Benches cleared in Washington on Tuesday night, after Braves pitcher Julio Teheran pegged Nats star Bryce Harper. Harper was visibly upset. He had homered in his previous at-bat off Teheran and on the first pitch in the fifth inning, Teheran zipped a 94-mph fastball at Harper's right thigh.
When you watch Harper's reaction, there was no doubt in his mind it was intentional. He quickly pointed at Teheran and jawed at him all the way to first base. Even novice lip-readers can make out some Harper's words, and they weren't G-rated.
The words were as lively as it got. Both teams flooded onto the field, but mostly just stared at each other and made sure no one else made a move.
The next round of bickering happened on Twitter, where the Braves (or their intern updating the Twitter account) took a jab at the Nats and Harper. The Nats, of course, responded. Like what happened on the field, it ended up being tame.
Clown move bro
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 7, 2013
Some — including Braves great Chipper Jones — thought Harper was hit because he took a little extra time to admire that home run earlier in the game. Teheran denied hitting Harper on purpose, telling reporters after the game that he didn't even notice Harper's home-run trot.
Harper, meanwhile, still believed it was on purpose.
Harper also said after the game, he never had any plans to charge the mound. From the Washington Post:
“I mean, 14 1/2 games down and I need to be in the lineup,” Harper said. “He’s got to do what he’s got to do. And it’s part of the game, like I said. If I walk-off on somebody and he wants to drill me, I’ll let him drill me and I’ll stand on first base and say some choice words and get over it.”
At least Bryce has his numbers current. The Braves division lead is at 14 1/2 now. They won the game 2-1 for their 12th win in a row. Come Wednesday, that, not Harper getting hit, should be the real reason the Nats are sore.
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