The Washington Post

Futures Game live-blog: The Bryce Harper show moves west

Update, 7 p.m. PST: Harper’s spirits were high after the game, as he shrugged off his 0-fer and joked that his epic throw from the left field corner was a naked attempt to get himself on “SportsCenter.”

“I don’t care what I did today, actually. I really don’t,” he said. “I could’ve went 4-for-4, and hallelujah. [Going] 0-for-4, hallelujah, too. I just wanted to go out there and play hard and have some fun.”

Regarding his fruitless night at the plate, he said, “You’re facing all-stars, and that’s what’s going to happen. I ... got blown away a little bit. I’ve got to hang with it and keep my chin up.”

Harper is hanging around Phoenix through Monday night — he is scheduled to do a live-chat with fans for Under Armour on Monday afternoon (3:30 p.m. Eastern time, at — then plans to go home to Las Vegas for about 36 hours, before rejoining the Senators in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

Update, 5:26 p.m. PST: Bryce Harper’s fourth at-bat may have been his worst of the game, and he heard some boos (!) after striking out against right-hander Kelvin Herrera (Royals). Harper took a fastball for a called strike, then took a wild hack at a slider in the dirt to fall behind 0-2. After taking a couple of balls to even the count, he was blown away by a 97-mph heater. So, to recap, our phenom is 0-for-4 with a pair of K’s.

Update, 4:55 p.m. PST: Make it 0-for-3 for Bryce Harper at the plate, after he grounds out to first on a 2-0 fastball from right-hander Henderson Alvarez (Blue Jays) leading off the bottom of the sixth. This is undoubtedly the best collection of pitching Harper has faced in his life, as I don’t recall a fastball slower than 93 mph against him the entire game.

And by the way, the World team now leads, 4-3, after scoring four runs in the top of the sixth.

Update, 4:45 p.m. PST: Bryce Harper’s first oooh-worthy moment of the Futures Game came not from his bat, but from his arm, as he just uncorked an epic throw from the left field corner, only a few steps from the wall, to home plate on the fly. It was slightly off-line, and a little late to get the runner, but it still drew some appreciative gasps from the crowd. Of course, it also sailed over the cut-off man and allowed the batter to take third base. But it’s all about the show, right?

Update, 4:01 p.m. PST: Bryce Harper’s second at-bat lasted all of about four seconds. He offered at a first-pitch, 96-mph fastball from lefty James Paxton (Mariners) and rolled over it, grounding out to first base. Harper is 0-for-2 with a strikeout, and the U.S. leads the World team, 2-0, as we head to the fourth.

Update, 3:34 p.m. PST: A beautiful inning of work for Brad Peacock. He struck out Alfredo Silverio (Dodgers) on three fastballs, finishing him off with an up-and-in heater that Silverio couldn’t lay off of. He then coaxed a grounder to first from Chih-Hsien Chiang (Red Sox) on a first-pitch fastball. Finally, he showed all three of his pitches (fastball, knuckle-curve, change up) to Wilin Rosario (Rockies), getting him to pop up weakly to shortstop on a 2-2 change up. Peacock’s fastball sat at 93-94 mph during the inning, which will probably be his only inning of work.

Update, 3:27 p.m. PST: Bryce Harper doesn’t strike out looking too often, especially on a center-cut fastball, but he just did so in the bottom of the first inning against Atlanta Braves flamethrower Julio Teheran. It was a 95-mph fastball, one pitch after Harper swung through a change-up, and it froze him.

The U.S. team leads, 1-0, on a leadoff homer by second baseman Jason Kipnis (Indians), who crushed a 95-mph fastball over the wall in right.

And Brad Peacock is on to pitch the top of the second.

Update, 2:52 p.m. PST: As we await first pitch here, let me give you a quick update on Bryce Harper’s batting practice show. The longest of his homers went over the roughly 20-foot high fence in right-center field, above a sign reading 413 feet. A conservative estimate would put the homer at about 430 feet.

Original post: Greetings from Chase Field in Phoenix, where it’s 101 degrees outside (I’m told this is a cold snap), but where, thankfully, the roof will be closed for today’s Futures Game.

As we speak, Bryce Harper, the starting left fielder and No. 2 hitter for the U.S. team, is preparing to take batting practice. The other Nationals representative, right-hander Brad Peacock, has been told he is pitching the second inning. Also here, as a coach, is Tony Beasley, Harper and Peacock’s manager at Class AA Harrisburg.

(In the cage now, Harper appears to have foregone his usual routine of shooting a few balls to the opposite field in his first turn, and instead is swinging for the fences. The kid likes to put on a show.)

Harper seemed relaxed before the game, if perhaps a little weary of all the attention focused on him. Having only played three games at Harrisburg since his call-up from Class A Hagerstown on July 4, Harper has had a whirlwind week.

“It’s good to be able to get the call-up and refocus, get that fresh start,” he said.

After the Futures Game, Harper said he plans to go home to Las Vegas for a couple of days and rejoin the Senators in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

(And now, back in the cage, Harper just blasted a couple of balls out of the park.)

I’ll be live-blogging the Futures Game here, so check back for updates.

Dave Sheinin has been covering baseball and writing features and enterprise stories for The Washington Post since 1999.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.