The Washington Nationals may be underachieving this season, but that's not keeping them from the headlines every once in a while. This time, it's because of Bryce Harper's gaze, a brushback and a very public Twitter spat.
It all happened during Tuesday night's Nationals' 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Harper hit his 17th home run of the season off Atlanta pitcher Julio Teheran.
However, Teheran and the Braves seemed to take exception to the precocious 20-year-old outfielder admiring his dinger as it sailed over the fence.
By the 5th inning, Atlanta had reclaimed a 2-1 lead on Washington, but the bad blood wasn't quite gone. In the bottom of the 5th, Teheran drilled Harper in the right thigh with a fastball. Harper immediately responded with some choice words for the Atlanta starter.
"That ball was so far inside, Bryce had no chance to get out of the way," Nationals play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter said during his broadcast on MASN. "If that wasn't intentional, that was the miss of the year."
That quickly led to the benches and bullpens clearing. The teams did not exchange any shoves or punches; the incident quickly descended into a prolonged stare-down between the two sides before they retreated to their respective dugouts.
Of course, in this era, nothing ends on the field. The team's respective Twitter accounts later traded barbs about the exchange.
Clown move broAtlanta Braves (@Braves) August 7, 2013
The Nationals' reply, which has since been deleted, said, "Which part, giving up the home run, or drilling the 20-year-old on the first pitch his next time up?"
Washington and Atlanta will play the final game of their three-game series, of which the Braves have won the first two, Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.