Originally written July 26, 2013 on Pro Sports Daily:
Bryce Harper barely remembered the end but he felt it. The details remained hazy — the ball bouncing around the red seats his raised fist as he rounded first base the mix of joy and relief that engulfed Nationals Park. All he knew was his body throbbed in the spot Ryan Zimmerman kept jabbing after his leap into a pile of waiting exuberant teammates. “He was punching me in the frickin’ rib” Harper said smiling. The celebration had come after Harper rescued the Washington Nationals turning what could have been their most demoralizing loss yet into a 9-7 Band-Aid victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Their manager got ejected their closer imploded and their season teetered until the moment with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday afternoon when Harper blasted his first career walk-off home run. They snapped their six-game losing streak only after the Pirates tied the game with four runs in the ninth inning a meltdown that included bench coach Randy Knorr’s bold yanking of $28 millio...
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