Manny Piña does not get a lot of publicity in a Milwaukee Brewers lineup that includes the likes of Eric Thames and Ryan Braun (when healthy). The catcher has been doing an admirable job filling the shoes of Jonathan Lucroy, however, who was dealt away to the Texas Rangers at last year's trade deadline. He continued to do work on Tuesday night, hammering Washington Nationals starter Edwin Jackson right after his teammate did the same.

Milwaukee Brewers go yard

Jackson did well during his first start with the Nationals, but expectations weren't necessarily raised for him when he went up against the Brewers on Tuesday.

That proved to be a good thing, as he struggled greatly. He made it through the first inning unscathed, but gave up a run in the second inning. He then gave up four runs in the fourth inning, including a three-run blast, to put the Nationals up 5-0. Thames crushed a ball to right field to start the fifth inning, bringing Piña to the plate.

Piña looked at three straight balls to start the at-bat, then took a strike down the middle to put the count at 3-1.

The catcher sent the next pitch to the deepest part of the ballpark, straight past center field for a solo home run to put the Brewers up 7-0. Jackson managed to stay on for the rest of the inning, but the writing was on the wall for him; he was replaced by Oliver Perez to start the sixth inning, putting the ball in the hands of the team's beleaguered bullpen.

Piña gets the job done

For Piña, it was the seventh home run of his career. Considering the 30-year old catcher entered the season with just one home run to his name, that's pretty impressive at this point of the season for a player at one of the sport's most taxing positions.

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He did not begin the season as the team's presumed starter at catcher -- that fell upon Jett Bandy -- but he has taken to the role for the NL Central-contending Brewers.

Piña's impact is not limited to the offensive side of the game, though, as he has been one of the best defensive catchers in the National League as well. His .996 fielding percentage at the position trails only Tucker Barnhart and Travid d'Arnaud. He is worth six total zone runs, again trailing just Barnhart and Yasmani Grandal. His defensive WAR is second among catchers according to Baseball-Reference and sixth in the NL as a whole.

As long as Piña is manning the backstop for the Milwaukee Brewers, the team should feel as if it's in good hands.

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