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MLB's 'Chosen One,' 19-year-old Bryce Harper, debuts for the Nationals

Michael Santo's picture

Bryce Harper, now 19, made his major league debut on Saturday, April 28, and showed off some of the talent that gave was dubbed "The Chosen One" of Major League Baseball when he was just 16.

Playing for the Washington Nationals at a sold-out Dodger Stadium, Harper, who had been the first player taken overall in the 2010 major league baseball draft, doubled in his third at-bat as his only hit, but also contributed by hitting a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning for the then go-ahead run, and nearly nailed a runner at home plate with a perfect throw from left field.

It wasn't enough. Despite Wilson Ramos adding an insurance run for the Washington Nationals in the top of the 9th with an RBI single, the Dodgers managed to push the game into extra innings when Nats closer Henry Rodriguez gave back both runs back in the bottom half of the 9th, Then, super hot Dodger Matt Kemp ruined the day for Bryce Harper with a lead-off home run in the 10th inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.

Harper had nothing but praise for Matt Kemp. "Kemp hit a bomb, and that's terrible. But he's a great player and a great hitter. He's hitting like .440 right now with 11 jacks and 24 RBIs. I know that if I had a number one pick, he'd be it. He's unbelievable." Harper had been paying attention. Kemp is batting .442 with 11 HRs and 24 RBIs. He also has a .922 slugging percentage and an OPS of 1.428.

The Nationals' ace Stephen Strasburg matched up with Chad Billingsley. The pitchers dueled, exchanging zeros until both teams scored a run in the eighth against the two starters. The Nationals came up with two in the top of the ninth to take a 3-1 lead, but then Rodriquez gave up the tying runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Jamey Wright held the Nats scoreless in the top of the tenth. Then, with Tom Gorzelanny pitching for Washington, Kemp hit his walk-off homer and the game was over.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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