Jul 11, 2011, 2:32 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper reacts after striking out in his first at-bat of the Futures Game.
PHOENIX — Bryce Harper has been “playing up” against older, more experienced competition since … well, pretty much since the day he first picked up a baseball bat and homered off his father.
Sunday evening, though, brought a whole new challenge for the Nationals’ uber-prospect: Four at-bats against four different flamethrowers from four different farm systems in the All-Star Futures Game, all of them shown on national television.
The end result was perhaps predictable: Harper went 0-for-4, striking out twice and grounding out twice. The happy-go-lucky 18-year-old’s reaction, too, was perhaps predictable.
“I don’t even care what I did today, actually. I really don’t,” he said. “I could’ve went 4-for-4 and: Hallelujah. 0-for-4? Hallelujah, too. I’m just happy to be here, to be around the guys I am.”
Harper’s teammate at Class AA Harrisburg, Brad Peacock, acquitted himself very well: The right-hander tossed a 1-2-3 inning of relief on nine pitches, joining 10 other hurlers that led a team of top American
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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