Daily Bryce Harper Section: Washington’s 25-year-old slugger, Bryce Harper, started the series finale in AT&T with an NL-leading eight home runs, (tied with the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon), which was tie for the second-most in the majors, behind only the LA Angels’ Mike Trout, who’d hit 10 to that point (and still has 10 on the season).
Harper’s 30 total walks were the most in the majors, ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins (21). He was ranked second in the National League in runs scored (tied, 20), third in RBIs (19), fourth in OBP (.454), and eighth in SLG (.595).
With one game left on the Nationals’ nine-game, three-city road trip, however, the 2010 No. 1 overall pick was scuffling, going 4 for 24 (.167/.400/.292) with 10 walks and four Ks over 35 PAs heading into the third of three with the Giants.
Harper’s first hit of the series was a line drive to right on a first-pitch slider from Giants’ lefty Josh Osich that snapped an 0 for 9 stretch at the plate, and left him 1 for 3, with a walk, and he was 1 for 3 with two walks on the day after Osich put him on again with a two-out walk in his final plate appearance. Free pass No. 32 of 2018.
On the season, Harper was left 20 for 77 on the season with a .260/.460/.584 line, a double, eight home runs, the 32 walks, and 16 Ks in 113 PAs, over which he’s been worth 1.2 fWAR, the second-highest total in the NL early, tied with three others, behind only Chicago Cubs’ second baseman Javier Baez (1.3 fWAR).
It wasn’t an easy trip for Harper, who faced some tough pitchers, including the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz in NY; Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Alex Wood in LA; and Ty Blach in San Francisco. He saw seven lefties in nine games overall on the trip.
Tonight, Harper and the Nationals are taking on Arizona Diamondbacks’ right-hander Zack Godley in the first game of Washington’s ten-game homestand.
Harper has a .281/.455/.594 line, a double, and three home runs in ten games and 44 PAs in D.C. early this season (vs his .244/.464/.578 line and five home runs in 69 PAs away from the nation’s capital).
Will the momentum from the Nationals’ 15-2 win in the finale in AT&T carry over to tonight’s opener with the D-Backs?
HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF 3 IN D.C. WITH THE D-BACKS:
Here's how we're lining up for the first game of the homestand. pic.twitter.com/3NmnBuRls0— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 27, 2018