Harper's day: HR, plunking, Twitter war
Bryce Harper hit a solo home run which put him in the history books, got plunked by a pitch his next at bat, got the benches to empty and sparked a Twitter war between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves — all in the same night.
What a life this 20-year-old All-Star has.
Harper’s homer in the third inning against visting Braves pitcher Julio Teheran on Tuesday night put him ahead of Ken Griffey Jr. and into third place on the list of players with the most homers before their 21st birthday. It was his 17th of the season and 39th of his career. Only Mel Ott (61) and Tony Conigliaro (56) had more before turning 21.
His next at bat was less pleasant as he was hit by Teheran’s pitch, screaming expletives at the right-hander which caused both bullpens to empty onto the field. At least no blows were thrown.
Ultimately, though, the Braves won the game 2-1 — their 12th win in a row — but not before the war on Twitter started. And former Brave Chipper Jones threw the first grenade:
Don't walk off homers and u won't get hit!— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10) August 7, 2013
The Braves official Twitter page decided to not just sit back and let their former slugger go into battle alone, even taking a page out of the Bryce Harper dictionary:
Clown move bro— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 7, 2013
The Nationals responded with a clincher. They lost the game, but the Twitter bout goes to D.C.:
@Braves Which part, giving up the home run, or drilling the 20-year-old on the first pitch his next time up?mdash; Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 7, 2013
Are Conigliaro's 56 — or Ott's record 61 — in jeopardy? Well, Harper doesn't turn 21 until Oct. 16, so there's a chance. A safer bet? You better believe he'll have a few more interesting nights on the field before then.