Photo: Tommy Gilligan - USA TODAY Sports

Harper captures the 2018 Home Run Derby title

Bryce Harper wins the Derby in front of his home crowd in Washington D.C.

July 16, 2018 - 10:48 pm
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Kyle Powell reporting
@kyle_powell2


For the first time in its history, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. was given the honor of hosting the All-Star Game festivities.

The MLB All-Star Futures Game took place Sunday afternoon, and Team USA slugged their way to a 10-6 victory over the World. It was quite fitting that the Futures Game on Sunday featured so many long balls, because it was a nice appetizer for what was to come on Monday night.

The entreé, of course, was the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. Eight sluggers (seven of which came from teams in the National League) tested their wits in four-minute bouts of strength, perseverance and determination to see who could send out the most total baseball into the seats before the timer hits zero. Contestants were seeded based off their total number of first-half, regular-season home runs.

Thanks in part to nine home runs in 47 seconds in the final round, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper took home the hardware with a miraculous comeback over Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs. Being the lower seeded hitter, Schwarber kicked off the final round with 18 homers and applied some serious pressure on Harper. Bryce made the best of it, though, rallying to tie Schwarber at 18 as his initial timer expired. From there, Harper was able to clinchthe title thanks to bonus time earned from hitting at least two of his homeruns at or over 440 feet.

With his Home Run Derby triumph, Harper also joined a short list of participants to win the Derby in their home ballpark. Until 2018, only the Cubs' Ryne Sandberg (1990 - Wrigley Field) and the Reds' Todd Frazier (2015 - Great American BallPark) lay claim to such prestige.

Let's take a look at the recap of how we got to Harper's victory:

 

Round 1:

  • #8 - Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies) def. #1 - Jesús Aguilar (Milwaukee Brewers), 17-12
  • #5 - Kyle Schwarber (Chicago Cubs) def. #4 - Alex Bregman (Houston Astros), 16-15
  • #3 - Max Muncy (Los Angeles Dodgers) def. #6 - Javier Báez (Chicago Cubs), 17-16
  • #2 - Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals) def. #7 - Freedie Freeman (Atlanta Braves), 13-12


Round 2:

  • #5 - Schwarber def. #8 - Hoskins, 21-20
  • #2 - Harper def. #3 - Muncy, 13-12


Finals:

  • #2 - Harper def. #5 - Schwarber, 19-18

 

The rest of the All-Star Break festivities come on Tuesday night, where the All-Star Game gets going at 8 p.m.

The starting pitching matchup sees Nationals starter Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.41 ERA) go to battle with Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale (10-4, 2.23 ERA) for the second straight year.

You can hear the game on WGR with coverage starting at 7 p.m.

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