Juan Soto helps the Mets beat the Nationals

Monday night was Juan Soto's final at-bat. The eighth-inning walk was his third of the game. 

Afterward, things weren't typical. As Soto took off his equipment along first base, Nationals Park fans applauded.

They knew it could be his last at-bat in a Nationals uniform. Josh Bell subsequently lined out.

Monday's 7-3 loss to the Mets didn't signify much, but they may come Tuesday's 6 p.m. trade deadline. 

Soto knew it; he tipped his helmet to the fans during a pitching change. Soto: "I control what I can."

"Playing hard for the supporters. Because [fans] love me.

So I'll love them." Soto blasted his 21st homer of the season off former teammate Max Scherzer. 

He took his time reaching home plate. Fans stood & clapped longer as he walked to the dugout. 

Scherzer understands Soto's situation: He spent six-plus years with Washington before being traded to the Dodgers with Trea Turner at last year's deadline.

Scherzer's start showed how much a team can alter in the offseason. Soto & Bell stayed with the Nationals into nine innings Monday night.

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