May 23, 2012, 4:24 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper connects for a third-inning triple off Roy Halladay.
PHILADELPHIA — It was early March in Viera, Fla., when Bryce Harper and Rick Eckstein were chatting around the batting cage at the Nationals' spring training complex, talking about how to approach certain big-league pitchers. Harper brought up one prominent NL East hurler in particular, and stunned his hitting coach with his intimate understanding of a pitcher he'd never actually seen in person.
"This is what he's going to do," Harper told Eckstein that morning. "And when he does it, this is where it's gonna go."
The pitcher in question was Roy Halladay. And when finally presented the opportunity to face the two-time Cy Young Award winner Tuesday night, Harper stepped to the plate knowing exactly what to expect from the Phillies ace.
"I've been watching him for about three years," the 19-year-old outfielder said. "He throws a first-pitch curveball to so many people, and they just let it get over the plate. So I was just really trying to get something up in that situation and get something going. We had twoRead more »
ON THE RADIO
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.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Deconstructing the Nationals' game-winning rally
- Gio Gonzalez pulled from Nats' win with left shoulder tightness
- LaRoche's walk-off hit saves Nationals from sweep vs. Angels
- Former Senators pitcher Connie Marrero passes away
- Injury updates on Zimmerman and Hairston
- Baseball in the District: Thom Loverro of ESPN 980 talks Nats
- Gio, Nationals try to avoid getting swept by Angels
- Nationals Stock Watch: Harper has rough week
- How secure is struggling Jordan's rotation spot?
- Pujols gets 500th, Nats fall to Angels