Washington Nationals: Juan Soto steals the show, shatters more records

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 11: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals hits a two run home run in the top of the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game two of the doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on September 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 11: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals hits a two run home run in the top of the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game two of the doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on September 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals pulled out their second successive doubleheader sweep in four days. Rookie of the year candidate Juan Soto stole the show.

Playing their second doubleheader in the last four days, the Washington Nationals once again swept both games. They never said die coming back from three down in the ninth, before rookie sensation Juan Soto won the game in the tenth.

Having hit a two-run homer earlier in the game to spot the Nats a 3-0 lead, he stepped up in a tied game in extras. He then launched his second bomb of the game to put his ballclub up 7-6. A lead which they held onto to clinch the doubleheader sweep.

It was the rookie’s third game with multiple home runs, the most by a teenager in MLB history. It was just the latest record in a long list that fell at the hand of the young Dominican in his sensational year.

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The two home runs also took him above Ken Griffey Jr. for fourth place on the all-time home run list by a teenager. He now only has Mel Ott, Bryce Harper, and Tony Conigliaro ahead of him on the list, although Conigliaro’s 24 homers seems a little much, with Juan Soto trailing him by six.

Soto also went 2 for 4 in the first game and has raised his batting average to .306 while his OPS sits at a stellar .950. He even made a spectacular over the wall grab in left field to end a late threat from the Phillies.

He just leads Braves rookie sensation Ronald Acuña Jr. in both categories as they head for a fascinating race for Rookie of the Year. Juan Soto may well have the lead in that race right now, but we’ll see how both players finish off their respective seasons.

Fedde near-dominant in the first game

One start after impressing against the St. Louis Cardinals, Erick Fedde delivered a gem against the Phillies. He went 5.2 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out nine batters.

Once again, he racked up a gaudy strikeout total, after totaling seven Ks in five innings last time out. After struggling to put major league hitters away with two strikes, in the last two outings, he’s excelled on that front.

The right-hander has a chance to win a rotation spot heading into 2019, given the departure of Gio Gonzalez. If he can keep impressing in September, at the very least, he’ll have a fair shot to win a job in Spring Training.

Spencer goes Kieboom

Also among the more interesting storylines in the first game was catcher Spencer Kieboom having a day to remember. The backstop collected two hits in the afternoon game with the first home run of his major league career.

Bizarrely, before the home run, it looked as if he lost his tooth by spitting something out before the AB. It quickly went viral on social media with several accounts picking up on the possible sensation. However, Dan Kolko of MASN Sports reported after the game that unfortunately, it was a temporary tooth.

Despite the disappointing revelation, Kieboom’s first career home run will be a memorable moment in a season where’s begun to adjust to major league pitching. He could be a reliable backup for years to come should the Nats need one.

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The Washington Nationals now look to sweep the Philadelphia Phillies behind Stephen Strasburg. Aaron Nola, who has already beaten the Nats three times will provide stiff opposition, however.

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