Add one more unbelievable catch to the highlight reel. With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton robbed Randal Grichuk of what would have been a go-ahead two-run home run. Closer Corey Knebel was most appreciative as he racked up his 30th save of the season in the Brewers’ 6-5 victory.
Broxton did not start Wednesday’s game. He entered as a defensive substitution in the eighth inning and didn’t come to the plate. The 27-year-old is hitting .225/.300/.447 with 20 home runs, 49 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 411 plate appearances on the season.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.