BAH GAWD HE'S BROKEN IN HALF! pic.twitter.com/WSjfwYJoHO
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 16, 2017
Poor defense and another shaky performance from its bullpen had the Washington Nationals down 4-3 heading into the ninth inning. In jeopardy of falling to .500 at 6-6 and another series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Nationals rallied the inning. And then Bryce Harper with runners on first and second hammered his second home run of the game. This one counting as the game-winner with a three-run walk tater.
Harper crushed a 3-2 pitch from Phillies reliever Joanquin Benoit to deep center. As soon as his bat made contact to the ball, the crowd erupted at Nationals Park, knowing the whereabouts of the ball would be somewhere in the stands. It was the second time in the series Harper was involved in a walk-off play to beat the Phillies.
Bryce Harper's walk off was an absolute bomb… 109 MPH and 424ft. pic.twitter.com/b9xWnzcNW1
— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 16, 2017
That was a great at-bat by Harper. Fouled off the first 2 pitches to fall behind 0-2 and fought back to make it 3-2. Murphy behind him helps
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) April 16, 2017
Gio Gonzalez pitched a strong 7 1/3 innings but got in trouble giving up back-to-back singles. The second by Daniel Nava was misplayed by Jayson Werth. The E7 error allowed Caesar Hernandez to round the bases from second and score to cut Washington’s 3-1 lead to 3-2. Then Dusty Baker elected to make the switch to the bullpen with Koda Glover.
Glover threw a wild pitch to advance Nava to third. Then Tommy Joseph ripped a single to left to score Nava and tie the game at 3-3.
Nationals closer Blake Treinen gave up a leadoff double to Aaron Altherr in the ninth. Two batter’s later Freddy Glavis hit into a fielder’s choice. Matt Weiters was unable to hold on to Daniel Murphy’s throw to home as Altherr scored the go ahead run.
But the Nationals rallied. Chris Heisey drew a one-out walk. Adam Eaton singled to left-center field. Two batters later the stage was set for Harper. Harper battled back down 0-2 in the count to force a full count. Down to their last strike, Harper delivered. Harper finished the game hitting 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs.
“We made mistakes and it cost us, but Bryce erased them,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said following the game via Federal Baseball.