Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman beat the Cubs and saved Washington’s season
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the minutes leading up to the biggest home run of his life, Bryce Harper’s eyes glazed over as he stared out into another October night careening away from the Washington Nationals. Normally during pitching changes, Harper gathers with the Nationals outfield and chimes in with a nugget of information, an observation, something. On Saturday, he offered silence. Nobody knew what he was thinking. Anyone who ever does is just pretending.
It’s not that Harper is some enigma wrapped in a mystery shrouded in Under Armour, eyeblack and hair product. It’s that he’s different, different from Mike Trout and Jose Altuve and Giancarlo Stanton, from Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman, from peers and teammates, from everyone. The world met him at 15 years old and expected something of him, and no matter his talent, transcendent though it is, that burden is real and it is unique. And so to see him here, nearly a decade later, almost 25 years old, the locus of hope for a franchise whose history is utterly bereft of it, is to see all of that fulfilled, the wunderkind uncorrupted by a system that corrupts.