The Washington Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper with the No. 1 overall pick in two consecutive drafts—2009 and 2010, respectively. From the moment the Nationals drafted Harper, it became clear that both players would play a key role in the team’s future.
One of the biggest story lines as Harper quickly worked his way up the Nationals’ farm system was how he and Strasburg could help the team in the immediate future, and how special it would be to have both him and Strasburg on the field at the same time. While that narrative has died down a bit in recent years, there have been several instances in which both Strasburg and Harper have made their marks in the same game and ultimately led their team to a win.
That’s exactly what happened in Tuesday’s game against the Phillies, as Strasburg and Harper each had phenomenal performances to help lead the Nationals to a 4-0 victory over Philadelphia.
Harper, who has solidified his bid for the NL MVP award with extraordinary offense over the last few weeks, put on yet another offensive explosion in Tuesday night’s game.
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The 22-year-old outfielder homered twice, once in the top of the first inning (a solo shot) and again in the top of the eight inning (a two-run blast). Harper also hit an RBI single in the third inning. The homers—Harper’s 38th and 39th of the season—and the single drove in all four of the Nationals’ runs.
With the two blasts, Harper now leads the National League with 39 homers. He also leads the league in batting average, on base percentage and OPS—and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Fortunately for the Nationals, that was more than enough runs for Strasburg, who pitched arguably the best start of his career.
Strasburg dominated the Phillies’ lineup all night long, pitching eight shutout innings while allowing just one hit and striking out 14 batters (ties a career-high). It was a performance to remember for Strasburg, who earned his ninth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.98.
After Strasburg left the game, Nationals deliver Blake Treinen shut the Phillies down the rest of the way to secure the win for the Nationals.
Next Game: The Nationals look to complete a three-game sweep over the Phillies tomorrow night in Philadelphia. Go Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals, while Alec Asher takes the mound for the Phillies. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.