No matter how many games that Bryce Harper plays, this is the one you’ll always remember. No matter what happens from this day forth, this was probably the moment you can say he came out and said ‘I am a star’ with his play. There’s no turning back from this moment, I don’t think.
This feat could not have been achieved without the stubborn efforts of Tom Koehler. Koehler simply would not give in today – usually when you say that about a pitcher you are saying that the pitcher refuses to give the hitter something to hit. This was the opposite. Koehler continued to challenge Harper on a day when he was a man possessed with fastballs up in the zone and finally in his third at-bat he thew some kind of hybrid pitch that didn’t work either. Instead of just putting Harper on base that third at-bat, Koehler went right into the mouth of the beast and when it landed in the upper deck you could tell that Koehler had been completely defeated. Stripped of his manhood for the day.
Tom Koehler, Bryce Harper just made you famous.
When a guy hits three home runs in a game; and he’s already a prodigal son, he starts getting mentioned with the greats.
No Yankee hit three homers in a game for almost five years until Mickey Mantle did it on May 13, 1955, against the Tigers. He drove home all the Yankee runs in the 5-2 win. Mantle hit all his homers into the center field bleachers and hit the first two from the left side of the plate and the third as a righty. The Times estimated that the shots traveled around 1,300 feet.
There is some similarity here folks. Mickey Mantle’s three home run game took place one week in May after Harper’s; some 60 years earlier. Mantle was 23, Harper was 23. The linescore by Mantle’s name: 4 3 4 5. The linescore by Harper’s name: 4 3 3 5. I haven’t seen the measurements, but Harper’s three home runs probably traveled around 1,300 feet; like Mantle’s. Both came in wins in front of the home crowd.
Two of Harper’s three home runs were gargantuan blasts into the upper deck of Nationals park where they just don’t get home run balls. If you’re at that park live, it doesn’t look like someone can hit a ball up there. The first home run of the day for Harper was a long opposite field shot that almost cleared the bullpen.
Here they are, in all their glory. All three of Bryce Harper’s home runs today.
Home run number one:
Home run number two:
Home run number three:
Bryce Harper (22 years old) is youngest player to hit 3 HR in a game since Joe Lahoud did so for the Red Sox on June 11, 1969
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 6, 2015
Another fun fact: we went to college with Joe Lahoud’s son.