The Washington Nationals haven’t given fans much to cheer for this season, but for those fans watching from home last Sunday afternoon, the 8th inning provided a brief moment of fun, and a glimpse at what this season could become, as well as a much needed win. For the second time in three seasons, the Nats hit four consecutive home runs in an inning.
On July 27, 2017 – a 12pm game on a Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers– the Nationals hit back to back to back to back home runs. In the bottom of the third, Brian Goodwin led off with a two-run homer, then Wilmer Difo hit his, Bryce Harper made it three in a row and Ryan Zimmerman hit the fourth.
The Nats batted around that inning, and Goodwin made the last out. Harper’s home run was his second of the game–he and Goodwin scored when Harper hit a two run home run in the first inning. In the third, the Nats scored seven runs on eight hits; Anthony Rendon also hit a solo home run in that inning, after Daniel Murphy flew out to center field. The Nats rode this surge to win the game 15-2.
This was the first time in franchise history that the Nats had accomplished such a feat. Previously, the Arizona Diamondbacks did it in 2010. Seven years passed between four straight home runs, but the Nats didn’t let that much time pass again before MLB saw it again.
On July 9, 2019 – a 4pm game at Petco Park in San Diego – the Nats hit four straight home runs in the eighth inning to secure a 5-2 victory over the Padres. Howie Kendrick led off the inning and pinch hit for Stephen Strasburg when he hit a solo home run to break a tie and put the Nats ahead 2-1. Adam Eaton, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon all followed with solo home runs of their own.
Kendrick and Rendon have both provided a consistent presence on the field and at the plate, but this offensive resurgence for Eaton and Turner is very encouraging. It’s good to see Eaton producing, but Turner, who is still recovering from his broken index finger, has been working to get his timing and strength back at the plate. This weekend was the first time he’s looked like himself in quite a while.
With this barrage, the Nats became the first team to hit four consecutive home runs in two different games, and became the first team to do so at Petco Park. All four homers came against Craig Stammen– a name Nationals fans might remember from his days as a Washington starter and reliever from 2009-2015.
As a complete aside, the Nats were very classy on the field, and no one showed up Stammen, but they really let loose in the dugout with some dancing and racecar driving. They certainly looked like a team that got their mojo back.
Trea Turner kept his power streak going on Monday night against the Chicago White Sox, hitting a double, triple, and homerun, scoring two runs and producing two RBIs in the Nat’s 12-1 win. Eaton had three hits, a walk and an RBI, Rendon improved his on base streak to 26 games, and Kendrick served as the DH and scored two runs while walking twice. If this becomes the weekend where the Nats turned their season around, it will certainly have been one to remember.