You’ll excuse us, baseball fans, because this is all still new to us. While maybe you and your team, have experienced the spontaneous and overwhelming joy of “the big homer” we here in Washington, have not.
At least not, for the most part. Sure, Jayson Werth’s series-extending walkoff in 2012 may still be considered the Nats’ “signature moment of glory” but I’m pretty sure Bryce Harper’s moonball into the night vs. the Cubs will eventually surpass it.
Alot is going to ride on what the Nats do from here. The series is just tied 1-1. And we’re not sure if Max Scherzer can even get out of the third inning with his tweaked hamstring.
So for the handful of people saying “Easy, fella. Nice moment, but you are a long way from home yet. You’ve got alot more heartbreak in store to come. This is the FIRST ROUND.”
And yeah, I get it, Cleveland Indian fans can tell us all about that. Their last winning World Series photos are all in black and white!
Hell, Harper’s blast only TIED the game. Zimmerman’s effectively won it! But this team, and this franchise is all about Harper. From the moment we started saving the SI Covers of him in high school thinking “You know… THIS is why we’re okay with losing 100 games again this summer!” we’ve waited for a moment like this, for a moment from him.
Let it soak.
NO DOUBTER! Bryce Harper ties the game for the @Nationals in the 8th. pic.twitter.com/WnMyg2b6fH
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 8, 2017
See, we’re on borrowed time with this guy. He’s going to be a Yankee in 2019. There’s never been a surer thing in my mind, or many others. And it seems like everybody is collectively okay with that. He’s giving us everything you could want. He’s a guy who is pure baseball, from the moment he started blasting them out of sandy fields in Las Vegas. Guys like that, probably NEED to play for the Yankees. I’m sure he sees it as his destiny.
Harper’s awkward injury on a slippery base back in August was going to become a bookend of snakebit sports misery to the Strasburg “shut down” in 2012. We’re the City That Doesn’t Win with the teams that Leave Early.
But somehow, the gods gave us mercy on that knee. And Harper’s maniacal comeback ahead of schedule led up to that moment last night. The familiar script was already nearly finished. A DC sports team comes up small in the playoffs… YET AGAIN.
Harper’s home run was good guy in an action movie, on his back, bloodied and spent…. only to suddenly summon a burst of strength to reach up and choke-throttle the bad guy straddling him.
It was a turning point moment, that said “not this year, Gods. Not this year.”
And it was Harper who did it. Which means everything.
We’ll see if the Cubs end up turning this magical moment back into a “oh yeah, remember that time…” footnote. But for now, it’s as good as it gets for Nats fans.
I was at dinner with Bob and Brian and Co. in Dallas in advance of today’s Packer-Cowboy game. And yeah, I “called it.” Of course, I “called” alot of other shit that did NOT happen in this game and others.
Sports. Nothing else like ‘em! pic.twitter.com/8ws8uitVTL
— Steve Czaban (@czabe) October 8, 2017
Following the Zimmerman HR moments later, I checked in with my mom – the biggest Nats fan I know, along with my dad. While most of you said “awww.. isn’t that sweet?” A few of you said: “Why don’t you list mom in your phone as “mom?” And how come you haven’t texted her in almost 2 weeks!
Well, my tidy-neat-impulse doesn’t like nicknames in my phone rolodex. I keep it as official as a media guide. Mom included! And yes, I should text mom more often!
Text exchange with my mom. Sports. There’s no substitute! pic.twitter.com/F5tT3fYKKb
— Steve Czaban (@czabe) October 8, 2017
How about addressing the whiny Nats organization after losing game 1 No W flags.
You gotta take the good with the bad. Harper crushed that ball!! All I could think of was… Anything hit that far should have a stewardess on it!!!
Well, bat flips are cool to me (see Jose Bautista bat flip), but that’s gotta be bad karma. Sorry Nats fans. Cubs will triumph.
It makes sense that Harper’s HR is the one that people are more excited about. It the one that lifted them off the mat. In the 1978 one game tie breaker the winning run was Reggie Jackson’s HR in the 8th, but Red Sox fans only talk about the 7th inning HR by “Bucky Fucking Dent.”