Of all the contributors to the Nationals' 11-4 comeback win over Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets, perhaps nobody pitched in more than center fielder Ben Revere, who snapped a weeks-long slump with four hits, tying his career-high for a single game.
Revere, in fact, put in one of the most well-rounded offensive games in Nationals/Expos franchise history. No one else before him had logged at least four hits, three runs and three steals in a single game. Revere did all of that, and even added a leaping grab at the center field wall to end the first inning and help starter Joe Ross escape an early jam.
It was Revere's best game of the 2016 season, his first campaign with the Nationals. And it was yet another reminder of what a capable leadoff hitter can provide atop the Nats' lineup.
"To be able to have him as our table-setter," Bryce Harper said. "Getting on base four times tonight, stealing bases, doing what he does with his speed, using the glove in center field, it's a lot of fun to watch. He had a great game tonight."
Revere, as he's noted several times this year, feels like he's had many games where everything he hits goes right to the defense. Thirteen times this season has he gone hitless in three or more at-bats with zero strikeouts.
And, often when he has a good game, he has a really good game. He also has 13 multi-hit games and three outings with three hits or more.
Consistency has eluded Revere, but he was ready to play on Monday and led the charge in a key sequence for the Nationals in the bottom of the third. Down 4-0 to Syndergaard, the Nats scored five runs all in one frame. Revere began the rally with a leadoff single, stole second base and soon after scored the game's first run on a single off the wall by Bryce Harper.
Revere also stole and scored in the fourth on a Daniel Murphy single, then scored again on a Jayson Werth double in the fifth. The Nats saw an opening against Syndergaard and never looked back with 11 total unanswered runs, including a season-high five for the Mets starter.
"If you go out there, nine times out of 10, and you give up four runs early to Syndergaard, most of the time the game's over," manager Dusty Baker said.
Despite ranking seventh in baseball in home runs as a team, the Nationals didn't need any of them on Monday. Of their 17 total hits, 14 of them were singles. They tied a team record with six steals in one game.
The Nats have relied heavily on the home run this season, but not on Monday. They piled up hits and manufactured runs, and Revere liked it.
"I mean, you look at what the Royals did last year. They're world champions and that's all they did. Especially when I was with the Blue Jays, they just killed us with single, single, single. You definitely need good pitching, but it's not all about the home runs," Revere said.
"There aren't that many teams who drop bombs really when it comes to playoff time. You gotta do the key situations and get a runner over or a sac fly or a little blooper base hit. That still counts. It's all about pitching and defense. We got that. We definitely got that and everybody knows. It's all about situational hitting. That's how you win ballgames."
Five of the six steals came against Syndergaard, who has allowed an MLB-high 28 this season. His slow delivery to the plate certainly helped and Baker acknowledged that was part of the game plan against him.
Aggressive base running has been a point of emphasis for the Nats this season. They are now tied for 10th in baseball with 47 steals as a team. First base coach Davey Lopes deserves a lot of credit for their improvement, as they've jumped from 27th in MLB last season.
Revere, though, is happy to be doing his part.
"Everybody was just moving," he said. "We were hitting and doing the job to get that run in. It's all about base hits, get the run over or sac flies. Everybody did their job today."