If you’re a manager or pitcher opposing the Washington Nationals, now might be a good time to consider a more drastic approach when facing Bryce Harper. Drastic, as in, walking him with a base open, walking him with the bases empty and even walking him with the bases loaded.
Pretty much any situation that involves Harper carrying a baseball bat to home plate, you walk him now and ask questions later.
We’ve actually reached a point where that might be the only smart way to approach facing him, because he is absolutely locked in and determined to make you regret any other choices.
Just ask the Atlanta Braves, who with the game tied in the ninth inning on Saturday elected to face Harper with a runner on first and two outs. It’s a decision that they would quickly regret, as Harper unloaded a no-doubt, two-run walkoff home run off reliever Cody Martin.
The home run was Harper’s sixth in three games dating back to Wednesday. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he’s the first player since Hee-Seop Choi in 2005 to his six over a three-game span.
Seriously, he’s so locked in right now his teammates can’t even tear his jersey off.
He simply laughs at your weak attempts to bask in his glory and share his authority.
To quickly recap, Harper hit home runs in each of his first three at-bat against the New York Mets on Wednesday. On Friday, he homered in his last two at-bats, giving him five homers and 10 RBIs in two games. The walkoff homer on Saturday was the third of his career and raised his three-game total to six homers with 12 RBIs.
Again, there are better ways to approach facing Bryce Harper, and most of them involve not actually facing Bryce Harper.
As for the game itself, Harper’s home run really shouldn’t have been necessary. The Nationals were holding a 6-1 lead after five innings thanks to Ryan Zimmernan’s three-run homer, but starter Doug Fister and reliever Aaron Barrett combined to give it away.
No need to worry, though, because Bryce Harper had them covered.
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