(Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
When you spend as much time as Harper did in the nation’s capital, there was no telling what to expect as he stepped to the plate last night. He made a heartfelt Instagram post yesterday thanking the fans and Nationals organization. It seemed as though he was definitely a little surprised by all of the boos that rained down on him during his first at-bats. I wouldn’t blame his strikeouts to open the game on that. I don’t think there’s a player in baseball that could have touched the stuff Scherzer was throwing those first two at-bats.
However, Harper looked a lot more comfortable in his third at-bat. From that point on, it was game-over for the Nationals. He followed up the double off Scherzer with an RBI single and a home run that still hasn’t landed. The Phillies cruised and the Nats fans headed for the exits early. I previously mentioned how Harper has re-energized the Phillies fan base.
Likewise, it looks like the Phillies fan base has re-energized Bryce Harper. It looks like this is the most fun he’s had playing in years. The struggles of playing during a contract year are a thing of the past. He couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Phillies career. We know he will go through a slump like every player does. A slump at some point is inevitable. In the meantime, let’s just enjoy this 4-0 start and the excitement Bryce has given us the first week of the season.