Expectations for Bryce Harper were high going into the 2013 season, but what Harper did on Monday afternoon in front of over 45,000 fans at Nats Park. During the Washington Nationals opening day matchup against the Miami Marlins, the NL Rookie of the Year started the season by crushing homeruns in each of his first two at bats, sprinting around the bases, and throwing out the I Love You shoutout to his folks in the crowd.
After cranking a homer in the 1st inning to get the Nationals offense started, the crowd rose to their feet expecting a curtain call. Bryce knew that that was just the beginning of a long season, so he remained in the dugout. However, when he hit an even longer bomb in the 4th inning, the crowd refused to let Harper remain hidden.
With a little nudge from Chad Tracy Harper emerged from the darkness and acknowledged the fans who were absolutely in awe at the phenom.
When Bryce Harper stepped to the plate for his 3rd at bat, electricity was surging through the fans at Nats Park. Anticipation was in the air and 45,000+ people were not just hoping for Bryce to go for the hat trick, they were expecting it.
And what did Harper do in the 2 run ballgame? He squared up to bunt. The crowd was shocked, the announcers laughed, and in the dugout Davey Johnson was probably grinding his teeth. It turned out to be just a ploy by Harper who took a bad pitch for ball 3 late in the at bat. The crowd was not having a walk in this situation, they demanded a fight.
Harper ended up popping out in the at bat, but as he returned to the dugout the crowd remained on their feet to show their support to the opening day superstar. But if you thought Bryce would only make an impact at the plate you haven't watched much of Bryce Harper.
In the 7th inning, with the Marlins threatening to score with a 1 out sacrifice fly, the respect of Bryce Harper's arm caused the Marlins to hold the runner at 3rd. It was definitely a good call by the fish as Harper threw a perfect line drive strike to Wilson Ramos at home plate. The throw surprised the Marlins so much that it confused the baserunner who ended up getting caught in a rundown before the other runner was thrown out at home to complete the inning ending double play. The old 7-4-3-2-4 DP...
Harper snuck in in a final at bat in the 8th, but ended up fouling out on a ball that was only inches from being out of play. Two for 4 with 2 homers and 2 RBIs, the only runs of a 2-0 shutout...not a bad day for the 2nd year star.
Here are the 2 homers and the curtain call as seen from the crowd: