Bryce Harper credits Joe Girardi for recent Phillies success

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper is bullish on manager Joe Girardi so far through 18 games

On paper, the Philadelphia Phillies are one of the best teams in Major League Baseball in terms of offense.

Entering Sunday’s series finale opposite the American League East’s Boston Red Sox at the historic Fenway Park, the Phillies averaging a Major League Baseball-best 5.72 runs this season; also, their .478 slugging percentage ranks as the second-best, while their .349 on-base percentage ranks as the third-best.

Outfielder Bryce Harper has been a huge part of the team’s success and recent four-game winning streak against the division-rival New York Mets and the Red Sox, which followed being swept by the once-thought-to-be lowly Baltimore Orioles.

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Wednesday morning on MLB Network’s MLB Central, the six-time All-Star praised Phillies manager Joe Girardi. “I think, as a team, we are playing well right now. We went through a little rough series, and we kind of put that behind us and started playing,” Harper said. “I think we have a great lineup, a great staff as well. Having Girardi at the forefront of the organization has been great for us this year.”

“We are just trying to play the game the right way and have some fun as well.

Unique lineups

Through Tuesday evening’s 13-6 rout of the Red Sox, helping the team improve to 9-9 on the season through 18 games, Girardi has featured 16 unique lineups.

Harper said that he thinks his skipper sets every single player on the team up for success.

“The guys he puts in our lineup each day, lefty or righty — he just sets everyone up for success,” said Harper, who also said guys, such as Phil Gosselin, are coming up clutch for the team and putting up “such good at-bats.”

“[Gosselin] is a spark plug for us every time he gets into our lineup. Starting from the top, with anyone who’s up there …. [Andrew McCutchen], Roman [Quinn], or anyone like that, if they get on base for us, hopefully, we can drive them in,” Harper said.

The Las Vegas native went on to praise J.T. Realmuto for doing a great job for the Phillies this year, both behind the dish and at the plate — all the while hitting home runs and driving guys in.

“It has been a lot of fun. I think we just have a great group of guys,” Harper said. “We love one another. It is a lot of fun to be out there and play the game we love together as well.”

“It has been a lot of fun.”