Anthony Rendon went hitless on opening day against Jacob deGrom. He hasn’t gone hitless since.
With a double off the left field wall in the bottom of the third this afternoon, Rendon extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games and helped the Nationals open up a 2-0 lead on the Giants.
Rendon, who kept his streak alive with a single in his final at-bat Wednesday night, didn’t make things nearly as dramatic today. Though he struck out looking at a 3-2 fastball in the bottom of the first, he bounced back in his next at-bat and drilled a pitch from Drew Pomeranz off the wall. He just missed his seventh home run, but he settled for his ninth double and an extension of his hitting streak.
Yes, that’s 15 extra-base hits for Rendon through 16 games and three innings to begin his contract year.
Juan Soto followed up Rendon’s double off the wall with one of his own, driving a curveball from Pomeranz over left fielder Brandon Belt’s head and notching his 13th double of the season in the process.
Ryan Zimmerman got the Nats on the board when he fouled off three straight fastballs before finally connecting on one for an RBI double to the gap in right-center, bringing home Soto, who had drawn a two-out walk moments earlier.
Patrick Corbin is making the most of the run support so far, having retired the first nine San Francisco batters he has faced and needing only 33 pitches to do it. The left-hander has four strikeouts and also showed off his athleticism in leaping to catch Zimmerman’s off-balance throw from first base and then get his foot on the bag in time to complete the out.
Update: Make it 4-0 after Wilmer Difo connected for his second homer of the season, then flexed his biceps once he returned to a jubilant dugout, and after Yan Gomes drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth. Corbin finally surrendered his first hit of the day when Evan Longoria ripped a one-out double in the fifth. But that’s all Corbin has allowed through five sterling, scoreless innings on only 60 pitches. Bruce Bochy, meanwhile, will watch the final five innings of his final game managing in Washington from the visiting clubhouse, because the Giants skipper was ejected by plate umpire Ryan Additon for arguing balls and strikes. Players from both sides have taken issue with Additon’s strike zone all day, and it seemed only a matter of time before someone got the heave-ho.