Watch Bryce Harper hit a home run with a shattered bat
NEW YORK — This was shear power by Bryce Harper.
In a startling display, the Washington Nationals slugger shattered his bat into two pieces, yet still hit a long home run Monday night in an 8-6 win over the New York Mets.
‘‘Barreled it pretty good,’’ Harper said. ‘‘It just broke and kept going.’’
Harper hit his major league-high eighth homer, and his 33½-inch, 31½-ounce Marucci bat paid the price. It cleanly cracked, but the ball flew an estimated 406 feet to right-center at Citi Field.
The lumber split just above his hands, and the barrel helicoptered into the high, protective netting behind home plate on the first base side. The five-time All-Star trotted most of the way to first holding the few inches of the handle that remained after tagging a 95-mile-per-hour fastball from Jacob deGrom.
Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo headed toward the wall and quickly ran out of room.
‘‘Yeah, that was pretty shocking,’’ deGrom said, with a slight grin. ‘‘I heard the bat break and then I looked, I saw Nimmo, he just kept going so I was like, ‘Oh, well, I guess that’s out of here.’ ’’
As Harper rounded the bases, first base coach Tim Bogar picked up the sawed-off piece of wood and handed it to a bat boy.
On his way back to the dugout, Harper playfully pulled up his sleeve to show his biceps.
‘‘He started to flex when he came back. I said, ‘Yeah, you’re strong,’ ’’ Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
The 25-year-old former NL MVP has hit 158 home runs so far in his career, boosting his total with the solo shot in the first inning. But anything like that?
‘‘Uh, no,’’ Harper said.
Trea Turner and his Washington teammates were marveling over how Harper did it.
‘‘It was impressive,’’ Turner said ‘‘There’s rumors that it was already broken beforehand. So I'm curious to see the tape to see if he hit it on the barrel or off the end of the bat, whatever it maybe. But nonetheless, impressive.’’
The Nationals rallied against five pitchers in their big burst, winning for just the fourth time in 13 games. The Mets had been off to the best start in franchise history behind the top bullpen in the majors before collapsing.
‘‘That was big, super big. I'm not going to sit here and lie,’’ Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ‘‘It’s a big pick-me-up . . . That dugout was electric.’’
Trailing 6-1, Washington combined five hits, three walks and a hit batter to go ahead.
Harper’s two-run single off Jerry Blevins made it 6-3. Wilmer Difo tied it with a two-out, two-run single off Jeurys Familia, and Michael A. Taylor drew a bases-loaded walk from the Mets closer for a 7-6 lead.
‘‘It was just unfortunate,’’ New York manager Mickey Callaway said. ‘‘Off night for a few of them. But we have to move on.’’
‘‘It’s one inning. It wasn’t even the game,’’ he said. ‘‘We'll learn from it and make sure that it doesn’t throw us into some kind of tailspin. Because we’re a really good team and we've been showing that.’’
Howie Kendrick added a solo homer in the ninth.
DeGrom struck out 12 in 7⅓ innings, the longest outing by a Mets pitcher this season. He left with two on, one out and a five-run lead. He also drove in a run with a safety squeeze.
A.J. Cole (1-1) got the win despite giving up Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-run homer in the seventh that made it 6-1. Ryan Madson earned his second save.
AJ Ramos (0-1) took the loss.