Bryce Harper isn’t letting the haters get him down.
With the Phillies and Mets scoreless in the sixth inning on Friday night, Harper hit his 11th home run of the season to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
After getting booed by Mets fans all day (they played a doubleheader on Friday), Harper was ready to give as good as he’d been getting.
Including Friday night’s blast, all of Harper’s homers this year have been solo shots. His home run on Thursday had tied a franchise record. He’s now six solo homers away from tying the MLB record.
The Phillies bats were cold most of Friday’s doubleheaders. How cold? Game 1 starter Aaron Nola had two of the Phillies’ three hits and drove in their only run.
Considering Harper usually bats third or fourth in the lineup, he should have more to drive in. It’s great that Harper is homering, but it’s a problem that the Phillies cleanup hitter doesn’t have anything to clean up. According to Yardbarker, the last two of Harper’s 13 home runs in 2020 were also solo.
It’s worth noting that in Harper’s career, he has 20+ homers in seven of his nine full seasons (not including the ongoing 2021 season), but has only driven in 88 or more RBI in three seasons. How much of that is a product of Harper’s teammates not getting on base, and how much of it is Harper not being able to drive in his teammates?
This season when the Phillies have runners on, Harper is hitting .310/.449/.352 with three doubles, 10 RBI, 15 walks, and 20 strikeouts in 71 at-bats. In his career overall, he’s slashed .299/.424/.538 with runners on, and 104 of his 243 home runs have also driven in someone else. The Phillies collectively have a .312 on-base percentage this season, so the solo homers are definitely not entirely Harper’s fault, and obviously, they’re better than nothing.
The Phillies dropped Game 1 of the double-header 2-1, but won the nightcap 2-1.
After the game, Harper told the media he wanted to “say hi” to his fans at Citi Field and said “it’s always fun” playing in Queens.