One game into the NLCS, Juan Soto is already getting inside the head of a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher.
Every time he takes a pitch, the 20-year-old outfielder does the “Soto Shuffle,” which he told reporters Wednesday is an effort to psych out opponents.
“That started in the minor leagues,” Soto said. “I like to get in the minds of the pitchers because sometimes they get scared. In the minor leagues some pitchers get scared, they say, ‘Oh, wow,’ because [they’ve] never [seen] that before. I just try to get on their minds and all this stuff.”
With Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas on the mound, Soto incorporated a prominent cup grab into his routine on several occasions.
The patented Juan Soto take. pic.twitter.com/MBqXP4morf— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 12, 2019
Mikolas apparently wasn’t too enthused by the shuffle. When he forced Soto to ground out with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, he made sure Soto saw him as he walked toward the dugout.
Was Miles Mikolas taunting Juan Soto here? You be the judge. pic.twitter.com/wRHACUdhpq— Thomas Lott (@tlott33) October 12, 2019
Bases juiced and Juan Soto at the plate. Miles Mikolas is dealing, time for our offense to get his back. pic.twitter.com/lrNfrw7R0N— Gateway Grinders (@gatewaygrinders) October 12, 2019
“If he reacts, that don’t matter,” Soto said after the game. “I don’t care, he can do whatever he wants. I just got to laugh about it. We’re going to keep going and we’re going to face him again.”
Cardinals fans have also already started booing Soto during his plate appearances. If he starts racking up the base hits in this series, he could soon find himself cast as the villain in St. Louis.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS: