Update: LaRoche hits solo shot to cap 5-1 win for Nationals. More to come.
In the second game, Espinosa came up with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, and tripled down the left field line, again from the left side of the plate. The Nationals lead 4-1, and for the second straight game, it’s a blow from Espinosa’s lesser side that’s put them ahead.
He entered today with a career .363 slugging percentage as a left-handed hitter, nearly 300 points worse than his .649 percentage as a right-hander (though it should be noted both are in limited sample sizes). But if he’s coming along as a left-handed hitter, he’ll provide a major boost to the Nationals’ lineup, since most of his at-bats are against right-handed hitters. He’s also making a case to stay at the top of the lineup; I personally think Ian Desmond works well in the No. 2 spot, which would allow the Nationals to drop Jayson Werth lower in the lineup when Ryan Zimmerman gets back.
It’s all speculative at this point, but you can see the framework of a possible lineup solution for the Nationals if Espinosa gets going.