Step to it: Josh, Jazz ignite friendly rivalry

September 22nd, 2021

MIAMI -- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

On Tuesday, Nationals rookie left-hander did his best impersonation after striking out the Marlins second baseman in Washington's 7-1 win at loanDepot park. Rogers caught Chisholm swinging, and he celebrated the strikeout by doing Chisholm’s home run celebration off the mound.

“Jazz is a sick player,” Rogers said. “He’s fun to watch. It’s The Show, man, so it’s entertainment for people.”

Chisholm had recorded the first multihomer game of his career in Monday night's 8-7 10-inning Marlins win with two dingers off starter Erick Fedde. Like Chisholm does after every home run, he mimicked the Euro step -- a basketball move in which an offensive player picks up the dribble, takes a step in one direction, then quickly a second step in another direction to evade the defender -- as he crossed home plate.

“I told Fedde [on Monday] that’d be sick if I could do that,” Rogers said. “It ended up working out. Just all in good fun, though. He probably thinks it’s funny, too, so it’s not hard feelings over there.”

Chisholm didn't notice that Rogers had returned the favor on Tuesday until he came in and saw the video. 

"I've never had a pitcher Euro, like do whatever I did, but I've had some pitchers do some celebrations on me," Chisholm said. "I like it, though, it gets me more locked in, and [it's] something to really go out there and compete against."

The 23-year-old rookie wrote as much while commenting on a viral tweet that showed Rogers’s antics following the strikeout. Chisholm went on to joke that it "might make me switch it up."

“What I told [Rogers] is, ‘When you do stuff like that, you better get outs,’” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said with a smile. “He's out there having fun. He didn’t forget what Jazz did [Monday]. The funny thing is, the next inning ... I saw [the Marlins] on the iPads and they were actually looking at it and they were all cracking up in that other dugout. [Josh is] a different cat and he beats to a different drum, but I love it. He goes out and competes, and he keeps everybody on their toes.”

Rogers later robbed the speedy Chisholm of an infield hit in the sixth inning, when he chased down a grounder and executed a backhanded flip from his glove to first baseman Josh Bell for the first out. Though it advanced the leadoff runner to second, it dampened a potential rally with the Marlins down, 4-1.

“He’s super fast,” Rogers said of Chisholm. “I didn’t know if J.B. was going to come get the ball or not, and then I just said, 'Well, I’m just going to commit to it and try this.' I just sprinted over there and tried the glove flip and it was pretty sick. I was hyped off that, for sure.”

"He made a good play," said Chisholm, who had a sprint speed of 30.6 feet per second on the play. "He was making sure that Jazz Chisholm was not going to get on base that night, because he knows I was going to be on it."

Tuesday was the first time Chisholm faced Rogers, but if Rogers locks in a spot in the Nationals' rotation, this is an NL East matchup that could be fun to watch in the future.

“He said that I'm one of the guys who he likes to play against because it's almost playing against the same kind of player,” said Chisholm. “So it gets him going even more when he plays against me, the same way I feel about him.”'