Harper Needs To Get Back On Track
Last season, Bryce Harper was arguably the best player in all of Major League Baseball. This postseason, he will go into October with more questions than ever before. Despite his three-hit game last night in Pittsburgh, the Washington Nationals right fielder is hitting .203 in September with one home run and seven RBI’s.
Ever since that May 8 game in Chicago when Harper walked six times, the reigning NL MVP has not looked like the player he was a season ago. As Tom Verducci wrote on SI.com this week, Harper has been bothered by injury:
"The Nationals and Harper have been tight-lipped about his condition. But last Saturday, Baker admitted to me “the shoulder thing” has bothered the reigning NL MVP. He’s simply not the same hitter, and you can see it clearly the way pitchers consistently beat him on fastballs away."
More from Nationals News
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- A Washington Nationals Christmas Wishlist
- Robots in Baseball? The Possibility of an Automated Ball/Strike System in the MLB
This Washington Nationals lineup does have depth, but they need Harper to hit some clutch home runs and drive in runs when the team needs it the most. Back in 2014, Harper was the superstar in that NLDS series against the Giants (.294, three home runs, four RBI’s).
If the Washington Nationals do face the Dodgers in the NLDS, Harper will face a team that he went 5-for-24 against this season, but three of those hits were home runs. While he does have a home run against likely Game 1 starter Clayton Kershaw, Harper is 1-for-15 against him with ten strikeouts in his career.
While this lineup will benefit from having a postseason hero like Murphy in the lineup, the Washington Nationals will need Harper to snap out of his slump if they want to have prolonged success in the postseason.