In front of his closest friends and family, Texas-native Anthony Rendon put together his second four-hit game in less than a week and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle in the Washington Nationals’ 7-0 win over the Houston Astros Wednesday night.
Rendon got things started early with a double in the first inning. In the top of the third, he registered his second hit on a single. An inning later, Rendon was able to do some real damage as he plated two runs with double to deep right. Two of his three hits thus far had been opposite field shots.
While two doubles, a single and two RBI would be enough to satisfy any major leaguer, Rendon wasn’t quite done. In the bottom of the sixth, he stepped to the plate and lined one over the left-field wall for his fourth home run of the season.
Rendon’s All-Star caliber night wasn’t limited to his performance at the plate. In the field, he was just as solid. In the bottom of the sixth inning, he robbed Astros first baseman Jesus Guzman of a hit when he made a diving play at third, and then threw over to first to record the out. In the bottom of the eighth, he showed great patience on a hard-hit ground ball to third. It was fielded cleanly and thrown on a line to first for the out.
One thing that made Rendon’s performance so remarkable was his placement at the plate. Of his four hits, just one of them was pulled. His first double, single and homer were all hit to the opposite field. He looked very comfortable in the batters box and is becoming something opposing pitchers should be worried about.
Wednesday’s performance is just the latest edition of Rendon’s highly successful 2014 campaign. On the year, the 23-year old is batting .316 with 4 HR and 20 RBI. He’s tied for second in the National League with 10 doubles and is tied for fifth in the NL with 20 RBI.
Rendon is on a tear for the Nationals through the first month of baseball. While he played well as a rookie in 2013, nobody expected this start. At the rate things are going, it’s not a stretch to say he could be representing the Nationals at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.