Baseball remains a game defined by failure. Even the best players are going to make an out 65-70 percent of the time.
In September, Bryce Harper is making a lot of outs. In 20 at-bats, he’s struck out seven times, giving him 87 strikeouts in his 387 at-bats on the season. Nationals manager Davey Johnson wasn’t thrilled with Harper’s recent reaction to a strikeout against the Mets, a whiff that sent him into a bat and helmet smashing spree in the dugout.
“He expects himself to do well every time up,” Johnson said. “Sometimes, it doesn’t happen that way. He takes it out on something. He needs to quit that.”
Here’s a clip of Harper assaulting his lumber.
The Post also relays this interesting tidbit about Harper’s history of taking his frustration out on his tools:
Harper has a frightening history with smashing his bat. Weeks into his major league career, Harper smashed his bat off a wall in the clubhouse in Cincinnati. The bat ricocheted and hit him in the eye, opening a gash that left with a black eye and a large bump and required several stitches. “He doesn’t know how close he came to ending his career,” one Nationals official said at the time.
On a subject of slightly more significance than Harper’s feud with ash and maple, is the Nationals are almost to the point where we can talk about them in the National League Wild Card chase. Washington has gone 9-2 in September to pull within 5.5 games of Cincinnati. It’s a long shot, but they welcome the Phillies to town today to start a 10-game homestand that also includes four games with the awful Marlins. The Nationals finish up on the road with games against the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, so they’ll likely run out of time. They should be able to pitch Stephen Strasburg four more times, which bodes well.
Harper’s bats on the other hand, their future might not be so rosy.