A recent hot streak has gotten Bryce Harper’s batting average and on-base percentage moving in the right direction.
But Harper’s power numbers have shot up over the last couple weeks, as well.
Harper lifted an opposite-field two-run homer off Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler in the fourth, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead.
It’s Harper’s 19th homer of the season, and second in his last four games. He also has eight extra-base hits in his last 11 games, pushing his slugging percentage back up to .521, the highest it’s been since Aug. 9.
Harper has made some adjustments lately, quieting his swing a bit and not trying to attack every pitch with complete ferocity. It’s paid off, as he’s now batting .357 in his last 15 games.
Gio Gonzalez now has a lead to work with, and he’s put up five scoreless frames to start tonight’s outing.
The left-hander walked three batters in his first two innings of work and saw the Marlins load the bases in the second, but was able to put up zeros despite the Miami scoring chances, and he’s settled down since.
Over his last three innings of work, Gonzalez has faced just one over the minimum and struck out five.
Gonzalez hasn’t notched a win since all the way back on July 10, but a victory tonight would give the Nats a three-game sweep over the Marlins and get them to three games above .500.
Update: Jayson Werth keeps doing Jayson Werth things.
Up with two on and none out in the sixth, Werth smoked a 2-1 pitch from Koehler about three-quarters up the left field bleachers for his 21st homer of the season and second in as many nights. The three-run shot gave the Nats a 5-0 lead, which became 6-0 when Anthony Rendon added an RBI single later in the inning.
This only continues what has been just a ridiculous stretch for Werth, who is now batting .405/.500/.667 with six homers and 20 RBIs in August. Werth won the National League Player of the Month award for July. I’d say he’s got a pretty decent chance of taking home the same hardware in August, wouldn’t you?
Since coming off the DL on June 4, Werth ranks among NL leaders in OPS (1st, 1.017), on-base percentage (2nd, .437), batting average (2nd, .349) and slugging percentage (3rd, .580).
The bearded one simply cannot be stopped right now.