Harper came up with runners on the corners and a chance to give the Nationals the lead against Milwaukee for the first time in seventeen innings. He had already hit a blast earlier in the game and seemed determined to do it again.
Hader was warming up in the pen and Brewers Manager Craig Counsell called for the twenty-three year old who’s family was in attendance and the kid had fire in his eyes before he even left the bullpen. He didn’t seemed to flinch at all against the superstar until he threw the sickest slider you will ever see and then had to stopped to swallow his breath. One more pitch was all it took, a 98 mph that left Harper feeling foolish.
That wasn’t the pitch that bothered Harper though. He was still furious about a call early in the count and it seemed he let Hader’s long flowing mane get inside his head. After getting rung up, he gave the umpire a huge piece of his mind. He got tossed promptly and then the fun began. With a hand on each end of the bat, he charged and then slammed his weapon into the dirt. Harper glared at the youngster all the way to the dugout.
It was a major meltdown that appeared to show venom for the baby faced phenom. It’s a good sign for Hader who has shown much poise in pressure situations, and yet another strike against the Triple Crown contender.