Bryce Harper is officially back. The Philadelphia Phillies superstar returned to the lineup after undergoing Tommy John surgery and understandably didn’t have his best game. Facing the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game started by rising star Julio Urias, he went 0-4 with three strikeouts in a 13-1 loss.
Even though it was his first game of the season following a long injury rehab, Harper isn’t making excuses and knows he has to be better, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Not the game we wanted to have, right?” Harper said after the Phillies’ loss, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Granted, I’m excited to be back. Going through six months of grinding and hard work, to be able to get back today, I was extremely excited. I want the results to be better.”
Bryce Harper had a remarkably quick turnaround from his surgery, making it back roughly two months ahead of schedule to help the Phillies. The team is now 15-16 thanks in part to a myriad of injuries, including one to outfielder Christian Pache that will sideline him for a month. Despite excellent starts to the season from the likes of Brandon Marsh, Matt Strahm, Nick Castellanos and Jose Alvarado, the defending NL champs have not been able to overcome injuries and underperformance from their stars.
Harper will be able to help but still has to get used to the speed of the game again. One aspect of the game that he has to get used to is the pitch clock. The Phillies’ designated hitter has usually taken his time but now has to ditch his old rhythm. Picking up a new one will be key as he reintegrates with the game.
“I took a long time from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box, and in between pitches, I take a while,” Harper said. “Definitely an adjustment period. Got to figure out what I want to do, how I want to do it.”
Harper is slated to make his home season debut on Friday when Philadelphia hosts the Boston Red Sox. Thankfully for the slumping Phillies, Harper has more time to get them back on track.
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