Bryce Harper started the day on Sunday as one of four players to ever hit home runs in five straight games against Philadelphia in Philadelphia, joining Jim Bottomley of the 1929 St. Louis Cardinals, who hit them in the Baker Bowl, the Chicago Cubs' Ernie Banks, who hit them in Connie Mack Stadium in 1955, and Matt Stairs, whose home runs in consecutive games against the Phillies came in 2004 and 2007 in Citizens Bank Park, three of them in nine at bats over two games in '04 and three more in nine at bats over three games three years later.
Harper joined just Banks on the list of the only two people to hit home runs in six straight games against the Phillies when he hit another one out of Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon on a 3-2 fastball from Philly closer Jeanmar Gomez in the top of the 10th inning.
"I didn't know that," Dusty Baker said when a reporter mentioned Harper's streak against the Nationals' NL East rivals from the City of Brotherly Love.
"That's good company," he added when he was told it was just Harper and Banks alone on the list.
Harper finished the three-game set in Citizens Bank 7 for 11 with three home runs in the series, and 8 for 15 with four home runs in the last four games overall.
On the year, the 23-year-old defending NL MVP is 14 for 39 with a .359/.458/.897 line, three doubles, six home runs, eight walks and four Ks in 48 plate appearances.
Unfortunately, his home run off the Phillies' closer didn't end up being a game-winner.
Nats' closer Jonathan Papelbon blew his first save of the season a half-inning after Harper hit home run no.6 on the year and the 11th home run of his career in 130 PAs in CBP.
"It's heartbreak. Big time," Baker said of the blown save which followed so closely after Harper's dramatic at bat and blast.
"But, you know, the life of a reliever is that you have to forget yesterday if it was bad," Baker added, "cause you can't bring it forward with you or else the same thing is going to happen the next day.
"So, hey man, we just got to score some more, big time."
"I think that just happens. I think that's baseball," Harper told reporters when asked about the tough loss.
Asked about homering in four straight games, Harper said it was important if it led to wins.
"I just want to win," he said. "So being able to just have good at bats and just do the things we can to get runs on the board, that's huge. So just trying to take my at bats one at a time and know that you might get up in a big spot and something may happen.
"Just trying to have good ABs, but all in all you want to win the ballgame at the end of the day and it didn't happen today."
Baker, who has played with and managed some of the best, was asked what it was like to have an up-close look at what Harper is doing.
"This is what I heard about," he said.
"And I'd seen it a few times on TV, but what he's doing is MVP, star stuff. I've been fortunate to have some great players -- played with them and played for me and he's certainly making his mark."
• We talked about Harper's impressive at bat and Gomez's questionable decision to give him something to hit on Nats Nightly after the game:
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