Concerns have mounted for the Washington Nationals earlier and with more frequency than expected, and the best solution to each so far has been the same. When something goes wrong, when the bullpen loses another lead or another ace implodes, wait for Bryce Harper and watch what he does next.

By the eighth inning Saturday afternoon, Gio Gonzalez sat in the dugout wondering what had gone wrong. Ryan Zimmerman digested his coming stint on the disabled list. The New York Mets had erased two deficits. To the plate walked Harper, part wrecking ball, part balm for whatever ails his team.

Harper obliterated the first pitch Josh Edgin threw him over the bullpens in right-center field, lifting the Nationals to a 7-6 victory Saturday afternoon at Citi Field and capping his own memorable performance. Harper demolished a two-run homer to give the Nationals breathing room, belted a double in a crucial rally that gave them the lead back and, lastly, smashed the game-winning solo homer in the eighth inning.

“Harper,” Manager Davey Johnson said, “was amazing.”

The Nationals have subjected themselves to a surprising abundance of gloom. Their bullpen has leaked oil, their defense has mangled games and their starting rotation has resembled a sine wave. But they have still won 10 games against seven losses. The primary reason is Harper. Through 17 games, the 20-year-old Harper has slugged .758 with a .426 on-base percentage and 14 RBI. All seven of his home runs have come either with the score tied or in a one-run game.

“Whenever he hits a home run, it seems like it’s in a very important situation,” reliever Craig Stammen said. “He doesn’t ever hit them when we’re down 10 or up 10. He always hits them when it’s a close game. That’s how special of a kid he is. It’s awesome.”