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Bryce Harper hits his first of many walkoff homers

Jul 25, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

After the Nationals coughed up a 7-3 lead in the top of the ninth Thursday against the Pirates, Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, giving Washington a 9-7 win.

Harper’s homer came off Bryan Morris with two outs in the ninth. He had gone 12 straight games without an RBI before delivering his shot just over the wall in left center. It was his first homer since July 1 and 14th of the season.

The Nationals needed Harper to play the hero because Rafael Soriano and Ian Krol combined to give up four runs in the top of the ninth. Soriano walked the first two batters he faced and gave up two hits while retiring just one batter afterwards. He was pulled from a 7-5 game with left-hander Pedro Alvarez coming up. Krol ended up walking Alvarez (when being able to throw just one breaking ball in the vicinity of the plate probably would have gotten him a strikeout) and giving up a two-run single to Josh Harrison.

The contest ended with neither manager in his respective dugout. Davey Johnson was tossed in the fifth, and Clint Hurdle was ejected two innings later. The sloppy game featured three Pirates errors in the Nationals’ four-run first inning.

  1. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Theirs a black cat headline if ever there were…..

    Nicely done, Nat fans. After last night, it was hard not to ……well….I can’t say felt bad for you. But somehow, some happy ending was due

  2. steelers88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    That was one of the best games of the year both teams fought out there even though the Pirates lost they came back that’s what I love about the Pirates this year they have a never say die attitude they never give up they believe they can comeback. The Nats though deserved to win this game.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Yep…you guys are for real 88!
      And just think…the Cardinals have 10 games against the Redlegs and 14 against the Pirates in the 2nd half of the season. Should be a nail biter! Good luck the rest of the way.

  3. giantsninerswarriors - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I continue to be baffled by the fact that so many people get so excited about a career .268 hitter.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      Could it be his incredibly young age?
      Could it be his 100% balls out hustle?
      Could it be his raw power and natural skills?

    • paperlions - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      That’s okay. I am both perplexed and amazed that people think batting average is somehow a good measure of a hitters production or that they can’t grasp the importance of age and development to understand the context of performance.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      How about this? See previous reference to power. Notice how he hits the homerun on one leg. Specifically, his back foot is off the ground.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      How about this? Could this be what excites people? See my previous reference in regards to his 100% balls out hustle.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      Got one more for you. Could this be what excites people? He rounds second and is ultimately picked off. Yet…that pressure he created (see previous references to balls out hustle) resulted in the Pirates committing errors and Harper scoring from 2nd.

      • jakkispeed - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        Excellent posts. They are all testimony to the potential that Harper brings to the league. Everyone who watches baseball and isn’t a Nats fan would have no problem with him in their team’s lineup.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Isn’t he like 20 years old? Are you expecting him to hit .400 or something?

  4. nobody78 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    “Many”? Walk off home runs are pretty rare. Thome holds the record with just 13. Bonds has 10, Aaron has 9….

    This is a good start, but even if he has an inner-circle HoF career, the odds are against Harper getting to 10.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Good job Harper (and Nationals)!

  6. steelers88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Not to take anything from Bryce Harper but I think the Pirates Interim Manager Jeff Banister gave this one away. I don’t understand why you leave a RHP Bryan Morris to face Bryce Harper who hits RHP very well. I just don’t understand when you two LHP in the bullpen Watson and Wilson who can throw 95+ why wouldn’t you bring in one of those two pitchers to face Bryce Harper.

    • tigersfandan - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Of course, that’s assuming Hurdle wasn’t managing from the tunnel.

  7. mudhead123 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    His first of many walk off home runs? I would like to have his crystal ball

  8. steelers88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Stlouis1baseball I’m going to PNC Park next week to see the Cards VS BUCS! So excited! Should be a fun series! I’m guessing it’s going to be like a playoff atmosphere next week at PNC. The Pirates are a pretty good team but the Cardinals are unreal! It’s going to be a dogfight the rest of the year and I’m looking forward to it! Good luck to you guys to!

  9. steelers88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Harper isn’t even in his prime yet he will get better look at Mccutchen he broke out last year and he was 24 give Harper a few years he will be way better but I would be concerned about his injury problems.

  10. steelers88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Hurdle has said before that once his thrown out of a game he doesn’t interfere with the bench coach decisions.

  11. TheNaturalMevs - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    When this guy is on the field, he’s so phenomenal. Just stay healthy and play every day. The rest takes care of itself.

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