After ruling over baseball for the last month of the regular season, Bryce Harper is off to a bit of a slow start in the playoffs. From James Wagner:
In seven regular season games against the Cardinals, he hit .429 (12 for 28) with five extra-base hits. In the postseason, he is 1 for 10 with six strikeouts. He also made a base-running gaffe during a late-inning rally on Monday. In addition, Harper has been battling strep throat and a fever that bugged him, though he said it wasn’t affecting his performance and that he was improving with medicine.
Now, you’d certainly expect Harper to bust out soon, but in the meantime, some reporters will ask questions about playoff nerves and some such. Monday evening, one reporter — identified by Dan Hellie as St. Louis Post-Dispatch Hall of Famer Rick Hummel — asked what seemed like an innocuous version of this question:
“Have you found yourself to be overanxious, trying to do [too much] in your first couple games?” Hummel asked. (The question comes about 40 seconds into the above video, from Comcast SportsNet.)
“Do I look overanxious?” Harper responded. “Do you think so?”
“I think so,” Hummel answered.
“Yeah, maybe you should be the hitting coach,” Harper said.
Hummel didn’t seem to be offended, judging by his story, and Harper didn’t seem overanxious through the rest of his chat with reporters.
“We’ve got E-Jax on the bump, and it’s gonna be huge for us,” Harper said of Wednesday’s Game 3. “That’s a good lineup over there. So we’re just gonna try to battle as best we can. Everybody’s ready to go. Everybody’s ready to play. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”