Bryce Harper missed four games a week ago to rest and receive treatment on his balky left hip, which left him hobbling around the field. The time off and anti-inflammatory medicine helped the discomfort dissipate. And in the five games since his return, Harper has run without any apparent limp and hit the ball well.
He is 8 for 20 (.400) over the past five games, including a 3-for-5 performance in Sunday’s win over the Phillies. He has also stolen two bases in that span. Asked if the pain in his left hip was gone following Sunday’s game, Harper declined to answer.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “We’ve been winning ball games which is huge. Have good ABs. Trying to get my swing intact and try to not do too much and try to put the bat on the ball and see what happens.”
Before Sunday’s game, Manager Davey Johnson spoke with Harper, having noticed too much aggression in some of his swings and approach.
“Just told him to try to not do too much,” he said. “Don’t need to hit the ball to the light tower, that kind of thing. He kept looking at me after he’d hit a line drive, hit a double. ‘That’s what you wanted.'”
Harper has played through injuries throughout much of the season, hitting the wall in Atlanta on April 30 and the smashing into the right field fence in Los Angeles on May 13. He has dealt with dizziness, stitches on his chin, knee bursitis and hip inflammation since then. He has hit .286 (38 for 133) since Aug. 1, but produced only four home runs. Johnson’s talk reminded him to ease up.
“I just don’t want to go up there and do too much,” he said. “Just try to stay within myself, which I’ve been doing a little bit and seeing the pitches that I’m seeing and not do too much. And just have good ABs.”
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