Bryce Harper gets under the Cubs’ Skin

> In the very first inning, Harper visited the left center field gap at Nationals Park and hustled out his seventh triple of the year, making him the first teenager since Buddy Lewis of the Washington Senators back in 1936 to reach that number in a single season. That’s a very cool achievement, but it would be quickly overshadowed just one batter later as Ryan Zimmerman hit a soft two-hopper back to the pitcher.

> Now, unless the bases are loaded or a special play has been called from the bench, a comebacker will usually freeze the runner on third. That was also the case here with Harper. But unlike most runners you’ll see in that situation, Harper didn’t immediately retreat to the base. He simply bided his time, measured the situation and then broke for the plate as the throw to first was made. That paid off for Washington as Harper beat the return throw home to score their first run.

I was in DC this past weekend and saw Harper in person. His speed and hustle are impressive. Of course, the Cubs did not enjoy the fact that he made them looks like fools and they retaliated by throwing at him later in the game. To his credit, Harper remained mostly calm during the various “brawls”[^b] that occurred.

[^b]: They were traditional “baseball brawls” where dugouts clear and bullpen guys run out, but nothing really happens.