Jul 2, 2013, 4:50 AM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
The crowd rose as Bryce Harper stepped to the plate for the first time in five weeks, both to welcome the Nationals outfielder back from the disabled list but perhaps also in anticipation of what might come next.
Even in his brief time in the big leagues, Harper has already shown a penchant for seizing the moment, such as his Opening Day homer on his very first swing of the season. So when he did it yet again, blasting Yovani Gallardo’s 1-0 pitch into the left-field bullpen to christen his return from a knee injury, the ensuing reaction was less shock than pure awe at the 20-year-old’s latest highlight.
“Wouldn’t you know it?” manager Davey Johnson said, shaking his head. “We kinda expected something, something he was gonna do special.”
Whether Harper’s first-inning blast set in motion another team-wide offensive explosion — resulting in a 10-5 thrashing of the Brewers — or not, it was the talk of the Nationals clubhouse afterward nonetheless.
“Typical Bryce, right there,” said Jayson Werth, who drove in five runs upon returning to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, ahead of Harper. “He’s all about the drama, so he didn’t disappoint us, I guess. That was good.”
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Nationals split up to face Astros, Braves
- Prospects Cole, Rivero cut from big-league camp
- Desperate Braves sign Santana for $14 million
- The good, the bad and the ugly of Nats camp
- Zimmermann perfect against Sabathia, Yankees
- Fister could be ready for season's first week
- Zimmermann leads Nats against Yankees' Sabathia
- Injuries highlight the importance of rotation depth
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals
- Bryce Harper repping new eye black company