Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper electrifies crowd in Home Run Derby

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and National League celebrates with the trophy and teammates Max Scherzer #31 and Sean Doolittle #62 after winning the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. Harper defeated Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs and National League 19-18. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and National League celebrates with the trophy and teammates Max Scherzer #31 and Sean Doolittle #62 after winning the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. Harper defeated Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs and National League 19-18. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper put on the show of all shows in the Home Run Derby on Monday, taking home the crown in front of a lively crowd.

Bryce Harper was the star of the show in the Washington Nationals’ backyard in the Home Run Derby. He was blasting baseballs unspeakable distances all night and took the crown in an electrifying night at Nats Park.

Although in the grand scheme of things, it is just a novelty event, the atmosphere and the way Harper smoked ball after ball was incredible. It was quite possibly one of the best nights in Nats Park history.

He started off the night by showcasing his D.C. flag headband during the player introductions.

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In the first round, he took on public enemy number one, Freddie Freeman. Maybe the whole “the HR Derby ruins your swing” got into Freeman’s head, as he kept scorching doubles instead of homers. Harper cruised to a 13-12 victory, sparing plenty of time.

Next up was 2018 breakout star Max Muncy, who had pulled off a shock in the first round by knocking out Javier Baez. But he couldn’t reach the total he did in the first round, and it was another 13-12 win for Harper.

Then finally, Bryce Harper beat Kyle Schwarber in a tense final to win the trophy that just eluded him in 2015. Back then, it was Yoenis Cespedes who denied him, but a late barrage this year scored him the trophy.

Unlike the first two rounds, he needed every bit of the time given to him to pull out the victory in this one. He had just nine homers with 50 seconds to go, before going on a rampage with nine in regulation.

It was all tied up heading into his 30 second time, and he didn’t waste much time sealing it. The hometown hero proceeded to swat a walk-off bomb to straight-away center to seal it.

In the post-game interviews, Harper couldn’t stop praising the crowd and the D.C. fans in general. He talked about the relationships he had with people around the club, and it’s easy to see how much the city means to him. Hopefully, we’ll still see him with the team for many more years.

Next: Five potential starting rotation targets

This particular Home Run Derby is one that the Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper will remember forever. Now it’s time for him to soak it in again on Tuesday in the All-Star Game.

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