Nationals

What Schwarber told Soto before faceoff with Ohtani

Nationals
Juan Soto at the Home Run Derby

Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani put on a show in the Home Run Derby Monday night, going back and forth until Soto knocked out the Angels' two-way star in a swing off. 

Soto went on to lose to eventual champion Pete Alonso, but that first showdown with Ohtani was something special. It turns out Soto received a pep talk or two before that first-round matchup with Ohtani, as Kyle Schwarber, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner led a Soto fan club down on the field. 

"We've been going at him," Schwarber told MLB Network before the Home Run Derby. "We were like, 'Better not lose to a pitcher.'"

Schwarber opted against competing in the Home Run Derby in the midst of his historic hot streak in June, where he hit a franchise record 16 home runs in a single month. 

A hamstring injury ultimately took away any possibility of Schwarber competing in the derby, and it's an injury he's still working through. 

"It definitely could've been better news, but it could've been worse news, so just take it day-by-day, crushing rehab," Schwarber said.

The Nats will have three representatives in the All-Star game Tuesday night, including Soto, Scherzer and Turner, and are set to return to action post-All-Star-break on Friday against the Padres.