Washington Nationals: Howie Kendrick our player of the week

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WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Howie Kendrick #4 of the Washington Nationals hits the game winning grand slam in the 11th inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 2 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington won the game 6-2. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Howie Kendrick #4 of the Washington Nationals hits the game winning grand slam in the 11th inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 2 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington won the game 6-2. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Howie Kendrick continued his excellent play this week, leading to him being named District on Deck’s Washington Nationals player of the week.

The Washington Nationals acquired Howie Kendrick from the Philadelphia Phillies a few weeks ago, and he has done nothing but impress. In his short time with the Nats, he has been outstanding at the plate while playing second base, left field, and right field.

The Nats have someone new getting injured seemingly every day, which has led to increased playing time for several depth players. Kendrick’s versatility has been extremely beneficial with the plethora of injuries, as he’s been able to fill in at multiple positions.

On top of his defensive versatility, Kendrick has absolutely raked at the plate. In 18 games with the Nats, he has a slash line of .350/.391/.667 with five homers, 13 RBI, and ten runs scored. To put that into perspective, he only hit two homers in 39 games for the Phillies.

Kendrick continued his outstanding play this week, starting every game and recording at least one hit in five of the six games. He also led the potent Nats lineup in quite a few offensive statistical categories.

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In six games, he led the Nats in runs scored (six), hits (eight), homers (four), RBI (eight), stolen bases (one), slugging percentage (.840), on-base plus slugging (1.233), total bases (21), and extra base hits (five). His four homers were also tied for the National League lead.

Although Kendrick had an excellent week as a whole, two games in particular stood out.

The first game that stood out was the second game of Sunday’s double header against the San Francisco Giants, when he went 2-for-4 with a clutch walk-off grand slam. The Nats had only mustered up two runs through ten innings before Kendrick came up, needing only a fly ball to the outfield to win the game. He did that and more, crushing a walk-off grand slam into the Giants’ bullpen.

The second game that stood out was Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Nats won this game 3-1, which was largely due to Kendrick’s big day at the plate. He went 2-4, and both of his hits were homers.

The Angels are Kendrick’s former team, so it had to feel amazing for him to hit two homers against them. We’ve seen players perform exceptionally well against their former teams in the past, with Daniel Murphy and Max Scherzer as prime examples. It’s too bad the Angels are in the American League and the Nats don’t play against them very often.

Fortunately for the Nats, Kendrick also played for the Phillies and Dodgers. The Phillies are a division rival and the Nats will play the Dodgers in September and possibly in the postseason. Hopefully Kendrick performs exceptionally well against the Phillies and Dodgers as well.

Next: Max Scherzer's balky neck earns DL stint

Howie Kendrick has quickly become a fan favorite, and it’s only a matter of time before the Nats team store will sell “This is Howie do it” shirts. Kendrick has excelled in all facets of the game and has appeared to fit right in with the team. Although he has only spent a few weeks with the Nats, he has made an enormous impact and appears ready to lead them on a deep postseason run.

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