The last remaining Mormon in the MLB postseason, Bryce Harper, finally started batting like the Harper that fans knew and expected. He started last night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals with a triple off of pitcher Adam Wainwright, driving in his first post-season RBI and setting himself up to score when Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run two pitches later. Then in the third, Harper hit a 92 mile per hour sinker into the stands for his first post season home run and only the second postseason home run by a teenager in major league baseball history.
Unfortunately, that was all that Harper could manage as the Cardinal’s bull pen shut them down for most of the rest of the game. While the first three innings put the Nationals up 6-0, by the end of the 8th they had just a one run cushion, which turned into a two run deficit in the top of the 9th, something neither Harper nor his team mates could overcome.
The performance still raises postseason doubts about Harper, because his hits came from a pitcher who was clearly struggling. While hits are hits and every run counts, I’m not sure that these yield much confidence in Harper’s future post seasons. In general this postseason has featured very strong pitching, and the Cardinal’s rotation has borne that out. Will Harper develop in future years to be able to handle strong pitching like this?
- Bryce Harper — left field — Washington Nationals
2 for 5 (.400), 2 runs, 2 rbi, 0 hr, 0 bb, 0 sb, 2 so
Post season totals: 3 for 23 (.130), 2 runs, 2 rbi, 1 hr, 0 bb, 0 sb, 8 so
Reg Season: .270, 98 runs, 59 rbi, 22 hr, 56 bb, 18 sb, 120 so in 533 at bats.
- Mitch Talbot — starting pitcher (right handed) — Samsung Lions (Korea)
Team doesn’t play until October 24.
Reg Season: 13-3, 3.88 era, 124 h, 55 er, 7 hr, 65 k, 47 bb in 127.2 innings