WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals hits his first career home run in the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on May 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
• BRYCE HARPER GOES YARD!!: 29-year-old San Diego Padres' '03 1st Round pick, right-hander Tim Stauffer, is now irrevocably linked to Bryce Harper in baseball lore as the pitcher who gave up the 2010 no.1 overall pick's first major league home run. The Nats' 19-year-old outfielder took 62 trips (62 PA, 54 AB) to the plate before he finally connected on a 2-1 slider/cutter from Stauffer and took it deep to center field and onto the batter's eye grass in Nationals Park for a 404ft+ solo HR that gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning of tonight's game. When Harper stepped to the plate, Roger Bernadina was on third, but a snap throw to the bag by Padres' catcher Nick Hundley with Harper at the plate got by San Diego infielder Chase Headley, allowing the Shark to score before Harper went yard. The fans in attendance on a rain-soaked night in the nation's capital went wild, demanding a curtain call from the rookie outfielder, who was happy to oblige after the entire team greeted him in the dugout to celebrate no. 1 of Harper's career.
Unfortunately the celebration was short-lived as Nats' catcher Sandy Leon, in his MLB debut, was injured on a play at the plate just moments later, but for a few short minutes there, after a tough weekend, there was reason to celebrate. Bryce Harper went yard. Here's the link via MLB.com's Bill Ladson:
And here's our completely over-the-top all-CAPS tweet of the call:
BRYCE HARPER GOES YARD!! BRYCE HARPER GOES YARD! STRAIGHT-CENTER FOR HR NO.1!!!!!! 4-1 #NATS [APPLIES EYEBLACK!] CURTAIN CALL— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) May 15, 2012