Washington Nationals: 5 to watch back home against the Reds

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Jun 20, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price (38) comes to the mound to take out Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Amir Garrett (50) during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price (38) comes to the mound to take out Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Amir Garrett (50) during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Bryce Harper

Out of the players that are still on the Washington Nationals this season, no player had more hits against the Reds last year than Harper (eight). While his 13-game hit streak was snapped Wednesday, the 2015 NL MVP has had a strong month of June.

In 18 games this month, Harper is hitting .268 with three home runs and 12 RBI’s (one behind the team lead in both categories). Plus, he has a .361 on-base percentage and is one of only three Nats to see more than 300 pitches (Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner are the others).

While Harper has seven extra-base hits out of his 19 this month, he is doing a good job of not trying to do too much with his swing and getting the singles when the team needs it. On Tuesday, his two-run single in the third ended up getting the scoring started.

Against the Reds last season, Harper hit just one home run in six games and that one pitcher (John Lamb) isn’t on the Cincinnati roster right now. He only has eight at-bats against Homer Bailey and Scott Feldman (1-for-8 with a triple).

Now that the hit streak is out of the way, Harper can get back to what was working during those games. If he continues to work the count and draw those walks (11 in June), that will only help Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy get more chances to drive in runs. It has to help Harper that he isn’t carrying the offense anymore.

 

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