Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Career Night for the Rookie

Bryce Harper, above, spikes his helmet after being called out at first. (Photo: typepad.com)
Last night, Bryce Harper had himself quite the game. He went from the highest of the highs, to the lowest of the lows. He once again showed the potential he has and his youth in the same game.

It all began in the fourth inning. Harper came up to the plate with Jayson Werth already on base. He then jacked a two-run shot over the right field wall to put the Nationals up 2-0. That kick started a four run fourth for the Nationals.

Then, in the fifth inning, Harper came up to the plate and did it again. This time he sent a solo shot 416 feet over the right-centerfield wall to put the Nationals up 5-0. With two swings of his bat, he had two home runs and three RBI.

It was the first time since that late 1980's that a teenage centerfielder hit two home runs in one game.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, Harper also showed his youth.

In the top of the ninth inning, Harper grounded out into a double play. As he hustled through first base, he was called out and threw his helmet on the ground in frustration. First base umpire CB Bucknor then tossed him from the game.

So while we all went gaga eyed over the power of the rookie, we were then once again reminded that he, indeed, a rookie.

This is the first that Harper has been ejected. This isn't the first time equipment around. Back in the beginning of the season, Harper was frustrated after grounded out and went into the runway (that leads to the clubhouse) with a bat. When slammed the bat against the wall it bounced back and hit him the face cutting him above his left eye.

Numerous times this season he's broken his bat after striking out. One piece of lumber flew up and hit the home plate umpire. Harper later apologized to the umpire.

A few nights ago, Harper once again took to the runway to release some frustration. He was kicking bats and helmets around after not finding any success from the batters box.

Now, before we rip the kid apart for his actions, just remember: he's a rookie. Davey Johnson said it last night during a post game interview: "He'll learn. He's young and he'll learn." Harper has a few more years left him (I hope) and with the age will come more maturity.

Right now, the only thing that we should worry about is equipment costs. Bats and helmets aren't cheap and he's been going through them like they grow on trees. Maybe that's one way the Nationals can force Harper to mature? They can fine him for each piece of equipment he breaks.


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