Nationals Notebook: Rendon gets some revenge

The Washington Nationals were painfully close to taking two of three from the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend until their past came back to haunt them.

Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels saw former Nationals third baseman Antony Rendon hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning. Rendon went 0-for-8 in the first two games but saved his best for last against his one-time employers.

Not being able to sign the All Star after the 2019 World Series was the first step backward for the organization as they never replaced his bat (Rendon’s 126 RBI led the NL) or his spot in the infield (six players saw action at third in 2020, and five manned the position last year).

And while Rendon’s been underwhelming (18 homers and 77 RBI in 135 games for the Angels over three years heading into Sunday) in his new surroundings, it hurts just a little bit that he was able to stick it to his former team.

Digesting the Division- the New York Mets (20-10) are the only team in the NL East over .500 one month into the season. They’re also the first team in the big leagues to reach the 20-victory plateau. Atlanta (14-16) is in second place even with Marcell Ozuna (. 214 batting average) and Adam Duvall (. 192) struggling at the plate. Miami (13-15) slips to third place with Sunday’s come-from-ahead loss to San Diego. Keep your eye on Pablo Lopez who is off to a 4-1 start with an ERA of 1.00. Philadelphia (12-16) is in fourth place with Bryce Harper homering on Mother’s Day. The last-place Nationals (10-20) stand 10 games out of first and three games out of fourth.

Break up the Birds- the Orioles (11-17) have moved out of last place in the AL East thanks to five wins in eight games. Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle and Cedric Mullins combined to hit .383 with 12 RBI last week and Bruce Zimmerman continues to have a solid early season.

Last Week’s Heroes- Yadiel Hernandez hit .429 while Josh Bell batted .320 with seven runs scored, two homers and six RBI. Keibert Ruiz hit .375 with five RBI while handling the pitching staff. Erick Fedde posted a 0.75 ERA over his two starts. Austin Voth tallied 2.2 scoreless innings over three outings out of the bullpen.

Last Week’s Humbled- Tanner Rainey’s ERA was 16.20 and he melted in Sunday’s loss to the Angels. Josh Rogers (13.50 ERA) was also touched up in Sunday’s loss while Aaron Sanchez allowed six earned runs in 4.1 innings during his lone start of the week. Victor Robles hit .133 but can make an impact in the field with his glove and arm. Nelson Cruz batted .214 and as the DH has to produce at the plate.

Game to Watch- Friday Houston drops by the District in the Astros first game in Washington since they took all three games on South Capitol Street in the 2019 World Series. They’ll also be welcoming back former manager Dusty Baker who recently reached 2,000 career wins.

Game to Miss- Tuesday the Nationals begin a series with the first-place Mets. But Journey is in town (or should I say Journey is in town with Toto) and they already got bumped from their original Monday show because of the Capitals’ Game Four.

Dave Preston

Dave has been in the D.C. area for 10 years and in addition to working at WTOP since 2002 has also been on the air at Westwood One/CBS Radio as well as Red Zebra Broadcasting (Redskins Network).

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