Bryce Harper’s homecoming game was by far the worst night in franchise history. The Phillies and their fans stormed the park just like they planned and drove Nats fans out of their own ballpark in an 8-2 rain-delayed loss.
A cold and wet night didn’t get better for the Nationals in any way. The club could only meager two runs, both provided by an Anthony Rendon two-run homer.
Bryce Harper got his revenge after striking out twice against starter Max Scherzer. He doubled twice and hit a solo homer to show Nats fans what they now miss. After the homer, Harper flipped his bat in the direction of the Nationals dugout which was an obvious ‘screw you.’
Harper was booed all five times he came to the plate during the contest which was expected after he signed with the division rival Phillies. Scherzer turned those loud boos into cheers when he struck Harper out in his first two at-bats.
Harper doubled off of Scherzer in the fifth but Eaton did a good job to get the ball in quickly to keep Phillies Shortstop Jean Segura at third.
Harper then doubled off Matt Grace in the sixth which drive in Segura this time to extend to 6-0.
Harper then homered off of Jeremy Hellickson in the eighth and flipped his bat in the direction of the Nationals dugout and extended the Phillies lead 8-2.
Harper’s return home proved to be one of the worst games in franchise history after a good start from Scherzer where he pitched six innings and only allowed two runs. The bullpen once again blew the game and allowed six runs in four innings. Wander Suero, Matt Grace and Jeremy Hellickson were all charged for earned runs in the losing effort.
The bullpen needs to figure things out as they have allowed 16 runs in 11 innings of work already this season. The Nationals could look to address it by either trade, free agency or an in-house option Whatever the solution is the Nationals need to find it quick.