Nats manager will speak with Bryce Harper about lack of hustle
New manager, same old problem for Bryce Harper.
Harper did not run out a ground ball he hit in the fifth inning of the Washington Nationals’ 4-2 loss to the New York Mets on Friday. The Mets had an easy double play as a result:
— Platano Power RD (@PlatanoPowerDO) July 14, 2018
There were runners on first and second with one out, so there is no reason Harper should have taken that as a gimme double play and given up. Had he beaten it out, the Nats could have had runners on the corners with two outs for Matt Adams, which would have been a good run-scoring opportunity.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said after the game that he will address the issue with Harper.
But also, “I have no beef with Bryce. He comes every day to play.” Mentioned that when he tries to give Harper days off, he doesn’t want them. https://t.co/YTHjJ8naS0
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 14, 2018
Martinez did note that Harper brings the right focus every day, but it’s clear there was a problem with his effort on that particular play.
No matter how you slice it, it’s a bad look for Harper. He’s been scuffling since June and batting under .200 since then, so he is obviously frustrated. That’s still no excuse for not hustling. We’ll see if Martinez handles things similarly to how previous manager Matt Williams did.