Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has a career batting average of.279. He hit.330 in 2015, when he was named National League MVP. He hit.319 last season. Which makes this season’s problems at the plate so stunning.
Harper is hitting just.213 this season, including.148 in the month of June.
Not exactly the kind of production Harper is hoping for before heading into free agency after the 2018 season.
Clayton Richard (L), 36 percent, San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants: Because so few pitchers work into the sixth, the ability to consistently do so is often overlooked, especially in points leagues in which innings are scored. Richard has tossed at least six frames in his past eight outings, working at least seven stanzas in six of those starts. The Giants are an average squad versus lefties, so expect another long effort from Richard.
Chris Stratton (R), 21 percent, San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres: Stratton isn’t missing many bats, but he isn’t allowing homers either. This could be a game for Stratton’s punchouts to jump back up, facing a Padres club with the lowest weighted on-base average and highest strikeout rate facing righties in all of baseball.
Shane Bieber (R), 5 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers: The Tigers aren’t as poor as the Padres versus right-handers, but they’re close. Bieber is battling Adam Plutko for a rotation spot when Carlos Carrasco returns. He’s off to a good start, fanning 13 with two walks in 11 1/3 frames.
Ryne Stanek gets the ball to open the festivities for the Rays as they entertain the Yankees. Southpaw Ryan Yarbrough is slated to follow. Even in pitcher-friendly Tropicana Park, Yarbrough is a risk facing the league’s most prolific lineup with a lefty on the hill.
I feel it right now, Tanaka said through Yankees Japanese interpreter Shingo Horie. It’s pretty tight,
Before Tanaka talked to reporters, Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed hope in his post-game interview that the No. 2 starter’s injury was just a cramp and that a re-evaluation on Saturday would provide optimism that he’d make his next scheduled start Thursday at Yankee Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rays.