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Bryce Harper reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances

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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had quite an afternoon in Sunday’s series finale against the Reds. He went 2-for-4, hitting a pair of solo home runs and drawing a walk in his last three plate appearances. The second homer came immediately after a Reds fan heckled him by yelling “Overrated!”

Harper stayed hot on Monday, at least when the Braves would allow him to swing the bat. Harper drilled a three-run home run in the second inning and drew four walks in his first five plate appearances. He grounded out with the bases loaded to end the top of the ninth, which also ended his streak of reaching base consecutively. He had drawn five walks and hit three home runs over a span of eight trips to the plate. Harper had also homered in three consecutive at-bats prior to the ground out.

Not even Braves fans could resist calling him overrated, as heard in this clip posted by Jake Russell of the Washington Post:

That, by the way, was four innings after Harper hit his three-run jack. Through the first four games, Harper is batting a cool .415/.550/1.167. The Nationals are 4-0 after beating the Braves 8-1 on Monday.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.