Harper wins Home Run Derby at Nationals Park

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 11:29:36-04

Bryce Harper may have entered the All-Star break with a disappointing .214 batting average, but Monday night was all about his power.
The Washington Nationals outfielder won the Home Run Derby in his home ballpark, defeating Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, 19-18. Harper was down 18-9 with about 80 seconds remaining in the finals before ending with a flourish, taking advantage of his 30-second bonus time to overtake Schwarber. He homered on nine of his last 10 swings before entering extra time.
Harper is the third player to win the derby in his home ballpark.
Harper banged out 13 homers in each of the first two rounds to eliminate Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Dodgers utilityman Max Muncy. Nine of Harper’s first 26 home runs traveled over 440 feet.
Schwarber began his power display with 16 home runs in his first-round win over Brewers slugger Jesus Aguilar. Schwarber advanced to the finals by outhomering Phillies first baseman/outfielder Rhys Hoskins, 21-20 in Round 2.
The derby is the annual precursor to Tuesday’s All-Star game, and another National is ready to take center stage. Max Scherzer will take the mound for the National League against Boston’s Chris Sale in a matchup of strikeout artists. The two have combined for over 350 strikeouts already this season.
Sale is the third pitcher to start three times in a row, following Lefty Gomez and Robin Roberts.
NL manager Dave Roberts says Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom will follow Scherzer for the NL. AL skipper A.J. Hinch says 14-game winner Luis Severino of the Yankees will come in after Sale, followed by the Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell.
Thunderstorms are predicted for the hours leading up to the Mid-Summer Classic. But if the forecast holds, the storms should move out of town before the first pitch after 8 p.m.