Aug 7, 2013, 4:38 AM EST
|USA Today Sports Images|
Desperate for some kind of emotional spark, something that might snap them out of their season-long fog and set them on an upward path at long last, the Nationals got their wish in the fifth inning Tuesday night when their 20-year-old star took a fastball off his hip and then started jawing at the opposing pitcher, clearing both benches and bullpens.
Bryce Harper may have stoked the flame, but it’s tough to keep the fire going when you can’t deliver a single clutch hit in a key situation.
That has been the story of the Nationals’ entire season, and it once again was the story on Tuesday during a 2-1 loss to the Braves that left them staring up at an almost-unfathomable 14 1/2-game deficit in the NL East.
“You get one of your guys hit, get people fired up, maybe get a little motivation there,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “I don’t know. I’ve seen it go both ways.”
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2013 schedule (subject to change)...
TUE: 12:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
WED: 2:30 p.m.
THU: 4:30 p.m.
FRI: 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
SAT: 9:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
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