Team Record: 3-1
Harper looking for No. 100 - Bryce Harper got his 100th career double on Sunday and had the ball waiting for him in his locker when he arrived in the clubhouse after the Nats' 4-2 win over the Marlins. That is, in fact, how Harper found out about the accomplishment. And when asked about the honor, he decided to look forward instead of backward.
"I had no idea until I got to my locker and the ball was sitting there. Definitely a great accomplishment, but on to the next one hopefully. I'm just trying to build on what I'm doing and get better," he said.
The next milestone for Harper could come soon, as he's sitting on 99 career home runs. And if he gets to No. 100 within the next eight games, he will become the eighth-youngest player ever to hit the century mark. No.'s 8, 9 and 10 on the all-time list are currently Albert Pujols, Hank Aaron and Ken Griffey, Jr. Not a bad trio to be associated with.
Dusty on the Marlins - With the Braves already looking like one of baseball's worst teams and the Phillies unlikely to be much better, the NL East may once again be a two-team race, this year between the Nationals and the Mets. The one team that could have a say about that would seem to be the Marlins, a club that just earned a split in their rain-shortened series this weekend at Nats Park.
The Nats didn't get to see Jose Fernandez or Wei-Yin Chen - the Marlins' two best starters - but they certainly saw their lineup. Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton are about as good a trio as you can find in the NL. Then there's Marcell Ozuna, Justin Bour and Martin Prado, who help make the Marlins' lineup deep and balanced.
I asked Dusty Baker what his early impressions of the Marlins were and he had a pretty interesting, and funny, answer:
"They got a real good team. They've got some guys up and down that lineup that can hit, they've got some speed. I haven't seen all their pitchers yet, but they got a good team. When I was with TBS last year or ESPN, one of them, I picked them and the Blue Jays to go to the World Series... but I'm not picking them this year."
Harper on Bonds - MLB.com's Bill Ladson got a tremendous quote from Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds on Harper and whether he can someday be as good as the former Giants legend. Bonds told MLB.com "he is not even close to me." Bonds was saying that Harper needs to do what he did last year for a long, long time. And, despite the brash words, he's right.
Harper even agrees. Here is what Harper had to say about Bonds:
"Hopefully that can happen," Harper said of being good for as long as Bonds was. "He's the greatest hitter on the planet. He's somebody you idolize when you're younger because of the way he can swing the bat, the way he approaches the game, just his mentality at the plate. The guy had 2,900 and something hits, 500-500 guy. There's nobody better than that guy in this game, and that's something I was able to watch when I was younger, and I try to take things from what he did with his approach, but he's the greatest player I can think of from when I was growing up playing and watching."
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Daniel Murphy 4/4 vs. Braves - 2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 BB, R
Pitching line of the week: Joe Ross 4/11 vs. Marlins - 7 IP, ER, 5 H, 5 SO, 2 BB, 97 pitches (57 strikes)
Quote of the Week
"If you're a young guy and you're watching him, you say 'man, if this old dude can do it then I certainly can do it.'" - Baker on Ryan Zimmerman playing through plantar fasciitis
(*This category is going to be so much harder to choose each week with Dusty now as the manager. So many options!)
Tweet of the Week
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) April 4, 2016
Mon. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Scherzer vs. Norris)
Tue. - 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Gonzalez vs. Chacin)
Wed. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Strasburg vs. TBD)
Thu. – 7:05 p.m. vs. Atlanta Braves (Roark vs. Teheran)
Fri. – 7:05 p.m. at Philadelphia Phillies (Ross vs. Hellickson)
Sat. – 7:05 p.m. at Philadelphia Phillies (Scherzer vs. Nola)
Sun. – 1:35 p.m. at Philadelphia Phillies (Gonzalez vs. Morton)
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