TIME OFF

Why Girardi thought it was time to give Harper a breather

TIME OFF

Joe Girardi is giving Bryce Harper the night off. Harper will sit out the Phillies’ series opener Friday at Citi Field against Rick Porcello and the Mets.

Harper is 7 for his last 45. His batting average has dropped 91 points in the last two weeks. Despite hitting .156 over that stretch, he has walked as much he’s struck out (16 times), getting on base at a .365 clip. The Phillies went 9-5 in the 14 games. 

Girardi wanted to give Harper a breather. The Phillies’ right fielder has played 32 of 33 games. He’s also faced some good pitching lately — Patrick Corbin twice, Max Scherzer, Max Fried. Given how hard he plays, the occasional breather is not a bad thing. The Phillies also have three doubleheaders next week alone.

It is possible that Rhys Hoskins stole Harper’s mojo. In the same 14 games Harper has slumped, Hoskins has hit .327 with 11 extra-base hits, 13 RBI and 14 runs scored.

Here is the Phillies’ lineup behind Jake Arrieta:

Phillies lineup 9/4 at NYM. 7:10 pm game time on NBCSP/WIP.

1. Andrew McCutchen LF

2. Rhys Hoskins 1B

3. Didi Gregorius SS

4. J.T. Realmuto C

5. Jean Segura 2B

6. Jay Bruce DH

7. Alec Bohm 3B

8. Phil Gosselin RF 

9. Roman Quinn CF