Quantcast

Harper watch: Bryce starts the week hot, injury cools him off

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2015 12:21 p.m. MDT

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) bats during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Sunday, May 12, 2013, in Washington. Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro (30) and home plate umpire John Tumpane, right, look on. (Nick Wass, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) bats during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Sunday, May 12, 2013, in Washington. Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro (30) and home plate umpire John Tumpane, right, look on. (Nick Wass, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The start of last week looked to be a bright one for MLB slugger, Bryce Harper. The Washington Nationals' first game of the week had them facing the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, and behind Harper's bat, the Nats were able to cruise to a 3-1 win.

In the win, Harper hit his 10th home run of the season, which ties him for second in the National League in total home runs with 10.

But Harper didn't stop there. He added a solo-shot and used a sacrifice fly to bring in his teammate, Denard Span, who scored a run.

The following day, the Nationals faced the Tigers once again. Only this time, Harper wasn't nearly as impressive as the day before.

In the first inning, Harper managed once again to bring Span home, which resulted in a run for the Nats. Not long after, teammate Adam LaRoche was able to bring Harper home for another run.

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) runs in from the field during the eighth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-4. (Nick Wass, AP) Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) runs in from the field during the eighth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-4. (Nick Wass, AP)

The Nationals would go on to win 5-4, but after the first inning, Harper went a mere 0-3 in the rest of the time he was at bat.

Harper then missed the following two games against the Chicago Cubs due to a procedure on an ingrown toenail that had been bothering him as of late. Harper wasn't too shy at all when it came to his toenail, and didn't hesitate in uploading a picture of the injury onto his Twitter account.

In addition to the photo of his toenail, Harper also posted a couple of motivational quotes throughout the week on Twitter. He quoted former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt and current rapper Wale.

Harper returned to the field against the Cubs on Sunday afternoon, where he was clearly rusty. Although he was making powerful contact with the ball, he went 0-2 with two walks, as the Nats lost to the Cubs 2-1.

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) takes a lead off of first during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Washington. (Nick Wass, AP) Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) takes a lead off of first during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Washington. (Nick Wass, AP)

Harper ended his week by wishing his mother a happy Mother's Day on Twitter, saying, "God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers!"

The Washington Nationals currently trail the Atlanta Braves by only one game in the NL East division. In order for them to capture their second-straight division title, they will need much more from Harper. They can't afford too many more average games from him.

We'll see if he can step up to the plate.

You can follow Mitch Kunzler on Twitter at: @MitchKunzler

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company