Nationals’ Yadiel Hernández delivers finest second of Washington’s season

Hernández stabbed his homer in the bullpen with a majestic one-handed bat flip, and why not? It was the first homer in his career for the 32-year-old, who made his Major League debut earlier this month, wondering if he’d gone 0-7 in his first four games and if he was going to the team’s alternative training venue was chosen if he ever wanted to get another chance to play in a major league game.

“I was very happy,” said Hernández, the oldest player in MLB history to take a walk-off home run for his first home run of his career, said in Spanish through a team interpreter. “In reality, it never occurred to me that I would end the game like this. I always thought that at some point I would do a home run because that’s part of my game. … I just didn’t foresee that it would happen right now. ”

“Great,” said National Manager Dave Martinez after the game. “What can I say? Big home run right there. First of his career. Excellent. It was a good pickup, I mean, it was really for our club. I know he can hit, I’ve seen him hit, so it’s good to see that he scored a couple of goals and hit this big home run for us. ”

The Nationals signed Hernández for $ 200.00 in 2016, a year after he left Cuba and scored .369 in his last full season with the Cuban national team. In the AAA Fresno class last season, Hernández scored 33 home runs .323 and was named Minor League Player of the Year in Washington. He was named to the major leagues on September 10, after Howie Kendrick was put on the injured list and made his debut as a prize runner that night.

Hernández said he tried to remain optimistic after being given an option last week.

“Throughout my career I have been blessed in the sense that I’ve always tried to be positive about the sport and my playing ability and I think that has helped me a lot in maintaining my focus and positivity,” said Hernández who was called back four days later. “I kept saying to myself, ‘There are a few games left and next time you get the chance, just get up here and do what you can to make the team win, whatever of you is required. ”

Hernández scored his first big league hit, a double, in the Nationals’ 2-1 loss to the Marlins on Sunday. In the fourth inning on Tuesday, he doubled again and drove into Eric Thames for his first RBI. Then, with a dropout in the eighth inning and 20-year-old rookie Luis García on second base, Hernández put in a 2-1 pitch from Phillie’s closer Brandon Workman and dropped it over the right field fence.

“It’s a shame that there weren’t any stands in the fans for these fans because it was a remarkable achievement for him,” said Mike Rizzo, Nationals general manager, who has always been fascinated by Hernández’s talent, and offered him in international competitions watch on Wednesday at 106.7 fan. “… It is a merit of perseverance and adherence to your dream. I couldn’t be happier for him. ”

Hernández joined Wil Nieves – who? – As the only Nationals player to score in their first home runs of their career.

In a way, Nieves’ split homerun against the Chicago Cubs on April 25, 2008 was even less likely than Hernández’s. Nieves, a 30-year-old who had never played more than 28 games in one season in the top division in his 12-year professional career, was no bopper. Most of the home runs he did in a single minor league season were 10.

“I never expected that,” Nieves told reporters after his first career homer. “It felt like I was running on the clouds. It was amazing. I’ve never had this experience before. ”

The 2008 Nationals lost 102 games, but they had nine wins, including Ryan Zimmerman’s homerun against the Atlanta Braves in the first game at Nationals Park and Nieves’ exploits, which were honored with a legendary MASN commercial. While Juan Soto and Trea Turner had tremendous individual seasons this year, Washington had just one win and barely any solemn moments before Tuesday in a curtailed and disappointing campaign. Hernández’s home run will be unforgettable.

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