Bryce Harper entered the All-Star Break with a .282/.354/.472 line, 15 doubles and eight home runs in his first 63 games and 277 PA's in the major leagues. So far in the second half the 19-year-old, 2010 no.1 overall pick has a .176/.276/.265 line with one double and one home run in 26 games and 116 PA's. Davey Johnson thought that the outfielder was pressing, so he gave him a day off yesterday in the finale of the Nats' four-game set in Houston, but Harper is right back in the lineup tonight for the Washington Nationals' series opener with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Harper's back in center and batting second against D-Backs' right-hander Trevor Cahill:
Davey'sLineup-Fri.@ ARI/G113: Lombardozzi 2b, Harper cfZimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Morse, lf, Werth rf, Espinosa ss, Suzuki c, Strasburg rhp— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 10, 2012
Harper enters tonight's game 0 for 11 over the last three games, though he's walked five times over that hitless stretch and scored two runs. '09 no.1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg will be making his 23rd start of 2012 tonight in Chase Field. The 24-year-old right-hander is (12-5) on the year with a 2.97 ERA, 2.69 FIP, 34 walks (2.40 BB/9) and 160 K's (11..31 K/9) in 127.1 IP. Strasburg's made just one start against Arizona in his career before tonight, back on August 15, 2010 in Nationals Park, where he held the D-Backs to three runs, one earned, on five hits over 5.0 IP in which he struck out seven.