Yes, it is piling on to put the offensive pressure onto one player, but Bryce Harper is a superstar. If he continues to flail around at the plate and take pitches he should swing at, the season will be over soon.
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NL pitchers have learned to pitch him on the outside corner in the strike zone. He will watch pitches instead of defending the plate and making them work harder. His confidence is so bad, his sense of what to swing at is off and will produce an ugly at-bat at least once a game.
Maybe he has a bad shoulder and is keeping it to himself. Perhaps Harper and Baker have differences and Harper’s concentration wanes a bit much. Other managers watched how Joe Maddon pitched around him in May at Wrigley Field and how that got into Harper’s head.
He has to forget about all that now and produce. Outside of some flashes of brilliance at the plate, and his ability to draw walks, the Harper of 2016 is a shadow of 2015 and his tremendous talent.
The Dodgers will test him. If he shows up as the .210 September hitter, the Washington Nationals are in deep trouble.