With the Pirates in town and the Capitals locked in a heated second-round Stanley Cup playoff battle with the Penguins, the Nationals trolled Pittsburgh fans at Nationals Park and on social media Monday by highlighting the controversial no-goal call that helped pave the way for Washington’s Game 2 win.
On Tuesday, the Nationals showed more love for the cross-town Capitals, who were scheduled to drop the puck on Game 3 in Pittsburgh about a half-hour after first pitch. As Max Scherzer prepared to face the Pirates, Nationals players sported #ALLCAPS caps with the Capitals logo.
Several Nationals players attended Game 1 of the Capitals-Penguins series at Capital One Arena on their off day Thursday, and Nationals Manager Dave Martinez led the “Let’s Go Caps!” chant before puck drop in that game. Howie Kendrick is among the Nationals players who have sported Capitals gear in batting practice during the NHL playoffs.
Howie Kendrick during batting practice on Friday. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)
There was at least one notable Nationals player who opted for a different cap on Tuesday. MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reported that Bryce Harper, who was slated to bat leadoff for the first time since 2013, was sporting a Vegas Golden Knights cap during BP.
Harper once started a postgame interview at Nationals Park with a “Let’s Go Caps!” chant and was an avid supporter of D.C.’s hockey team, but that was before his beloved hometown of Las Vegas was awarded an expansion team before this season. Harper is now a die-hard Golden Knights fan, and with Vegas also in the second round of the playoffs after the greatest regular season by an expansion team in sports history, this is apparently no time to split his allegiances. It’s an understandable move.
Harper, who watched Vegas’s Game 1 win over the Sharks last week from the comfort of his own couch while rocking a Golden Knights hoodie and hockey helmet, has used a Vegas Golden Knights logo on his bat knob and taken batting practice in a Golden Knights T-shirt this season. Before Tuesday’s game, he imagined the possibility of the Golden Knights and Capitals meeting in the Stanley Cup final.
Epic wouldn’t even begin to describe it. Just be thankful Harper isn’t from Pittsburgh.
Bryce Harper takes batting practice while wearing a Golden Knights T-shirt on April 21. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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