Hernandez is off to a great start.

The second baseman came into Thursday with a slash line of .321/.368/.514. With four homers and 11 extra-base hits, his .881 OPS adjusts to 132. The most productive bat for Philly is 32 percent above league average.

Defensively, he is good. Baseball Reference gives him a d-WAR of 0.3 with two runs saved. The Phillies, even with their current record, are a mild surprise in the NL this year and Hernandez is a major reason.

Last year’s NL triples leader with 11 has two already this season. At Citizens Bank Park, Hernandez is hitting .395 in 11 games.

He also hits the Nats well, earning a reputation as a Washington pain in the rear. In six games, his slash line of .423/.483/.808 causes nightmares. Of his 10 RBI this season, seven have come against the Nationals. Two doubles, a triple and two homers confound Dusty Baker and the pitching staff.

There is a reason the Phillies have split the first six with Washington. Hernandez just pounds them. If he continues hitting everything for extra bases, this could be a long weekend for the Nats and put the Phillies within earshot of first place.