Saturday, March 28, 2020

‘Traitor’ Bryce Harper slams home run – and flips bat – on return to Nationals


Showered by raindrops and jeers for high of the video game, Bryce Harper convey a bat-flipping, celebratory finish on his memorable return to Washington. Harper crushed a protracted great hit as part of his final at-bat, as well as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Nationals 8-2 Tuesday night with the franchise’s best start in over the century. Maikel Franco also homered for your Phillies, baseball’s only undefeated team at 4-0.

Harper left Washington after playing 927 games over seven years, involved in six All-Star Games and winning the 2019 NL MVP Award. He believed exactly what the Nationals had to offer, then signed a $330m, 13-year contract together with the rival Phillies in February. Harper hasn’t wasted at any time providing returns to your investment. He has got three homers and five RBIs in four games, together with a .429 batting average. He drove in three Tuesday.

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Booed during every at-bat, Harper thumped a 458-foot homer during the eighth inning off Jeremy Hellickson. As being the ball soared toward your second deck in right field, Harper flipped his bat and circled the bases with delight before celebrating along with his new teammates while in the visiting dugout.

“It’s the emotion of your game. There you have it. That’s concerning this,” he was quoted saying with the bat flip. He added: “I was pretty energized. I used to be excited. I’d been looking to get into my teammates as quick as it can be and do my handshakes.”

When Philadelphia’s starting lineup was announced within the late stages of a 41-minute rain delay, it became apparent that Harper might not be welcomed back warmly. Many in the crowd of 35,920 booed loudly when his name was announced when the No3 hitter, as well as the derisive shouting continued on a video montage of his biggest moments when using the Nationals. “Hearing the boos while in the first at-bat just reminded me which have 45,000 people back in Philadelphia screaming for my situation,” Harper said.

“Bryce is usually a polarizing figure,” Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said after the game. “I don’t suggest that in a bad way whatsoever. Employing way he’s been, whether he wants it or perhaps not, since he was 12 years or whatever. That’s just style of been how it is often for him his entire life.

When he took his position in right field, Harper stood when in front of seven fans wearing white shirts that spelled out T-R-A-I-T-O-R, another join the group read “Snake”. After striking out twice, Harper doubled to in the fifth and singled inside of a run inside sixth so it will be 6-0 before connecting from the eighth. Should the game ended, many Phillies fans remained, chanting “MVP! MVP!”.

Very little went good for the Nationals, who fell to 1-3. Shortstop Trea Turner left while in the first inning after being struck by using a pitch on his right index finger while aiming to bunt. Turner squared while hitting and couldn’t back away with a fastball that struck his hand, which was wrapped about the bat. The injury was diagnosed like a nondisplaced fracture. The timetable for his return is undetermined.

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