Rendon leaves after sixth inning, X-Rays negative on left big toe

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon had to leave Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Rockies after fouling a pitch off his left big toe. He was replaced by Wilmer Difo.

Rendon tried to stay in the game but eventually came out after the sixth inning.

“It just hit the toe, it didn’t hit the foot or the ankle or the shin guard. It hit the toe,” Rendon said of the play.

anthony-rendon-batting-gray.pngManager Davey Martinez reported that X-Rays came back negative. Rendon will let Martinez know how he feels in the morning. The toe was taped up after the game. Martinez reflected on what it would be like to lose Rendon for even a few games, especially with the team trying to ignite an offense currently unable to utilize Daniel Murphy (knee) and Adam Eaton (ankle).

“Big part. I’m just really happy that we got good news that nothing was broken,” Martinez said. “So, he took a pretty good hit on that toe, I told him with all the hardware you’re wearing down there, he said yeah it missed everything. But he’s in good spirits, I asked if he wants a day off, he says I’ll see how I feel in the morning.”

The X-Ray results were obviously good news to Rendon, who has been one of the Nats consistent hitters to begin the season, despite the team’s recent 2-8 skid. Rendon is batting .286 with four doubles, one homer and 4 RBIs. He has played in all 14 games.

“It’s definitely better it’s not broken,” Rendon said. “No broken bone is better than a broken bone, but yeah, it definitely hurts. We’ll play it by ear, see how it feels tomorrow or the next day or whatever. We really don’t know.”

Teammate Bryce Harper, who contributed the RBI sac fly, said Rendon has been a huge part at the top of the Nats lineup as they look to try to get the offense going.

“I think everybody knows how good he is, how good he can be for us especially in that two hole,” Harper said. “He does a great job for us seeing a lot of pitches, taking advantage of mistakes the pitcher’s thrown. Hopefully he can get back in there in the next couple of days and see what happens.”

After fouling the pitch off the toe, Rendon tried to stay in the game, but eventually the pain became too much to ignore.

“It just didn’t go away,” Rendon said. “I was kind of favoring it. I was walking on the outside of my heel, which probably wasn’t the smartest idea -- I’ll tear a knee or something. They thought the best idea was to go get it checked out.”

In baseball this play happens a lot to hitters as they swing. The foul tip off the leg or foot has happened to Rendon a lot.

“I’ve fouled balls off my legs, multiple times,” Rendon said. “Same spot two games in a row or whatever. But it’s just the toe. Usually it’s the leg or the ankle, and it’s not the ball of your foot that’s really getting affected or your big toe that kind of helps you be stable or standing. So that’s part of it.”

Martinez said he will let Rendon sleep on it and then see how the toe reacts to rest, and whether or not it swells up or becomes more painful. Rendon doesn’t know if he will be able to play Saturday, and with a 1:05 p.m. start, likely will sit out the third game of this series.

“I told (Martinez) I’d call him in the morning or he’d check on me in the morning to see how it feels,” Rendon said. “It could feel great in the morning. It could still suck. We’ll see.”

Matt Reynolds would most likely be given the start at third Saturday if Rendon cannot go. Difo and Howie Kendrick could see time there if need be as well. Michael Almanzar plays third base for Triple-A Syracuse and is not on the 40-man roster.

But the post game update that Rendon’s toe was not broken was the best news to come out of another difficult evening for the Nationals at the plate.

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