Bryce Harper etched his name in SunTrust Park’s record books when he connected for the first grand slam in the history of the Atlanta Braves’ brand new ballpark last night.
It was the second homer of the game for the Washington Nationals’ 24-year-old outfielder, who took the Braves’ Julio Teheran deep in each of his first two plate appearances in the second game of three with the Nationals’ NL East rivals.
In doing so, Harper, who went 2 for 2 with a walk against Teheran, improved to 15 for 33 (.455/.538/1.182) vs Teheran with more home runs (7 total) off the Braves’ starter than he’s hit off any other pitcher thus far in his career.
While he’s victimized the Miami Marlins’ Tom Koehler (11 for 34, .324/.439/.882, 6 HRs in 41 PAs), he’s dominated the matchup with Teheran early in their respective careers.
“Obviously he’s hit me really good and he’s one of the best hitters in the game,” Teheran said last night, as quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien.
“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.”
Harper said much the same.
“Any given day they can make you look dumb,” he told reporters, referring to major league pitchers in general.
“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.”
“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.”
Harper ended up going 4 for 4 with a walk on the night, extending his current on-base streak to eight-straight plate appearances, one short of his career-high.
His second home run of the night was his 127th career blast, and he’s put himself in some pretty good company with his production thus far in his career:
Harper’s achievements last night earned him his second Topps NOW card of the week after he got one for his walk-off homer against the Philadelphia Phillies last Sunday.
FROM TOPPS: Topps NOW offers trading cards featuring MLB's best moments immediately after they occur. Topps will print and deliver only the amount that is purchased within the allotted 24-hour time frame.