There is so much to love about Saturday’s ninth inning at-bat by Anthony Rendon.
With the Nats and Indians tied at 6, Rendon popped up the first pitch in foul territory, a sure out in most situations. But some miscommunication between Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis caused them both to misplay the ball, letting it drop between them before hanging their heads in shame.
Now, I happened to be watching the game with Dan at a local drinking establishment, and when the error allowed Rendon to see another pitch, my clairvoyant writing partner immediately predicted he’d go yard. And he did.
Two pitches later, Rendon hit his first major-league home run, a solo shot that put the Nats on top, ultimately leading to a 7-6 win.
“You can’t give teams extra outs,” Chad Tracy said postgame. “They let a good hitter in Anthony have another strike, another out. And he made them pay. He’s a really good player and he’s going to be a really good player for a long time.”
Rendon explained what he was thinking after the pop-up landed on the field.
“Phew, I get another try,” he said. “At that point I was trying to put a good swing on the ball.”
For Rendon, it’s the second career milestone to come after a moment of comic relief. During an at-bat in April, Rendon lost his oversized helmet after swinging a bit too hard. Had he hit the ball, he would likely have been out. But he missed, keeping the at-bat alive and allowing him his first major-league hit on the next pitch.
Here is Saturday’s at-bat. He just might be the luckiest batter in the clubhouse.