Russell: Harper Homer "Icing On The Cake"

Bryce Harper returned to Nationals Park on Tuesday and put on a show

Ferrall On The Bench
April 03, 2019 - 9:20 am
Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies Nationals Park

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Bryce Harper returned to Nationals Park on Tuesday night and struck out in his first two at-bats. Nats fans loved it. The prodigal son returning to two Max Scherzer strikeouts? Incredible. The party was on.

But then Harper’s next three at-bats happened: a double to right in the 5th, an RBI single in the 6th, and a monstrous home run in the 8th. In the end, Harper went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in an 8-2 Phillies win.

“That’s why people pay him the money that he got,” WJFK host and columnist Chris Russell said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think the Nationals, I know they’re playing terrible right now. I think the Nationals will be a deeper team because of the money that they redistributed to others. But there is nothing – there is nothing in this game that is more menacing, in my opinion, than Bryce Harper in a late-inning situation of a critical or tight ball game when you know he has one swing of the bat that can change the complexion of everything. Now tonight it wasn’t a close ball game because the Phillies had opened up a pretty big lead at that point, but that’s just icing on the cake what he does in his former ball park.”

Harper looked ugly in his first two at-bats, but he turned things around in a hurry. He is hitting .429 on the season.

“That’s Bryce Harper in a nutshell,” Russell said. “He’ll look terrible at times, and then he’ll kick your ass. He’s not going to hit a home run every at-bat or every game that he’s here, but he’s more than capable. That’s about as majestic of a shot as I’ve seen him hit.”

The prospect of facing Harper for 13 more seasons, frankly, should scare Nationals fans everywhere.

“The Nationals’ family, the Lerners, they’re worth $5.2 billion – $5.2 billion – and they let this dude walk out the door,” Russell said in disbelief. “Not only walk out the door, they let him go out even after they knew he was going to the Philadelphia Phillies. They didn’t care. They didn’t want to spend the money. They didn’t want to go over the luxury tax again. They’re going to have to deal with that.”