Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Backups Taking Advantage Of Playing Time

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Jul 4, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) rounds the bases after hitting a two run homer against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Harper Gives Flashbacks To Last Year’s NLDS

Even though the Nationals struggled to score runs in last year’s NLDS against the Giants (nine in four games), one of the players who was able to figure out San Francisco pitching was Bryce Harper. In those four games, Harper went 5-for-17 with three home runs and four RBI’s.

Coming into yesterday’s game, Harper had not hit a home run since June 21 (seven games). That quickly changed in the first inning when Harper hit a 1-1 fastball into the Nats bullpen in right field for his 25th home run of the season.

After grounding out to second in the third, the 22-year-old right fielder would draw a five pitch walk in the fifth, his fourth of the series. Finally, in the seventh, Harper would double to right and he would score during the inning on an Ian Desmond sacrifice fly.

While the story of the day had to be his America themed bat that he used to hit the home run, this is the first time Harper has shown some of that power since his apparent leg injury on June 24 against the Braves.

When he is healthy, Harper has continued to show excellent plate discipline and the ability to drive the ball out of the park. Against one of the best pitchers in the game, Harper was able to deliver and give the Nationals a 3-0 lead that they would ultimately never look back from. You have to wonder if Giants manager Bruce Bochy is having flashbacks of last year’s series because, right now, San Francisco is having a hard time getting Harper out.

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