As the Nats and D’backs prepare for Game 2 of their series at Chase Field, a quick tip of the cap to Willie Harris, who won last night’s game with a 3-run homer off Micah Owings in the seventh inning, snapping a 3-3 tie in most surprising fashion.
Harris, as you may know, isn’t exactly an imposing physical specimen. He’s listed at 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, and that may be generous. In a career that has spanned 1,307 at-bats, he’s hit nine homers. But you know what? He now has two this season, one more than Wily Mo Pena (who towers over him).
Harris’ overall numbers (.172 average, seven RBI) may not look all that great, but there’s no question he has contributed to several Nationals victories. Remember the spectacular diving catch he made in the ninth inning at Shea Stadium to preserve Jason Bergmann’s 1-0 win? When Manny Acta calls on him to lay down a sacrifice bunt or steal a base or play solid defense at any of five different positions (second base, shortstop, third base, left field, center field) he seems to come through.
And here’s the stat that may trump them all: Harris has started 10 games this season. The Nats record in those games is 7-3. Perhaps not surprisingly, he’s back in there tonight against the D’backs, batting seventh and playing left field.
Here’s the rest of Acta’s lineup. First pitch at 8:10 p.m. back east…