Steady. Consistent. Reliable.
Those some of the words one might use to describe Anthony Rendon.
The talented third baseman continued to drive in the final days of the season with another difference-making game at the plate yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a double, two-run homer and a game-high four RBIs as the Nationals eased past the Marlins 7-3 at a wet and rainy Nats Park.
Rendon’s two-run double in the first gave the Nats the lead for good at 2-1.
His two-run shot in the fourth was part of a four-run rally that blew the game open, providing his club an eventual 6-1 advantage.
His 42 doubles this season are a new career mark. He also maintains a 32-game on-base streak dating back to Aug. 21 - the longest current streak in the major leagues - with the two base hits. He now has a hitting streak of 10 games, during which Rendon is hitting .462 (18-for-39) with three doubles, four home runs and 16 RBIs.
“I really feel like it’s the same as usual,” Rendon said. “Maybe defenders are a little tired because it’s late in the season. So maybe my balls are falling more.”
Is he proud of the consistency he shows year in and year out?
“I wouldn’t say ‘proud.’ That’s a real boastful word to say,” Rendon said. “I credit all my teammates. They’re the ones that have to get on base. I can’t hit 100 homers or 90 homers or whatever it might be. So, it’s just fun to play with these guys.”
Even though he has played 16 fewer games this year than in 2017, Rendon has four more hits (157 to 153). He is riding a career high in batting average, at .308. Rendon batted .301 in 2017.
“For me, he’s Mr. Steady,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said. “His all-around game. Defense. Offense. He’s a guy that keeps our lineup together. Just imagine if he wasn’t hurt for six weeks, the numbers he could’ve put up this year. Everybody forgets about that. But he was down for a while. To put up the numbers he put up this year was pretty incredible.”
Those teammates Rendon speaks of? They notice his contributions too. Take slugger Bryce Harper (double, run scored, RBI in win) on Rendon’s accomplishments:
“Year in and year out, he does his thing, and he’s one of the best players in all of baseball,” Harper said. “It’s sad that he doesn’t get the recognition that he should. He’s one of the best third basemen in the game.
“It’s not fair, because he definitely is a big-time player, a superstar player, every single player. I don’t think he cares to be that type of guy. He’s going to come in and do his job, play a great third base, and keep his head down and keep going. Love him on our team, and what a caliber of player he is.”
Lock-down Rendon. Whether it is a division-winning season or a season when the Nats came up a bit short, he delivers.