Victor Robles has smashed his way back into the game…
The 22-year-old Dominican professional baseball outfielder made an immediate impact in his return to the Washington Nationals‘ lineup.
After missing five games with a hamstring injury, Robles homered, singled and scored twice on Monday night as his team took a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“A lot of times when you have an injury like I have, it’s usually a couple of months to come back from, and I was able to turn around and come back in a little over a week and a half, so I thank [God] for the opportunity and enjoy this moment with the crowd,” Robles said after the game.
Robles made manager Dave Martinez look like a genius for plugging him right back into center field despite Michael A. Taylor‘s homer in Game 2.
It wasn’t a debate for Martinez, who said Sunday that Robles would “get a chance to play” over Taylor when 100% healthy. Robles took swings in the batting cage and made it an easy decision.
His swings against Cardinals pitching looked even better. Robles, batting eighth, lined a base hit up the middle off starter Jack Flahertyin the third inning and crushed reliever John Brebbia‘s 2-1 fastball over the fence in right-center in the sixth. When crossing home plate, Robles tipped his helmet to his mother, who had never seen him play in the states before Monday.
“You know I felt excited, I felt my mom’s strength there, you know I was fortunate enough to hit a home run in her presence, so I wanted to make sure I recognized that and show her some love,” Robles said of the gesture.
Robles finished the game 2-for-4. He hit .255 with 17 home runs, 65 RBIs and 28 stolen bases during his first full season in the majors. He had last played in Game 2 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.