The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation announced today it will be dedicating Bryce Harper Field at the Takoma Community Center in Northwest Washington in early May.
The project was made possible through financial contributions from Harper and the Dream Foundation, in partnership with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
"I am excited and honored to participate in the dedication of Bryce Harper Field at the Takoma Community Center," Harper said in a statement issued by the club. "Youth baseball was a very important part of my childhood. The game of baseball has taught me life lessons and shaped the man I am today. To give back to the D.C. community and have local kids play baseball on a field dedicated in my name is truly an honor."
Bryce Harper Field will be the third "Legacy Field" dedicated by the Dream Foundation in the area. Ryan Zimmerman Field, located near Nationals Park on South Capitol Street, was completed in April 2016. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez Field was dedicated in August 2017 in Annandale.
"I am delighted to announce Bryce's support of the Dream Foundation's third Legacy Field project," Dream Foundation chair Marla Lerner Tanenbaum said. "We know that when kids have safe, state-of-the-art facilities to play baseball and softball, they embrace the game and all of its benefits. With these fields, the Dream Foundation is helping to cultivate baseball's lessons of perseverance, teamwork and the importance of physical activity among the D.C. region's kids."
In other news, the Nationals hope to have at least one of their three injured lineup regulars back during their upcoming homestand. Adam Eaton (bone bruise in left ankle) is eligible to return from the disabled list and has been working out with the club through this road trip. Anthony Rendon (bruised left big toe) will be eligible to come off the DL on Sunday. Daniel Murphy (right knee surgery) has been playing in extended spring training games in West Palm Beach and may not require a minor league rehab assignment.
"I'm hoping that Rendon is going to possibly run on Friday, but we'll see," manager Davey Martinez said. "But we'll get somebody back, if not this weekend then by the beginning of next week."
Update: Their lineup may not have looked imposing on paper today, but in practice the Nats are inflicting some serious damage on the Giants. They got three runs in the top of the first thanks to two-out RBI hits from Matt Adams and Andrew Stevenson. Then, after Bruce Bochy called for an intentional walk of Harper with two outs and a man on third in the fourth, Adams launched a 2-1 fastball from Jeff Samardzija to right field for a three-run homer. Max Scherzer gave up back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the second but otherwise has been stellar. And so this unlikely Nationals lineup has opened up a 6-1 lead after four innings.
Update II: It's turning into a laugher, folks. Thanks to a two-run single by Trea Turner in the top of the fifth, the Nats have extended their lead to 8-1. As MASN's Dan Kolko pointed out, the Nats have scored all of their runs today via two-out hits, three of those coming with two strikes on the batter. That's a dramatic (and welcome) change from recent days.
Update III: The two-out RBI hits keep coming. The Nats added a pair more in the sixth when Stevenson doubled (making him 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs) and Adrian Sanchez singled him home. That made it 10-1. The Giants got one run back in the bottom of the sixth off Scherzer, but the ace got through the rest of the frame fine and now has another 10-strikeout game (his fourth in six starts this season).
Update IV: Make it 15-2 in the eighth. Everybody's hitting. The Nats have scored 14 of the runs with two outs. They've scored at least two runs in each of the last five innings.
Update V: It's over. Nats win 15-2 to end this long road trip on a decided high note. They only went 4-5 at New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and they're still 11-14 overall, with plenty of work ahead of them. But that will be a much more enjoyable flight back home tonight than it might otherwise have been had they been swept in this series.