Two Nationals minor-leaguers played in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game. Only one will come home with his ego intact.
Bryce Harper has been criticized for being over-confident, but he may have walked away from Sunday’s game a little more humble.
Harper, who looked a little nervous at the plate, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and two groundouts, and learned the hard way that he’s suddenly in a new class of ball.
His poor play did not go unnoticed. Despite that fact that the first mention of Harper is nine paragraphs into the story, ESPN’s recap of the game was titled “Bryce Harper Hitless in Futures Game.”
It appears that some people might be a little excited that the media-touted phenom is still a boy.
Harper seemed to take it in stride, admitting in an in-game interview that he wasn’t hitting the way he’d like, although his post-game comments told a different story.
"I don't even care what I did today, actually. I really don't," he told CSN Washington. "I could've went 4-for-4 and: Hallelujah. 0-for-4? Hallelujah, too. I'm just happy to be here, to be around the guys I am."
Brad Peacock, who has been flying under the radar in the midst of Harper-mania, used his Futures Game opportunity to raise some eyebrows. Appearing on the mound in the second inning, he quickly retired three batters in a row and gave Nats fans another reason to be excited for next season.
As for Harper, he’s still on pace to be an incredible player, but his showboating and arrogance is still getting the best of him. When Sebastian Vale drilled a double into left field, Harper fielded it and chose to cannon the ball home, instead of hitting hit the cutoff man. Although the throw made it home, it was off target and allowed both a run, and an advancing runner.
"I just picked it up and chucked it, pretty much," he said. "Was just trying to see if I could get a guy. I was trying to get on 'Top 10' today and it didn't happen."
He'll make it on "Top 10" eventually. Sunday was just a little reminder of how far he has to go to get there.
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