As much as they know they’ll miss Adam Eaton the rest of this long season, the Nationals also know they’re blessed to have one of baseball’s deepest lineups, one capable of putting up big numbers even without the services of their injured center fielder.
And if anyone doubted that, they needed only watch today’s 23-5 victory in which the Nats lineup put a sledgehammer to every Mets pitcher who had the unfortunate task of standing on the mound. (Including one guy who isn’t even normally a pitcher.)
Capping a staggering week of offensive might, the Nationals got contributions from everybody, but none more impressive than Anthony Rendon. With six hits including three homers, a two-run single and a bases-loaded double, Rendon established a new franchise record with 10 RBIs and came within two of matching the sport’s all-time record.
Matt Wieters homered twice, Bryce Harper and Adam Lind homered off backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, and Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Michael A. Taylor and Joe Ross also drove in runs to spark a Nationals lineup that over the last seven days has scored 77 runs, reaching 14 or more runs three times in this brief span.
This was the fifth time already this season the Nationals have scored at least 14 runs; they’re the first team in history to do it five times in April.
Zimmerman’s first-inning single and fourth-inning sacrifice fly gave him 29 RBIs to close out a dominant April in style, with a new club record for RBIs in a single month.
Oh, and the 23 total runs scored set a new club record for a single game.
Are we forgetting anything else?
On a day in which the total production boggled the mind, Rendon’s individual performance stood out even more. He entered the afternoon batting .226 with zero homers and five RBIs. He ended the afternoon batting .278 with three homers and 15 RBIs.
Rendon singled home two runs in the bottom of the first, the highlight of a five-run outburst against Noah Syndergaard (who wound up departing the following frame with what the Mets announced was a “possible lat strain”).
He launched a solo homer in the third, then a three-run homer in the fourth, both off Sean Gilmartin. He missed a grand slam by about two feet in the fifth, settling for a three-run double. He singled in the seventh to improve to 5-for-5.
And then, just for good measure, Rendon homered off Plawecki in the bottom of the eighth, giving him three homers and 10 RBIs on the afternoon. In the process, Rendon became only the 13th player in major league history to drive in 10 or more runs in a single game, the first since Garret Anderson in 2007.