The Washington Post

Danny Espinosa makes his impact felt — from the left side

Danny Espinosa drove in six runs today, which gives him 14 RBI for the season, tied for second in the National League. That’s obviously excellent. But by itself, the total is not all that impressive – RBI is a stat that tells you more about the context in which a hitter hits than his actual value as a hitter.

What was impressive about Espinosa’s two clutch hits Sunday – a three-run homer in Game 1 and a bases-loaded, bases-clearing triple in Game 2 – was how they happened. Both came while Espinosa, a switch-hitter, batted left-handed.

“We know what he can do from right side,” Manager Jim Riggleman said, “but he’s just getting better and better from the left side.”

While his limited sample as a major league doesn’t necessarily mean much, Espinosa was typically better as a right-handed batter in the minors, too, because he uses his top hand with more power when swinging righty. Still, as Sunday showed, he’s not worried about hitting lefty.

“I have confidence in my left-handed swing,” Espinosa said. “It’s not as strong as my right-handed swing, just because of my top hand. But it’s getting there. Sometimes, during the season it just takes a little time for my left-handed swing to find itself. I’m feeling good.”

Espinosa also showed he’s just as comfortable pulling the ball as he is hitting it the other way. He blasted his homer in Game 1 to right, but he slicing his triple into the left-field corner.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.


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