Howie Kendrick Goes From Zero to Hero in Nationals' Thrilling Game 5 Comeback Over Dodgers

Brian Tinsman
October 10, 2019 - 1:05 am

There is almost no way that the Washington Nationals would have made it to the postseason if not for the contributions of super-utility slugger Howie Kendrick.

He finished the regular season with an offensive line of .344/.395/.966, but hit a relative slump when the calendar changed to October.

At the plate, he sagged to a pedestrian .278/.316/.594 and was downright disappointing in the field, where he frequently started at second base.

Two errors in Game 1 helped seal the Nats’ fate in their first loss of the postseason. Another early error in the field in Game 5 looked like it could contribute to another heartbreaking Game 5 loss in the NLDS.

It took more than nine innings, but Kendrick finally got his redemption, and then some.

Coming up with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th, Kendrick crushed a pitch to center field for what is almost certainly the biggest hit of his career: an extra innings grand slam in a postseason elimination game.

Surprisingly for the slugger, it was just the second grand slam home run of his career, and his first in postseason play. It also could not have come at a better time, as it carried the Nats to their first NLDS series victory in franchise history.

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