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Bryce Harper sour at Nationals fans after mass early exit

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper called out fans Monday for a perceived lack of passion after the Washington Nationals' series-opening 8-5 loss to the division-leading New York Mets.

When asked after the game what the atmosphere felt like at Nationals Park, Harper said, "They left in the seventh, so you know, that's pretty brutal."

After six innings, the score was tied 5-5, but the Mets scored three times in the seventh to break the game open.

The announced paid attendance for the Labor Day game was 34,210. That's slightly above average for a Washington team that entered the day ranked 10th in home attendance at 33,109.

Based on fan reaction during the game, the crowd appeared to be a mixture of people rooting for both the Nationals and the Mets, who rank sixth in road attendance at 32,143.

Harper's comments come on the heels of similar comments made by closer Jonathan Papelbon following the team's extra-innings win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

"I got a little bone to pick with fans," said Papelbon, who pitched two innings and was credited with the win on Friday. "I saw a few of 'em sitting down. We need to stand up in those situations. 'Cuz this is playoff baseball."

The announced paid attendance on Friday was 23,536, the Nationals' second-smallest crowd of the season.