For one night at Nationals Park, everything felt right.
For one night, Bryce Harper was the Bryce Harper he was always supposed to be: the fire-starting, high intensity phenom that could make stadiums roar with the snap of his fingers.
The event itself had little meaning, and Harper had an advantage from the start thanks to his low (high?) seed. It’s unlikely that any momentum Harper created will carry into the second half of the season.
It doesn’t really matter.
Harper, when he knocked off six homers in 27 seconds to tie Kyle Schwarber up at 18, and then another in his bonus seconds — a homer that everyone knew was coming, punctuated by a bat flip that rocketed into the air with an unconventional two-hand throw — gave Nationals fans something.
He gave the home team a win, let the (albeit, T-Mobile Purple) fireworks fly for the good guys. Dave Martinez didn’t have to worry about starters pitching short outings or relievers imploding; he could simply embrace Harper.
Nats fans, above all, got one last moment with the player they had known since he was a sixteen-year-old with eye black splattered over his cheeks. The offseason, for one day, meant nothing.
It's coming home, it's coming home... pic.twitter.com/by5jdn8hrM— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 17, 2018