Jimmy Rollins Can Thank Bryce Harper For This Stand-Up Inside-The-Park Home Run (Video)
Bryce Harper may be the most hyped hitter baseball has ever seen, but his defense out in right field could use some work.
On Tuesday night, the last place Philadelphia Phillies traveled to Washington D.C. to take on the first place Nationals at Nationals Park. And apparently the Phillies were not at all demoralized by the flurry of trade deadline deals that sent All-Star outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence packing. Instead, they reacted quite well to the ownership’s assessment that the season was a loss, jumping all over Stephen Strasburg and putting up 6 run in just 4 innings on the All-Star pitcher.
Of course, the Phillies can thank Harper for at least one and possibly two of those runs.
You see, in the top of the 4th inning, with two outs and Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee on second, shortstop Jimmy Rollins scorched a Strasburg pitch out to right field. The ball was playable, but not for the Nats’ right fielder, as he failed to make the catch, crashed hard into the wall, and fell on his head, all while the ball rolled into center field.
The result? A two-run, stand-up, inside-the-park home run for Rollins.
Check it out:
Obviously, this wasn’t an easy play to make. But the thing is, an outfielder has to have a sense of what he can and cannot do, then play balls accordingly. So what Harper should have done is play the ball on a bounce. With a pitcher on second base, that may have prevented both runs from scoring. At the very least, it would have kept Rollins from scoring.
But I’m sure no reporter had the courage to ask the 19-year-old catcher-turned-outfielder about that play following the game. Because, you know, nobody wants to be accused of asking Harper a “clown question.”