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Harper ties MLB record with 6th walk of game

David Banks / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Chicago Cubs decided to put Bryce Harper into the record books.

Harper's sixth walk of the game Sunday - an intentional one issued by reliever Justin Grimm - tied a modern-era record for the most free passes in a single game.

The feat had only been accomplished three times since 1900, and puts Harper in select company.

6+ Walks in One Game Since 1900

Date Player Team PA IBB
6/16/1938 Jimmie Foxx Rex Sox 6 0
5/2/1984 Andre Thornton Indians 8 2
8/20/1999 Jeff Bagwell Astros 8 2
5/8/2016 Bryce Harper Nationals 7 3

Foxx is the only player to have walked six times in a nine-inning contest.

The Cubs have been extra careful pitching to the Washington Nationals' superstar this weekend. Harper has zero official at-bats in his last 12 plate appearances, a span that's included 10 walks (three being intentional), a hit-by-pitch, and a sacrifice fly.

"(Because of) how good he is - why tempt fate?" Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters about choosing to pitch around the reigning NL MVP. "If the other guy gets you, that's fine. You have no problem with that."

Related: Zimmerman sets runners left on base record vs. Cubs

There was one casualty from all the walks, though: the all-important conversation at first base between opponents.

"We ran out of stuff to talk about," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "We talked about life, baseball, everything."

Harper also became the only player in history to reach base seven times in one game without recording an at-bat, according to Elias. His only non-walk on the day came when he was hit by a pitch.

His 12th-inning walk went for naught, though, as Harper was left stranded when Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to end the inning. The Cubs went on to win the game 4-3 when Javier Baez hit a walk-off home run in the 13th inning.

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