​About two innings after most people had decided on an official Washington Nationals season expiration date, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman proved October can feel a whole lot like midsummer.


On an unseasonably warm evening, Harper strode to the plate and lit up the night with one out in the eighth with one of the longest, most majestic homers you'll see. The kind of home run that children's books get written about decades later, featuring illustrations of Harper toting a railroad spike like a bat.


Just about two months after many feared Bryce would be lost for the season, in addition to 2018, with a horrible knee injury, he proved that all he really needs to be an October hero is for all of us to doubt him.

​​And then, as if we thought Harper's clout wouldn't rejuvenate the entire roster, up stepped the Nat who most embodies a rebirth, the suddenly-ageless Ryan Zimmerman.


We remember when he used to be dinged up and hobbled. But more importantly, we remember his incredible 2017 campaign, and the ​homer that sealed the deal.


When Trea Turner went down hacking against a fist-pumping, Joba Chamberlain-impersonating Jon Lester, we'd forgive you if you thought this was just another Division Series washout for Washington.


But there's a reason star power matters. Because it simply never quits.


And, just like that, the Nationals' biggest question mark entering the series becomes the exact reason they should be favored to tip the scales in Game 3. When Max Scherzer can't go until the third game, that's worrisome until you actually arrive at the third game with the series tied and Mad Max ready to toe the rubber.


And he's not going to let this feeling of electric October success get away so easily.