There are so many offensive notes and numbers to pass along after what the Nationals have done the last handful of days, I’m not sure I could fit them all in one entry.
Let’s give it a shot.
The Nationals became just the third team in the history of Major League Baseball to hit six home runs in a game on back-to-back nights.
The 1996 Dodgers and 2003 Angels need to move over. They’ve got company.
The Nats tied a team record for most homers in a game on Tuesday, then went ahead and tied it again on Wednesday.
Since their five-game losing streak, the Nats have outscored their opponents 61-25 over eight games. In that span, which has seen them go 7-1, they’re batting a ridiculous .352 with 18 home runs, 12 doubles and a triple.
Adam LaRoche has absolutely caught fire. Over the last two days, he’s raised his batting average 10 points and his OPS has jumped 36 points. I guess that’ll happen when you go 7-for-8 with three home runs, two walks and five RBIs.
LaRoche has five home runs in his last 18 at-bats.
“You get in a streak like, ‘Why can I not do this all the time?’ ” LaRoche said. “It comes so easy at times. You try to file away that feeling and what you’re doing so next time you fall into a rut you can relate back to it, but I don’t know.”
Bryce Harper hit two more home runs last night, giving him two multi-homer games this season. Both have come in the last eight games.
He now has 17 home runs on the season, passing Ken Griffey Jr. for the most all-time in a single season by a teenager, and is now trailing only Mel Ott (18 homers in 1928) and Tony Conigliaro (24 in 1964).
It’s a pretty good day when you can say you’ve passed Ken Griffey Jr. in a baseball-related category.
Harper is also now the third-youngest player ever to have two multi-homer games; only Ott and Griffey Jr. were younger.
He did it yesterday with his parents in the house; his mother Sheri and father Ron were in town to watch their son play. That had to be pretty cool, right? Homering twice with your parents there to watch it all happen?
“They’ve seen it a couple times,” Harper said nonchalantly after the game.
Harper also walked twice yesterday, showing that he’s returned to the patient mindset which he settled into earlier this season. During Harper’s mid-season slump, manager Davey Johnson said multiple times that his rookie outfielder was too aggressive at the plate, swinging at offspeed stuff out of the zone instead of forcing pitchers to come to him. Harper agreed. Now he’s back to laying off the soft stuff away and turning on pitches when they’re in his happy zone.
“We’re watching him daily make the adjustments,” LaRoche said. “He wants those fastballs to hit, and you’re not going to get them when you continue to chase. I do it too. When we continue to go after the sliders or the changeups out of the zone, it just doesn’t set up to get the fastball to hit. So you can see him. He’s still going back and forth a little bit. He’ll have an at-bat every now and then where he gets a little jumpy, but the biggest thing with him I tell him, and we try to preach this as a group, is just to see it. Just slow everything down and see it.
“And when he does that, he’s not chasing, he’s more patient, he’s going to take some walks and in turn he’s going to get those fastballs he’s been hunting.”