Game #69 Nats in salvage mode in Toronto

Happy Father’s Day. It is quite obvious that the Nats offense went into hibernation. When a bear is woken up from their slumber, they can attack. The Nationals have been poked all weekend from the Blue Jays, and the Nats have not woken up yet. Could today be the day?

“You’re never as good as you think you are when you win; and you’re never as bad as you feel when you lose.”― former Coach of Penn State football

For what it’s worth, Bryce Harper did not forget how to hit although it looks that way at times. Harper is just struggling with a June swing & miss rate of 36.4%, 20 strikeouts in 43 at-bats, and a .163 batting average. Wilmer Difo, Mark Reynolds and Pedro Severino are even below Harper’s June swoon in terms of batting average.

The Difo and Severino situation seems like they have been exposed by scouting coupled with the grind of playing almost every day. Mark Reynolds has regressed to the mean and that explains the struggles for those three players, but how do you explain Harper’s struggles which have spanned much longer since the calendar turned to June. Bryce’s demise in hitting started on April 17th and luckily for him, opposing pitchers kept walking him until May 2nd. Since that game, Bryce’s OBP has gone from .464 to .361. A drop of 103 points. His overall statline is propped by the home runs and all of those walks.

At some point Bryce Harper has to wake up? The law of averages said he will raise his level to the back of his baseball card which says he’s a .285 batter before this season — but in the past month Bryce has only delivered 4-times with runners-in-scoring-position. That won’t cut it from the #3 spot of the batting order. Is it time to move Bryce back to bat in front of Severino and Difo?

Onward to today, Tanner Roark takes the mound and he faces righty Sam Gaviglio who has an almost identical ERA as Roark.

Washington Nationals vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Stadium: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
1st Pitch:  1:07 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

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