Bryce Harper was at the plate in the eighth inning with men on first and second and two outs in a one-run game.
Jayson Werth, one of the hottest hitters in the majors for more than a month, was on deck.
Nevertheless, Harper swung at an inside 3-0 pitch from Scott Rice and fouled it off. He swung again at 3-1 -- "probably ball four," he called it -- and hit a grounder to second, where Daniel Murphy bobbled the ball but could take his time recovering because Harper wasn't hustling to first.
Not a good sequence for the 20-year-old slugger Friday night in the Washington Nationals' 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Bench coach Randy Knorr, in charge for most of the game after manager Davey Johnson left the dugout due to illness, didn't fault himself for giving Harper the 3-0 green light -- and he's fine with Harper swinging at the pitch -- but he wasn't happy to see the youngster jogging to first on the grounder.
"The thing about Bryce right now, it's tough. He gets frustrated. I don't...