It has been a frustrating go of things for Bryce Harper recently.
After he was walked 15 times over the course of a four-game series against the Cubs, he faced similar treatment from the Tigers on Monday night in Washington, D.C. Harper was walked intentionally twice, the final coming in the seventh inning.
But then something strange happened.
In the bottom of the ninth, with the two teams tied 4-4, Danny Espinosa was called out on strikes by umpire Brian Knight.
After a bit of jawing, Knight signaled for an ejection.
But he wasn't ejecting Espinosa, he was ejecting Harper, who was deep in the dugout.
Harper looked stunned, and manager Dusty Baker came out to argue to no avail.
Clint Robinson was up next, and on the very first pitch, took Mark Lowe deep with a walk-off home run, winning the game 5-4.
During the team celebration, Harper, who had yet to make his way to the clubhouse, made sure to give Knight a piece of his mind, yelling what appeared to be "Hey, f— you."
The gesture is not likely to be well-received by the league office, considering an ejection is supposed to warrant immediate dismissal from the field.
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.