MILWAUKEE -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker isn't worried about Bryce Harper. Even though the hits haven't been falling on a consistent basis for more than a month, the skipper believes the reigning National League MVP will carry the team soon with a hot bat.
In fact, Harper's swing is better, according to the skipper, but Harper was robbed of a big hit in the fifth inning of Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Brewers. The bases were loaded and Harper battled right-hander Jimmy Nelson. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Harper hit what looked like a grand slam, but it was caught in front of the center-field wall by Kirk Nieuwenhuis to end the threat.
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"They can't keep catching them all. He's headed for some good fortune here," Baker said. "We feel it. He just has to keep swinging. He is swinging better. I'm glad to see it. They will start falling for him."
Even Harper believes his swing is back to what it used to be. He just needs some hits to fall.
"I've been feeling good the last month or so," Harper said. "I'm feeling great up there. I'm taking one at-bat at a time and trying to do the best I can to [help the team] win some ballgames. The hits will come. We have a lot of baseball left. I'll keep going, keep having good days, keep grinding, keep working every day and try to get better. If I get hot at the right time, I think we'll be OK. "
Harper is doing well in the latest voting results for the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. He is among the top three vote-getters in the outfield, along with the Cubs' Dexter Fowler and the Mets' Yoenis Cespedes, in the latest 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. Harper has the second-most votes (1,824,808), behind Fowler (2,003,115). It helps that Harper is leading the Nationals in home runs and on-base percentage
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.