PHILADELPHIA -- What the Nationals' Bryce Harper has been doing in the batter's box has been remarkable. Harper is so locked in, maybe teammate Gio Gonzalez said it best, "Let him be Bryce. He knows his body, he knows the way he is. The way he is going out there is unreal. It's next-level stuff."
Harper homered in Sunday's 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Phillies, marking the sixth straight game he has homered in Philadelphia, which tied Hall of Famer Ernie Banks' MLB record for a visiting player, according to Elias. Harper has also homered in four consecutive games overall, which is a career high.
At 112.7 mph, the go-ahead homer was Harper's hardest-hit ball this year and his hardest-hit homer of the Statcast™ era.
"I just want to win. I want to have good at-bats and do the things we can to get runs on the board," Harper said. "I try to take my at-bats one at a time and know that I could get up in a big spot and something may happen. I try to get good [at-bats]. All in all, you want to win ballgames and it can happen to you."
The score was tied at 1 in the top of the 10th inning when Harper faced right-hander Jeanmar Gomez. Harper worked the count to 3-2 and smacked the seventh pitch of the at-bat into the right-center-field seats to give Washington a one-run lead. Nationals manager Dusty Baker is not surprised by what he has seen from Harper.
"This is what I heard about and I've seen it a few times on TV," Baker said. "I've been fortunate to have some great players play with him and play for me. He has certainly made his mark."
While Harper was happy to put himself in the record books, he is all about winning games.
"It's a pleasure to even be in the same sentence as Ernie Banks," Harper said. "At the end of the day, you want to win ballgames. Like I said, a series win is a series win. We take this into Miami and keep it going, hopefully."