The rookie outfielder made the transfer, crow-hopped and launched. By about this time, Harper was just turning back from second base. As Harper was making his way back to first, the ball went from the leather of Goeddel's glove to his right hand and into the muggy Philadelphia air. The ball landed, bouncing on one hop, in Ryan Howard's glove just as Harper attempted to sneak his foot onto the bag.
Harper was too late, first-base umpire Mike Estabrook ruled. The Nationals challenged, but to no avail. The loudest and longest cheers of the game from the Citizens Bank Park crowd rained onto the field as Phillies fans witnessed Goeddel's assist hold up on a baserunning gaffe by the reigning National League MVP.
"I couldn't believe it," manager Pete Mackanin said. "It's a shame to waste a great play like that and not come out with a win."
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.