After Bryce Harper once again smacked balls around the ballpark against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, the Nationals slugger said he couldn’t explain why it happens so often.
“I don’t know,” Harper said. “I just try to have good at-bats and get good pitches over the plate that I can drive.”
Harper waived away the notion that having a good history against a pitcher gives him any kind of mental edge.
“No, because any given day they can make you look dumb,” he said. “Good pitching always beats good hitting.”
Harper is a good hitter and Teheran is a good pitcher but it’s not often that Teheran beats him.
Harper hit two home runs against Teheran on Wednesday night, including a second-inning grand slam that sparked the Nationals to a 14-4 romp at SunTrust Park. Harper has hit two of his three career grand slams against Teheran.
In 33 career at-bats against Teheran, Harper has 15 hits with seven home runs, 17 RBI and five walks. That’s a .455 average, .538 on-base percentage a, 1.182 slugging percentage and 1.720 on-base plus slugging.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said those kind of numbers have to be on the minds of both batter and pitcher.
“You know it and he knows it,” Baker said. “You feel very confident which Bryce, as I’ve said many times, has no problem with confidence.”
Harper gets the best of Teheran more than any other hitter that faces him regularly. Among batters with at least 20 career at-bats against Teheran, no one else has more three home runs or nine RBIs against him.
Harper hit a solo home run against Teheran in the first inning on Monday. After the Braves took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning, Harper put the Nationals ahead for good with the grand slam that sailed over the center-field wall.
“Obviously he’s hit me really good and he’s one of the best hitters in the game,” Teheran said. “I give him the credit. But this is a long season. Today was his day and he got me twice. We’ll see what’s going to happen next time.”