Victor Robles steals the show on Bryce Harper night

Brian Tinsman
September 26, 2018 - 9:40 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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As baseball fans filed into Nationals Park on Wednesday afternoon, the future was top of mind.

Sure, the team had a chance to secure its 81st win and ensure at least a .500 season, but the star of the night was Bryce Harper, who faces free agency for the first time this offseason as a 25-year-old superstar who likely has not peaked.

Wednesday's rain-interrupted contest with the Miami Marlins would be his final guaranteed game coming out of the home clubhouse at Nationals Park, and it seemed like a fitting time for an iconic Harper performance.

The performance came, but not from No. 34. It came from Victor Robles, the multi-talented youngster who very well might take Harper's job next year, depending on how negotiations play out.

On Wednesday night, Robles manned center field and batted leadoff, setting the table for Harper behind him. More accurately, he served a buffet for Harper and kept it going through the rain delays all night.

According to the Nationals PR team, Robles became just the third player 21 years or younger in the last decade to collect four hits, five RBI and a home run in a single game. The most recent player to do so was teammate Juan Soto, who did so earlier this season. This has never been done by teammates, much less in the same season:

Robles' final line was 4-for-5 with five RBI and a run scored. He drove in more than half of the team's nine runs on the evening and single-handedly beat the Marlins. 

Those are the feats that Nationals fans came to expect from Harper, who has also shown the ability to take over a game. But as the Nats enter into what could be highly contested and possibly contentious negotiating process with Harper and his super-agent Scott Boras, Robles left a compelling performance on the field as insurance.

 

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