Tuesday night Bryce Harper made his first (of many) returns to Nationals Park in Washington. Any appearance Harper had on the field was met with a symphony of boos from the Nationals fans. The once “golden boy” for the nationals was now in the batter’s box hitting against them. The National’s ace pitcher, Max Scherzer, finally got to face off against the man who used to stand behind him in right field.
The first two at-bats for Harper ended with Scherzer doing what he does best, retiring batters back to the dugout without any contact. This was met with louder booing from the Nationals fans as the once praised Harper walked back to the opposing dugout.
Bryce quickly quieted the crowd after the fifth and sixth innings when he hit a double off of Scherzer and an RBI single to make it 6-0. Just two innings later he silenced the few remaining Nationals fans in attendance with a monstrous two-run homer into right field. This was his fifth-longest home run since 2015 and cemented the moment with a powerful bat flip.
Harper loved every second of the game, even the boos. He said that all he had to do was remember the fans back home in Philly watching him and listen to the small section of Phillies fans in the right-field seats. He said as long as he has the city of Philadelphia behind him, nothing else matters to him.
Rhys Hoskins thought that there would be more cheers than boos in Washington for a player who has spent his first seven years in. Hoskins thought it was funny that the crowd was booing, but also all had phones out recording him. He thought Harper handled the whole situation well, even including the extravagant bat flip after his home run.
This is the first of 10 games this season that Harper will return to Washington and only the first season in a long 13 seasons he’s signed on with the Phillies for. The Nationals don’t want to see much more of Harper after his performance this game, but they are stuck with him and the Phillies as division rivals.