In the leadoff spot for the first time for the Washington Nationals, Victor Robles was lightning in a bottle. Unfortunately, his team dropped the game.
Washington Nationals top prospect Victor Robles has still yet to see consistent playing time this September. But when he has played, he’s provided the life and energy we’ve all come to expect from the speedy youngster.
In Thursday’s makeup game, Robles went 1 for 3 with a walk, but he stood out with his work outside the box score. His speed was on full display when he had a key stolen base in the seventh inning that allowed Trea Turner to drive him in for the tying score.
He also made a few highlight reel plays in centerfield, which has been one of his more underrated tools. The best way to describe Robles’ play in this game is as a player who plays with his hair on fire.
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While it was nice to see him get the start in centerfield, it was interesting that it took a left-handed starter to do so. With the season practically over, it makes more sense for the rookie to be playing virtually every game instead of only being used against southpaws.
Unless he proves overmatched over the next two weeks, he would appear to be the favorite for a starting outfield job next season. The Nats really do have a bright future with Juan Soto and Victor Robles both set to be roaming the outfield for years to come.
Ross solid in first full start
While he did start a game against the Cubs last weekend, Joe Ross finally got one that counted on Thursday against the same opposition. He put in a strong effort that deserved more run support from his team to get him a winning decision.
The right-hander went five innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while walking two, but he didn’t strikeout a single batter. While Ross has never been particularly K happy, he’d been able to compile an 8.1 K/9 in his major league career entering Thursday.
Next up for Ross will be the New York Mets, who represent a much less daunting test than the Cubs. It’s a great chance to build off a positive outing against one of the NL’s best offensive teams, and help him solidify a rotation spot.
Boomer goes boom again
Just two days after he hit the first home run of his big league career, Spencer Kieboom hit his second. This time, he didn’t need to spit out a replacement tooth to get it over the fence.
The backstop gave the Nats the lead in the bottom of the third with the drive to deep centerfield. This came right after he nailed Ian Happ trying to steal second base as he continues to impress on both sides of the ball lately.
While the Nats will do everything they can to upgrade their starting catcher, Kieboom is making a compelling case to be the backup in 2019. He’s been solid, if not spectacular, in all facets of his game and could win the job if Pedro Severino can’t improve with the bat.
After their strange one-game homestand, the Washington Nationals head to Atlanta to take on the Braves. If they were a few games closer than the 7.5 they are right now, this series would be huge, but alas