It was obvious at one quick glance that something was different about Bryce Harper’s stance this Friday evening in Washington. It almost looks as if he tore a page out of Adam Laroche’s book with his new-look adjustment at the plate. He looks more relaxed and was able to get himself into a hitting position by simplifying his hands; not holding them as high as the past Harper would have.
The results were tremendous: a line drive single to right, a single back up the box, and he turned on a 93-MPH Francisco Rodriguez fastball to right field in the bottom of the ninth.
As great as K-Rod has been for most of this season for Milwaukee, this is definitely a good sign.
I watched a good portion of this game, and it was a frustrating one for the Nationals. They banged out 11 total hits, with ten coming off Kyle Lohse. It just seemed they could never capitalize on scoring opportunities. Stephen Strasburg had a weird night. It seemed like his stuff was entirely nasty and he was missing a ton of bats (nine strikeouts), but the Brewers made it hurt when they connected with a couple of home runs and bases clearing double. This too often is the Strasburg the Nationals are getting when they need a true, frontline ace to take hold of their division.
A Friday night in Philadelphia and Bryce Harper is mired in what seems like a one for forever slump. There are whispers that he’s not catching up to fastballs, even some wondering if he has the ever-dreaded ‘diminished skills’ at age 21 from all the injuries.
Nothing quiets these fears into a serenity momentarily like a nice bomb to right field to get some jeers from those brutal Philly fans.
Harper only had one hit tonight, but this was exactly the kind of confidence builder he needed to get something really big going. Something tells us that he’s going to be the driving force behind getting the Nationals past the Braves in the National League East division race. These teams are tied for the division lead as the night ends.
You figure A.J. Burnett will be hanging them up soon – but before he leaves the game forever the kid from Las Vegas touched him up for one. It’s good to see. It’s good for the game when this kid is hitting. We are really pulling for him.
It was the 44th home run of his career. It was his third at Citizens Bank Park. It was the 35th off a righty, and first time he’s gone deep hitting sixth in the Nationals lineup. It was his 28th solo shot.
Bryce Harper is no longer a stranger to struggles. He was dropped to seventh in the order this evening, and the Nationals found themselves in a 5-0 hole early against the Miami Marlins against left-hander Brad Hand.
Then Harper put on his cape and won the battle in a ten pitch at-bat with an upper deck three run home run. The Nationals would later get a grand slam from Jayson Werth to cap off a huge rally, overcoming the 5-0 deficit as well as a late 7-6 to win the game 10-7.
The home run was the 43rd of his career, and ninth against a southpaw. It was the 24th time he’s gone deep at Nationals Park.
Though I thought he would finish with at least twice this many round-trippers this season, Bryce Harper has reached 20 home runs in his age 20 season. The Nationals beat the Marlins 3-2 tonight at Nationals Park in Washington, with Harper’s three-run home run in the first inning totaling their entire offensive output for the night.
The Nationals have been baseball’s best team over the last month, and although it looks to be too little too late, it’s going to be a small happy ending on the career of Davey Johnson. Harper has had a tough season, and there have been times when we thought he should have played that he didn’t. He’s still earned some respect by gutting it out for the most part this last month and playing out the string with some dignity for his team. His OPS sits at .892 as the night closes. That’s a pretty great sophomore season.
Harper’s shot came off Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez. The last time he hit a home run off Alvarez it landed off the BlackBerry sign in Toronto. With just over a week of regular season left, Harper looks to close a chapter on his career and begin a long winter of hopefully becoming baseball’s best player in 2014.
This was Bryce Harper’s 41st career big league big fly.
The Wasghington Nationals are one of baseball’s hottest teams. Bryce Harper is playing his best baseball of the season. Davey Johnson even cracked a few grins tonight. After what’s been a season in quicksand, it’s all good to see.
Bryce Harper extended his hitting streak to 11 games with this home run off Tom Koehler of the Marlins. And it seems Harper has been hitting an awful lot of opposite field shots this season. That’s the one aspect of Harper’s game that really is fully developed. He can hit the ball out to any part of the park. This one landed in the flower bed box in left field, shredding some of those neat little annual flowers in front of the left field seats. It got the Nats jump-started with a 2-0 lead, and they would go on to win 9-0. He would later add a single.
We’ve been waiting on this all year. The Nationals aren’t a mighty squad, but they’re a lot better than the mediocrity they’ve shown all season long. I don’t think their fate is completely spoken for yet. They’re 6.5 games out of the wildcard right now. They have a lot of games down the stretch against bad teams and teams that matter. If Harper ends the season hitting this way on most nights, do not be surprised if they enter the last week of the season with a chance to play their way into the playoffs.
Bryce Harper hit his 18th home run of the season off of a guy who gives up a lot of home runs, Ervin Santana. The home run extended Harper’s hitting streak to eight straight games and tied the game at 4-4. The Nationals ended up losing the game 6-4.
With this homer – number 40 on Harper’s career – he became the third man in baseball history to reach 40 homers before his 21st birthday.
Have to commend Harper for not charging the mound here – his worthless team needs him right now. And I cannot believe the Nationals didn’t have the stones to retaliate. That’s honestly as big of a sign that exists that the game has passed old Davey Johnson by.
And then there’s this:
Nothing like a few Official team twitter accounts throwing barbs at eachother; most likely a couple of college interns who will be relieved of their duties soon. Would love to ask the Braves teen that is running the control deck on twitter what Harper is supposed to do differently there?
The Nationals won the game 4-1 in Milwaukee, and Harper deposited a ball in the second deck off my former teammate’s teammate Burke Badenhop. The home run was Harper’s 16th of the season – which you figure if he gets extremely hot he might be able to finish with around 25 home runs; not bad for a guy who has missed monstrous amounts of time this season.
It was Harper’s 38th career home run. It tied Harper for 3rd all-time with Ken Griffey Jr. for home runs before turning 21 years of age.
The Nationals catching the Atlanta Braves in the division race is probably not a realistic possibility. However, I would not rule them out of the second wildcard spot, it’s going to be a dogfight between the Reds, the Dbacks, and these Nationals the final two months. If Harper gets white hot, I think you know who I think will take it down.
There’s nothing better than a Bryce Harper home run on FOX Saturday afternoon baseball. Those two events converged this afternoon, when Bryce Harper took Dylan Gee out to dead center at Nats Park. The Nationals went on to win the game 4-1.
We really want to see the Nationals get hot – baseball would be a more interesting place if they would – and they might be trying. The Nationals had walk-off wins on Thursday and Friday in now winning three of their last four. This can still happen but the Nationals have no more room for error. It’s time to ride, every night; starting right now.
And it brings up a further point: Bryce Harper absolutely murders the Mets. Harper has six home runs against New York, the most against any team in baseball (tied with also six against Miami).
With his team in as dire straits as they’ve been in since his big league career began, Bryce Harper answered the bell.
And right now is an easy time to be critical of Bryce Harper. He’s missed a ton of time this year. He’s hitting .200 since May 1st. He’s had a rough year in a lot of respects. But today, he put his team on his back and got them a win in a game they should have lost.
Bottom of the ninth, game tied 7-7 after Rafael Soriano blew up on the Nationals. Washington fans at the park had to be thinking this was probably going to be the team’s seventh straight loss AT HOME. And it probably would have been.
But Bryce Harper took a cut and said goodnight and drive home safe. Nationals win 9-7. Sorry you were there, Bryan Morris, but you’ve been added to the list of victims.
Gotta love the tweet from Harper:
Again: "To the last minute, to the last second, to the last man we fight"-Red Tails
Bryce Harper homered in his at-bat back from the disabled list, and people who have watched Bryce Harper for the last year or so are not at all surprised. The home run was the 13th of his season and 35th of his career.