Sep 25, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
There have been no shortage of remarkable Bryce Harper stats this season, but among the more remarkable ones was this little nugget: He hadn’t gone hitless in three straight games at any point in 2015.
Yes, that impressive streak came to an end when Harper grounded out to short to conclude the Nationals’ 5-4 loss to the Orioles, capping an 0-for-3 afternoon and an 0-for-6 series.
The streak was all the more amazing when you consider the diminished opportunities Harper has had to record hits all season long. Yes, he went 0-for-6 in this series, but he also drew seven walks. His on-base percentage for the series still was a ridiculous .538.
And then consider this: Harper had only gone hitless in back-to-back games six times all year prior to this week. That’s remarkable consistency at the plate, especially for a guy who leads the league in homers.
And now consider this: Harper hasn’t gone back-to-back games without at least reaching base once in 2015. He has failed to reach base in only 12-of-145 total games.
All told, Harper has reached base 292 times this season, an average of 2.01 times per game. Only Reds first baseman Joey Votto has reached more times (303 in 149 games) in the majors.
No player in Nationals club history had previously reached base more than 268 times (Nick Johnson in 2006). Three more times on base and Harper will surpass Frank Howard’s total of 294 from 1970 (the expansion Senators’ record). Five more times and Harper will surpass Vladimir Guerrero’s franchise record (296 in 2002).
And if he does it eight more times in the season’s final 10 games, Harper will become the first Washington player to reach base 300 times since Eddie Yost (318 times in 1950).
Just another reason Harper’s performance this year deservedly ranks among the best we’ve ever seen.
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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