The Nationals didn’t need this home run to win yesterday or anything, but number 34 for Bryce Harper came off Manny Banuelos, and it was impressive because it was a finesse swing off a slider. The Nationals swept the Braves out of town with an 8-4 win, and moved within four games of the Mets in the NL East.
As we were saying, he homered all weekend.
As for the home runs, Harper has three in his past three games, with each one seemingly more impressive than the one before. On Friday, he clubbed a 453-foot shot to dead center off Julio Teheran that was the longest of his career. On Saturday, he got behind 0-2 on righty Shelby Miller, then proceeded to foul off four pitches before going deep to left-center. The at-bat lasted 10 pitches and resulted in Harper’s 500th career hit. Then on Sunday, leading off the third inning, he hit another opposite-field shot, this one coming on an 0-2 slider from southpaw Manny Banuelos. Said Washington manager Matt Williams: “His stroke is under control.”
Bryce Harper is heating up at the right time, and he’s got an outside shot at 40 home runs if he stays this hot. It’s going to be more fun to watch the pennant race in this division though starting with today’s game.