Bryce Harper's monster third inning home run last night off Toronto Blue Jays' starter Henderson Alvarez was the Washington Nationals' 19-year-old outfielder's 7th in 40 games and 150 at bats this season. The 22-year-old Toronto right-hander threw Harper a first-pitch change that ended up bouncing off a BlackBerry banner high above the right-center wall in the Rogers Centre. It was Harper's 5th HR in the last 15 games and 55 at bats. Harper ended the night 3 for 4 (6 for 8 in the first two of three with Toronto) with a .307/.390/.553 line overall:
Bryce Harper first 25 games: .267, 2 HR, 9 RBI, a very respectable .818 OPS. His last 15 games: .368, 5 homers, 10 RBI, 1.147 OPS.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 13, 2012
Asked about the home run after the Nationals' 4-2 win last night, which was their fifth straight win overall, Nats' manager Davey Johnson wondered aloud why Blue Jays' center fielder Colby Rasmus had even tried to track it. "There's no doubt about it," the 69-year-old manager said, "That was, I think, a hanging slider or changeup right in his wheelhouse and he didn't miss it. I don't know why the outfielder went back? It was obviously a long way out of here."
"Since he's been here he's had quality at bats," Harper's manager said, "And he seems to be getting more comfortable." When Harper spoke to reporters himself after the game he too said he was starting to feel more comfortable at the plate. "'I just feel really good up there,'" Harper told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, "'At the beginning, I usually struggle. Once I get going, it’s scary.'" And that's a scary thought considering what he's done the last 15 games.
It wasn't Harper's home run that was making headlines this morning, however...
A reporter decided to ask Harper, who's 19-years-old and thus unable to drink alcohol legally in the U.S. if he'd take advantage of Canada's drinking age to enjoy a celebratory adult beverage. A Nationals' PR spokesman stopped the reporter and requested that he move on to a better question. Harper, however, with the sort of cool, dry wit that could make him an action hero, had his own approach for dismissing the question as you can see here:
#thatsaclownquestionbro is now actually trending on Twitter and instead of Harper's monster HR, his epic response is now the biggest story on the internet. That home run, though, that is fun to watch...
• Harper's Massive Blast of a HR:
(ed. note - "I don't know why, but the video of the media scrum wouldn't play for most of the night. Waited until 3:40 am to post this and then fell asleep and woke up to see it all over the internets. Blame Canada for this story being a few hours late.")