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Bryce Harper's Base Running Gaffe Kills Possible Nats Rally

8:58 AM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
Bryce Harper reacts after being tagged out at third base, trying to advance on a sac fly to left field.
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ST. LOUIS - One of the things that make Bryce Harper endearing is his all-out, Pete Rose-style hustle.

However, there are times when the Washington Nationals' 19-year-old rookie center fielder isn't sure when to put the reins on the hustle and winds making mistakes.

One of those times came Monday in Game 2 of the National League Division Series and it proved costly in the Nationals' 12-4 loss to the St. Louis at Busch Stadium that evened the best-of-five series at one game apiece.

Down 8-3 in the seventh inning, the Nationals had a rally going when Jayson Werth led off with a single and went to third on Harper's double.

Ryan Zimmerman then lofted a fly ball to medium left field and Werth scored easily. However, left fielder Matt Holliday made an awful throw that rolled toward the infield and Harper decided to make a dash for third base.

Second baseman Daniel Descalso quickly retrieved the ball, though, and easily threw Harper out to complete the double play. The rally was over and game was essentially over, too.

"That's just a little inexperience there," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "It was wrong to try to go to third."

Harper has had a tough series so far, going 1-for-10 with six strikeouts. When asked after the game if he was overanxious, Harper bristled.

"Do you think so?" he said. "Maybe you should be our hitting coach."

by John Perrotto, Special for USA TODAY Sports

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