Super prospect Bryce Harper made his professional debut in Scottsdale last night. The results: interesting. According to Keith Law, he was 1 for 4, with one of those outs being a ridiculously high fly ball. The hit was a double that was scorched. He apparently put on a show in batting practice. The raw power of this kid is amazing. He’s 18. He’s going to get stronger. He already can hit the ball 500 feet. Mercy.
The concern: he was super aggressive, first-pitch swinging and getting out ahead of pitches, even in batting practice. That’s going to be noted soon and he’s going to get so much junk thrown his way it’ll make his head spin. Based on his recent interviews, he seems impossibly eager to go out and run through brick walls and stuff. You have to assume a lot of this is a function of basically not playing baseball for five months. You also have to assume he’ll get over it soon and start putting on a real show.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.