Nationals: Biggest Takeaways from 7-6 Loss in Cleveland

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Jul 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) walks off the field during a pitching change in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) walks off the field during a pitching change in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nationals
Jul 21, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) in the batters box during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Stay Patient with Bryce Harper

A three-month long slump is nothing to bat an eye at, but don’t worry about Bryce Harper. The reigning MVP and NL Player of the Month in April is not far removed from his All-Star ways.

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After hitting into some tough luck outs against the Indians Tuesday, Harper is showing signs at the plate that a turnaround could be soon. Lest you forget, Bryce still has an on-base percentage of .380 that puts him in the top eleven in the National League.

Sure, maybe you don’t buy into the idea that walks are all that valuable (a sadly mistaken notion, but we’ll go with it). Harper is going to be joining the hit parade soon enough, as bad luck can only last so long. Among the 159 qualified hitters in the majors, Bryce has the third worst batting average on balls in play (.237). I’d also like to note that Ryan Zimmerman is right above him at .238, but that is a story for another time.

Next: Nats Trade Target: Wade Davis

While Harper’s .240 batting average is pretty unsightly, he has not lost a step in the power department. According to Fangraphs, his .218 isolated power is actually the second highest mark of his career, having already exceeded 30 extra-base hits through only 96 games played.

Harper is also making contact at a higher rate than in previous years, putting the bat to the ball on 86 percent of pitches in the strike zone. Don’t worry about Bryce Harper, he’s certainly not giving up on himself, and neither should you.

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