It’s a drizzly night in DC, and Anthony Rendon, mellow as ever, is sitting in the dugout, waiting for his turn to hit. Trea Turner approaches his favorite player and asks him what his approach is going to be in his at-bat. Rendon shrugs and answers, “I’m going to drive in all the runs tonight.”
Or at least that’s what I imagine went down in the first base dugout before the offensive explosion.
Rendon, after getting off to a bit of a slow start this season, has been on a relatively consistent tear of late. We all remember his 6-for-6, 10 RBI, and 3 homer day against the Mets. That was the breakout game we’d all been waiting for, and that was where his season turned around. Up until that day, Rendon was hitting .226 with no home runs and 5 RBI. Since that day, Rendon has hit over .300 with 23 RBI and 7 home runs. I don’t know about you, but I’d call that quite the turnaround.
Like the rest of the Nationals lineup, Rendon didn’t have a great road trip. Over the six games in Pittsburgh and Atlanta last week, Rendon only hit .133 with 2 hits and 5 walks. Obviously that wasn’t going to cut it for him. So how was he going to break out of his rut? Why, the same why he broke out of his beginning-of-season slump: by murdering a team.
During Monday’s 10-1 win against the Mariners, Rendon once again decided to put a large part of the offense on his back. Rendon went 3-for-4 with 5 RBI and 2 home runs, accounting for half of the team’s offense. Though it wasn’t nearly as impressive or historical as his performance against the Mets, it did strike an eerily similar chord. And he did it all with an air of nonchalance, not even batting an eye as his moonshots soared across the fence.
So where does that leave Rendon for the season? Right now, he’s hitting a cool .278 with a respectable 28 RBI and 7 home runs, along with an OPS of .864. Not too shabby, especially considering how his season started. But I think we all know that Anthony Rendon can do better. If Rendon can get on a bit of a hot streak, he’ll be hitting better than he’s ever hit before.
Despite not performing to his potential, Rendon’s numbers aren’t that different from his best years in the big leagues. In 2014, the season in which he won the Silver Slugger and placed fifth in NL MVP voting, Rendon hit .287, Through 44 games that same year, he hit .271 with 5 home runs and 24 RBI. Statistically, Rendon is actually hitting better now than he was then.
Rendon has always been a very consistent hitter, and right now, he’s hovering around his career average. But he can do more. And if Monday is any indication, Rendon could go on another big tear very soon.Tags: Anthony Rendon, Mariners, Nationals, Nats, Trea Turner, Washington Nationals