Bryce Harper started last night’s game 13 for 31 (.419/.500/1.000) with three doubles, five home runs, four walks and five Ks in 36 plate appearances against Atlanta Braves’ right-hander Julio Teheran early in their respective careers.
Harper ended the night 15 for 33 (.455/.538/1.182) with three doubles, five home runs, five walks and five Ks in 39 PAs after he took Teheran deep in each of his first two trips to the plate, hitting a two-out solo shot to right in the first and a base-clearing grand slam to center in the second, driving in five of Washington’s first six runs scored in what ended up a 14-4 win in SunTrust park.
“[Harper] obviously sees the ball pretty good off [Teheran],” Braves’ manager Brian Snitker said, as quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien, after the loss.
He didn’t have much in the way of advice to offer Teheran as far as how he might approach Teheran.
“I don’t know, just hopefully you can get him to chase a little bit and get himself out,” Snitker said.
“Obviously he’s hit me really good and he’s one of the best hitters in the game,” Teheran told the AJC reporter.
“I give him the credit. But this is a long season. Today was his day and he got me twice. We’ll see what’s going to happen next time.”
Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker was asked what it’s like for a hitter like Harper to show up for a game knowing he’s facing a pitcher he’s had that much success against.
“You know it and he knows it,” Baker said.
“You feel very confident, which Bryce, like I’ve said many times, [Bryce] has no problem with confidence, so it was much needed offense.”
Harper ended the night 2 for 2 with a walk and the two home runs off of Teheran and 4 for 4 with the walk, five RBIs and three runs scored overall.
Asked if he came to the park confident knowing he was facing Teheran, Harper told reporters that in spite of his success against the righty, he never takes anything for granted.
“Nah, because any given day they can make you look dumb,” Harper said.
“You don’t ever want to go out there — good pitching always beats good hitting, it’s just part of the game and part of the process, so I always try go up there and respect the guy out there on the mound, of course, and try to just have good at bats and try to see a pitch over the plate and get it done.”
“I just try to have good at bats and try to get pitches over the plate that I can drive and not looking at who I’m facing that day or what he’s going to do to me or anything like that. Just try to see a pitch and try to drive it the best I can and hopefully good things will happen.”
After his 4 for 4 night at the plate, Harper has a .404/.516/.846 line, five doubles and six home runs in 14 games and 64 PAs.
“It was a big game,” Baker said. “Bryce, he drove in all the runs early, and so it was a big offensive night for us and we played good baseball tonight.”
• We talked about Harper’s big night, Ryan Zimmerman’s grand slam and more on Nats Nightly after the Nationals’ win: