Today's Daily Puig is a double-feature, as the Nationals didn't grace us with just one, but two enormous homers that merit further investigation. First up was Bryce Harper's three-run job in the fourth inning against Marlins pitcher Brad Hand, one which stood up to umpire review:
Harper's first home run of 2014 "only" traveled 416 feet because it came crashing down into the upper deck. This shot came off Harper's bat at nearly 111 miles per hour, according to the home run detectives over at Hit Tracker Online: 94 coming in, 111 going out. It actually was estimated to have lost a few feet due to the weather conditions as well: these things matter not to our hero, Bryce Harper.
This wasn't enough for the Nationals to win, however, as they found themselves down 7-6 in the eighth. With two men already on base, the Marlins intentionally walked second baseman Anthony Rendon in order to face right fielder Jayson Werth with the bases loaded. This one didn't need hindsight to be filed in the Terrible Ideas folder, but Werth made sure they realized their mistake, and did so in the most effective way possible: Grand Slam with Emphatic Bat Flip:
The homer is great and all, but seriously, that bat flip:
Rendon is talented and all, and Werth is worse against right-handed pitchers, but that's all relative. Werth is "worse" against right-handed pitching because he's one of the game's most dominant forces against southpaws: he's still one of the better righty-on-righty bats out there, as last year's .309/.382/.501 mark against them and this latest homer remind.
Plus, it's Carlos Marmol on the mound: there was a good chance he would walk in the tying run post-Rendon-free-pass before he recorded another two outs to end the threat. I don't know what the Marlins were thinking, but they got what was coming to them for whatever it was.