Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres did something that hadn't been done since 1887
Juan Soto has been sensational for the Nationals ever since they called on him to become their youngest player since Bryce Harper. In 19 games entering Wednesday, he has hit .328/.431/.541 with three homers, showing no signs of slowing down.
The Soto show was on tour at Yankee Stadium during the Nationals' 5-4 win on Wednesday, when he teamed up with Gleyber Torres for a feat not seen in the Majors since 1887. The historic night began in the top of the fourth inning, when Soto came up with his team trailing, 3-1.
He changed the ballgame entirely with one swing off Sonny Gray:
Since it was hit at a 45-degree launch angle, Soto's skyscraper shot just barely got out at 338 feet. "I was surprised," Soto said about the homer to MLB.com's Jamal Collier. "Because I hit it pretty good, but too high. So, I was running the bases saying 'Keep going, keep going, keep going.' When it was gone, I felt very good."
Perhaps fittingly, the only other player since 2015 with a higher angle on an opposite-field homer is Harper, who also made teenage homer history.
More importantly for Soto, it put the Nationals up, 4-3. So, he was pretty excited:
Soto had even more reason to celebrate, as he made a little bit of baseball history in the process. The last teenager to homer at Yankee Stadium? Another phenom outfielder by the name of Andruw Jones, who did it across the street at the old Stadium in the 1996 World Series:
You'd have to go back even further to find the last teenager to take the Yankees deep on the road in the regular season. And it's another brand name: Ken Griffey Jr. He pulled off the trick against right-hander Jimmy Jones on May 30, 1989. Like Soto, he was merely in his second month of play in The Show.
Torres soon struck back for the Yankees by obliterating Erick Fedde's first offering of the fifth to tie the score at 4:
Now, the pressure was back on Soto, and he had extra incentive.
Both Griffey and Jones managed to homer twice in the same game as teenagers. They're the only players from any era with multi-homer games against the Yankees. Was Soto up to the task of matching them there as well?
This was a far more majestic blast than Soto's first homer, sailing 436 feet and far over the bullpen in right-center field. The homer was a big one for the Nationals in the game, too, as it put them ahead in the seventh, 5-4.
"For him to go out there and do what he did today, in front of this crowd, it tells you a little bit about the character that he brings," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
Soto matched Jones once more, as he became the youngest player since the Braves wunderkind to notch a multi-homer game in the regular season.
That's not all. Because Torres also homered in the Wednesday night showdown, the two combined for a remarkable fun fact -- one that ranged all the way back to the 19th century:
Juan Soto of the @Nationals and Gleyber Torres of the @Yankees have a combined age of 41 years, 48 days, the lowest by opposing players to homer in the same game since Mike Tiernan and Egyptian Healy on May 19, 1887.- Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) June 14, 2018
That's right, 1887.#OnePursuit #PinstripePride
Anytime you help accomplish something that somehow connects you to a 151-year-old pitcher named Egyptian Healy, you know you're doing something remarkable. That's worth a dugout dance, for sure.