After losing his first two games, to Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux and Colorado Rockies outfielder David Dahl, Soto salvaged his night with a 2-0 shutout of Hader’s Brewers. It was a rematch of last year’s National League wild-card game, in which Soto’s two-out single in the eighth inning off the Milwaukee closer skipped under Trent Grisham’s glove and cleared the bases in Washington’s 4-3 win.
Soto, who streamed his games on his Twitch channel, hit a pair of solo home runs as himself, including one against the Brewers that came one pitch after his character did the “Soto shuffle” in the batter’s box. “And now we dance,” Soto said before breaking into a brief shimmy at home.
Soto, the human, wore a Baby Shark bandanna while playing and provided entertaining commentary throughout each of his three three-inning games, which included shouting “Let’s go Baby Shark!” a few times. We also learned that he refers to double play balls as “happy hour.” Two for the price of one, perhaps?
“Let’s see what you got, Juan,” he said as virtual Soto stepped to the plate for the first time against Lux’s Dodgers. “You hang it, we bang it,” he added after fouling off a slider up in the zone. A few pitches later, Soto jumped up from his chair in celebration after taking Walker Buehler’s character deep to center field for a home run. “You gotta go! You gotta go!” he shouted as the ball carried over the Dodger Stadium fence.
The Nationals’ defense and bullpen let Soto down in his first two games. Max Muncy hit a walk-off sacrifice fly off Sean Doolittle in Soto’s 2-1 loss to the Dodgers, and Trevor Story hit a walk-off home run off Will Harris after a runner reached on a dropped third strike in his 3-2 loss to the Rockies.
“Two walk-offs in one night,” Soto said. “Come on, bullpen, come on. Oh my goodness.”
After taking a 2-0 lead against Hader’s Brewers with solo home runs by Howie Kendrick and himself, Soto let the 7,000 people streaming the game on his Twitch channel decide which reliever to bring in for the save.
“Doo or Huddy?” he asked.
Daniel Hudson was the overwhelming choice; he retired three of the four batters he faced to seal the win.
“Finally!” Soto said after Lorenzo Cain made the final out on a routine grounder to short. “A curly W is in the books.”
For now, it’ll have to do. Soto’s next games have yet to be announced.
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