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Bryce Harper’s first two-homer game paces Nats in victory

Aug 29, 2012, 11:55 PM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Images

Bryce Harper homered in the fourth and fifth innings to drive in three runs Wednesday in the Nationals’ 8-4 victory over the Marlins.

It was the first two-homer game for the 19-year-old Harper. He has 14 homers and 40 RBI in 412 at-bats this season.

Harper was ejected from the game after grounding into a double play in the ninth. He slammed his helmet down on his way past first base, and umpire C.B. Bucknor threw him out.

“Bryce couldn’t control his emotions again,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I had a little chat with him. He’ll get over it. He’s just a hundred-percenter. He expects great things out of himself, breaks bats, throws his helmet. He’s just got to stop it. We can’t afford to be losing him in a ballgame. He’ll learn. He’s young.”

Harper has struggled through July and August, and he entered tonight’s game with a .195 average in 159 at-bats since the All-Star break before breaking through against fellow youngster Jacob Turner. The 21-year-old Turner, making his second major league start after coming over from the Tigers before the trade deadline, allowed five runs in five innings to take a loss.

Even though Harper hasn’t been hitting and he’s been guilty of occasionally misjudging balls in center field, the Nationals have continued to play him regularly and hit him high in the lineup. He made it pay off tonight, but with the way his OBP has tumbled, it’d probably be better if he were batting seventh instead of second.

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    And then Harper’s evening was disrupted by a dim-bulb umpire who believes he’s an effing mind reader. Harper hits into a DP and obviously pissed at himself, throws his helmet down after being nailed at first. The ump decides the toss was at him in protest of the call and throws Harper out of the game! Not the first time I’ve seen a player ejected when he was most likely angry only at himself. Really, really lame. Hey umps: Hard to fathom, I know, but it’s not always about you!!

    • lewp - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      That’s a clown comment bro…

      If you saw the video, the helment bounced up and narrowly missed the umpire in question…Harper looked like a spoiled kid not getting his way.

      • spellingcops - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

        You need to look at the video again lewp. The helmet was nowhere near hitting the ump. He just wasn’t getting enough TV time, so he had to make it about him.

      • lewp - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        I wish the kid much success, I have a friend that bought his rookie card, and some people say the card is worth probably a 1,000.00 now…so I want the kid to make it big…but i still think him throwing the helmet was goofy and I still think the helmet had a chance to hit someone…I don’t think it’s the way pro player should act with kids watching…but that’s just me. You all can defend his actions if you want to, but I don’t get it.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        I saw numerous replays. The helmet was easily 3 – 4 feet in front of C.B. Buckner.
        So much distance in fact…that C.B. didn’t even flinch. You must have missed this angle.
        The angle I am referring to was from the SS/2nd Base area. Not even close to Buckner.
        Bryce should have gotten a fine for throwing equipment and that is that.

    • nflfollower - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      The first comment hit it on the head. C.B. need to lose his ego and realize fans want to see Harper play, especially those who bought tickets to that particular game. They don’t want to see him tossed for getting disgusted with himself, and I can guarantee nobody ever bought a ticket to see CB Buckner umpire a game.. The umpires have overblown egos, the game is absolutely not about them, and it’s getting ridiculous. Buckner needs to be suspended a few games for this. His only job is to call a fair game, and if he’s not noticed at all, then he’s doing the best job he possibly could.

  2. sawxalicious - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    I think with Harper’s talent level, the Nats are doing the right thing…he’s capable of blowing up(in a good way) at any time as he demonstrated tonight. All his shortcomings are related to experience, and the only way to overcome that is with plenty of playing time. Kid’s got a real bright future.

    • kinggw - Aug 30, 2012 at 2:10 AM

      Agreed. Harper isn’t going to learn to lay off the low and away breaking ball or the proper way to approach fly balls by sitting on the bench. His immaturity has been blown way out of proportion. He has broken 3 bats (one came back and busted him in the face) and slammed his helmet down a couple of times. For a guy whose every move has been under the microscope since he’s been 16, I think he is doing quite well. I love the way he plays and hope he never loses that passion.

  3. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Other 100%ers Pete Rose, George Brett, Dave Stieb, Roger Clemens (150% is you take into account the juice he did his entire career), Moises Alou (Piss on your own hands you’re all in) and many others. It’s not such a bad thing him being wired like this, if you don’t have it in hockey you’re considered soft. In baseball it actually ruffles some peoples feathers. Funny

  4. smallpapi - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Forbid if any baseball players show emotion now but because it’s Harper he has a bulls-eyes on his back from all MLB. So if the umpires have a chance to smite him of course he is going to get thrown out. They need to relax ‘bro and actually start umpiring better, this year has been horrific with all the blown calls.

  5. chalkruz1989 - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    Nothing funnier than turning on ESPN and hearing them say that Bryce Harper needs to mature and become a smarter player. First, Bryce is still a teenager, secondly, I’ve seen the likes of Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, and Josh Hamilton get ejected from games for arguing. C.B. Bucknor and other umpires (Joe West!!!) think they are part of the game, but they are not. Another example of an umpire trying to be important.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      I’ve seen the likes of Derek Jeter

      It’s hard to believe, but no you haven’t as Jeter has never been ejected from a game before. If you want to use a Yankee, talk about how revered O’Neil was for giving 125% every game, which unfortunately included the occasional bat toss, helmet throw or water cooler destruction.

  6. natslady - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Davey’s not moving Harper down in the order. And Rizzo said he will be playing “Every d*** day.” Here are his stats for the last 11 games (which include the 5-game Nats skid): .293/.310/.603. Only problem in that period (as I see it) is 10 K’s vs. only 1 BB. They are feeding him a steady diet of low (mostly outside) breaking stuff. Turner (age 21?) tried to get a couple fastballs past him, and the HR’s were the result.

    Harper flubbed a ball in the outfield (very generously scored a double) but he also prevented a run with a super throw to home (runner on 3rd had to hold).

    • stex52 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      Hardly uncommon for the new kid to struggle with the breaking stuff in the dirt. That’s purely MLB stuff. They all have to learn to handle it on the job in the Majors.

  7. yahmule - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Yeah, the umpires hate Harper so much he’s had the strike zone of a 10 year veteran since his first major league plate appearance. People attempt to assign underdog status to individuals they like despite all evidence to the contrary.

  8. gosport474 - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Todd Frazier for Rookie of the Year, deservedly so.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      No sure what the thumbs downs are for gosport474 cause’ you are dead on.
      Todd Frazier is easily your NL Rookie of the Year. The kids a stud. Can play anywhere.
      Todd Frazier = NL ROY

      • yahmule - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Wilin Rosario should be runner-up.

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