JUPITER, Fla. - Bryce Harper's day is done after 4 1/2 innings of work, and while it's just spring, Marlins pitchers probably couldn't be happier that the Nationals left fielder is out of the game.
Harper is on an absolute tear right now, as evidenced by the fact that he's reached base in 10 straight plate appearances.
Nine of those 10 trips to the plate have resulted in hits, seven of which came after Harper injured his left thumb on a jam-shot single.
For the spring, Harper is now batting .476. He has three homers, nine extra-base hits and 14 RBIs after today's run-scoring single in the third inning.
For what it's worth, the National League record for most consecutive hits is 10. This is just spring, but jeez, Harper is just on fire.
Dan Haren has surrendered three home runs so far today through five innings. Outside of those three swings, the righty has been pretty good.
Giancarlo Stanton took Haren out over the right field wall in the first inning for a solo shot, Chris Valaika got a hold of a solo shot in the second and then Chris Coghlan went yard in the fifth, a two-run shot that tied the game 4-4.
Haren retired nine straight at one point, and the wind is blowing out at Roger Dean Stadium today, which hasn't helped matters. He'll likely go one more inning here, as the bullpen is quiet in the top of the sixth.
Update: Stanton went yard again leading off the sixth, launching an absolute bomb off the batter's eye in center. It's his third homer of spring.
Haren is now done after six innings of work. His line isn't all that pretty: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 4 HR, 91 pitches, 51 strikes.
The homer-fest continued in the top of the seventh, when Roger Bernadina launched a solo shot to right, his first of spring.
It's a 5-5 thriller here in Jupiter.
Update II: Ryan Mattheus allowed three runs (one earned) in the seventh inning, and the Nationals fell to the Marlins 8-5.
Only two Grapefruit League games to go.