The Washington Nationals hosted the New York Yankees to finish a once-suspended game, tied at 3-3 in the sixth inning. Though it seemed like just a makeup, it was anything but for rookie Juan Soto.
It’s true that Soto struck out as a pinch hitter in his first-ever game on May 20. Since then, the 19-year-old has caught fire, batting .312 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 23 games this season.
But the makeup of the suspended game took place on May 15, five days before Soto was called up from Double-A to give the Nats an extra bat. Soto would make his major league debut once again.
Though it’s uncommon for a player to compete in a game prior to his major-league debut, it’s been done before. Barry Bonds hit a go-ahead single in a suspended game that dated a month before his debut. Closer Jeff Reardon threw a scoreless inning and picked up a win in a suspended game nearly two months before his debut, as well.
After Anthony Rendon hit an opposite-field single in the bottom of the sixth, Soto pinch hit for Matt Adams who has missed the previous two games with a hand injury.
And Soto, with a chance to change his first career at-bat from a pinch-hit strikeout to anything but, did just that. He turned on a fastball and sent a rocket to right field. Aaron Judge took a few steps before looking up toward the bleachers. The ball landed in the second deck.
#Nats' Juan Soto homered in his first @MLB start, and now, of course, he just homered in the resumption of a game that was started BEFORE his #MLB debut. So is this technically his first big league hit? Watch live: https://t.co/oRiWGgOqXL pic.twitter.com/AWMQEOIsbb— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 18, 2018
Talk about a first career at-bat. A no-doubt, two-run shot to give the Nationals the lead in a game that took place before his first major-league debut.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS: