Bryce Harper has achieved many accomplishments in his young career. He was awarded the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2012, along with the Nats Heart and Hustle award. He was a #1 overall draft pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 17 and 20, and hit a home run on a 1-0 count in the first inning on Opening Day.
As we all know, on May 13, that Bryce went down chasing a fly ball hit by Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis in the bottom of the fifth inning. He required stitches, but everyone said he didn’t have a concussion. He also hit the wall chasing down a fly ball in Atlanta and bruised his left side. If you don’t remember, you can read this post.
Bryce returned on May 15th, pinch hitting in the ninth inning of that game. He started the next night in San Diego, highlighting the night with a home run in the 7th off Tyson Ross.
Not everything looked right. Bryce played at home against the Phillies on May 26 of Memorial Day Weekend, a game I attended. Bryce stole third base in the first inning, capping the steal with an awkward slide that hit his knee. In the 7th, Bryce fouled the first pitch off the same knee. After Bryce walked, Roger Bernadina pinch ran for him. Little did we know, Bryce would be out on the DL for more than a month.
You may think that when a player returns from a long stint on the DL, he might go 0-for-4 or 1-for-4 with a simple bloop single. But in BryceWorld you never think that! Flashback to Opening Day, April 1, 2013. Bryce took a splitter from Ricky Nolasco for ball one, and on the next pitch, a curveball, Bryce hit it into the stands! A home run in his first swing of the 2013 season. And then in his next at bat, Bryce did the same thing! 2 at bats, 2 home runs!
On July 1, three months later, Yovani Gallardo threw him 2 2-seamers, one high for ball one, and the next pitch, a homer to left center. All that Bryce needs is a train ticket to Citi Field for the All Star Game!
BREWERS VS. NATIONALS
WILY PERALTA (5-9, 5.58 ERA) VS. STEPHEN STRASBURG (4-6, 2.41 ERA)
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