Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 5/2/12

While Joe was up in the press box last night for Bryce Harper’s home debut, I grabbed a couple of buddies and went to the game so I could experience the historic moment among the fans. Here are my overall thoughts from the game:

Crowd: When I heard that Harper would be called up, I immediately jumped on Stub Hub to grab tickets before the price skyrocketed. I had attended Stephen Strasburg’s debut at Nats Park several years earlier, and it was truly an experience I will never forget. I have never seen Nationals fans that unified in my life, and the energy of the crowd was better than any sporting event I have ever attended.

I expected last night’s game to fall short of that since there was such short notice and it wasn’t Harper’s technical debut, but what I experienced was pretty surprising. Only 22,675 fans were on hand to see the game. A lot of them were Nats fans, but a good portion of the people in my section were actually from Arizona. Harper got a standing ovation when his name was announced and during his first at bat, but in general the welcome fell far far short of the one that was given Stephen Strasburg.

At The Plate: Box score’s don’t tell everything. Say what you will about Harper going 0-3 on the night, he hit the ball hard twice, which sadly enough is a lot more than a lot of other Nats players can say. His ground ball up the middle in his second at bat likely would have been a hit had there not been a shift, and his other ground out was also hit sharply directly at the second baseman.

I think the important point here was that he hit the ball on the ground twice. A lot of times when you see young players enter the league, the pop the ball up a lot. That’s a sign that they’re not seeing the ball well, their timing is off, and they are generally being out matched. Harper has hit a lot of line drives and ground balls. To me this means it’s only a matter of time before they start becoming singles and doubles.

In The Field: Bryce Harper plays left field like a linebacker. It’s quite a site to see. I have never seen anyone so aggressively go after balls, so excited to make a play. Unfortunately this  backfired on a few occasions.  On one double down the line he bobbled the ball because he was hurrying to try and keep the runner from getting to second. He was lucky that it didn’t result in a third base. On a few other gappers between him and Rick Ankiel you could tell there were instances where he really wanted to get the ball and the throw, but Ankiel took authority.

The Throw: We were sitting right along the right field foul line, so we got a beautiful view of the throw from the time it left his hands to the time it got to Ramos. I have been to hundreds of baseball games since 1987, and never have I seen anything quite like that. The ball didn’t reach the infield until the base runner was halfway home, but the velocity on that thing was so powerful that it managed to go from the outfield grass to the plate faster than the runner could move 45 feet. Really unbelievable.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants GM confirms he has spoken with Jason Pierre-Paul

Sam Bradford on target to start season opener for Eagles

NFL official: Footballs known to have leaks 'right out of the box'

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Why TCU and Baylor will again dominate the Big 12

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker