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Bryce Harper makes the defensive play of the year with a rocket throw

Bryce Harper makes the defensive play of the year with a rocket throw

Bryce Harper is a freak of nature.

Its been known for years that Harper can put any pitch basically anywhere in a major league ballpark and his defensive abilities are on the same level. Earlier this week, he busted open a ball just by hitting it foul! In his younger days, the now 24-year-old was willing to lay his whole body out on the line. He has slowly aged into a five-year veteran and the defensive plays are not as prevalent. 

On Saturday, he reminded us of his Gold Glove abilities out in right and delivered a rocket to add to his career highlight reel. 

Tied in the top of the ninth against the Texas Rangers, the Nationals bullpen was on the way to falling apart again at Nationals Park. Shin-Soo Choo had just hit a homer off of Koda Glover, and was followed by a single, walk, and a double. There were then runners on second and third and a 3-1 lead erased. No outs.

Harper momentarily saved the day, delivering a perfect ball into the catching glove of Jose Lobaton.

A throw recorded at 98.2 mph.

Originally the runner, Pete Kozma, was called safe at home. Upon further review, it was deemed that Kozma's foot did not reach the plate in time and Harper's throw did indeed get him out. 

If this is not on the short list for defensive play of the year at the end of the season, someone needs to find a new job.

The double play got Washington (38-23) out of the inning but it was not enough to will the team to a victory. A three run home-run by Robinson Chirinos gave the Rangers the edge in the 11th, giving Texas (29-32) the 6-3 win. 

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: April update

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: April update

Frankly, it’s too early to make major changes to our power rankings. Let this serve as the requisite reminder that the season is only ~10% done, and all reactions right now could be classified as overreactions.

That said, nearly three weeks’ worth of games is all we have to go on right now, and there have already been a few teams to make our preseason rankings look silly.

Some players/teams have no reason to worry (Nationals, Cubs), and some have truly changed our minds (Mets, Orioles). There’s so much baseball left to be played, however, so just like our preseason edition, these newest rankings will also look laughable as early as next month.

It’s always fun to take a snapshot of the current order of teams though, especially when it means we get to move the Yankees down in the rankings.

Without further ado, here’s our mid-April update to the 2018 MLB Power Rankings.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL 2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS