The lumber split just above his hands, and the barrel helicoptered into the high, protective netting behind home plate on the first base side. The five-time All-Star trotted most of the way to first holding the few inches of the handle that remained after tagging a 95 mph fastball from Jacob deGrom.
Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo headed toward the wall and quickly ran out of room.
“Yeah, that was pretty shocking,” deGrom said, with a slight grin. “I heard the bat break and then I looked, I saw Nimmo, he just kept going so I was like, oh, well, I guess that’s out of here.”
As Harper rounded the bases, first base coach Tim Bogar picked up the sawed-off piece of wood and handed it to a bat boy.
On his way back to the dugout, Harper playfully pulled up his sleeve to show his biceps.
“He started to flex when he came back. I said, yeah, you’re strong,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
The 25-year-old former NL MVP has hit 158 home runs so far in his career, boosting his total with the solo shot in the first inning. But anything like that?
“Uh, no,” Harper said.
Trea Turner and his Washington teammates were marveling over how Harper did it.
“It was impressive,” Turner said “There’s rumors that it was already broken beforehand. So I’m curious to see the tape to see if he hit it on the barrel or off the end of the bat, whatever it maybe. But nonetheless, impressive.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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