At 10:57 PM on a muggy Friday night, Bryce Harper stood at the plate with a 3-2 count.
In his previous at-bat in the bottom of the ninth, Harper had driven a towering fly ball into the deepest part of the ballpark in centerfield, but it was caught a step before the wall by Reds centerfielder Billy Hamilton.
The chance for redemption came quickly; in the bottom of the tenth, with two outs, Trea Turner on third base, and Brian Goodwin on first, the equation was simple. If Harper got a hit, or a wild pitch occurred, Turner would score from third to end the game.
If anything else happened, the Nats would go to the eleventh inning and delve deeper into their bullpen, a situation that spelled trouble for Washington.
Dusty Baker would not need to make a move.
Harper, having worked the count full, received a 96.7 MPH fastball down the heart of the plate from Reds’ closer Raisel Iglesias.
The 24-year-old knew exactly what to do with it, lining it into right field, hitting the wall on a bounce. Turner jogged home as Harper attempted to escape his ecstatic teammates (to no avail; Anthony Rendon cornered the hero of the evening between first and second immediately before the rest of the Nats came to celebrate).