Jun 23

Bryce Harper confirms commitment to HR Derby if named an All-Star

Big names such as Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres have said in recent weeks that they would decline participating in the Home Run Derby if invited.

Bryce Harper says that won’t be the case for him.

Harper told The Washington Post that he’s a go for the Home Run Derby provided he’s named a National League All-Star ahead of the July 17 game at his home Nationals Park.

So count me in for the Derby if and only if I make the team, Harper told the Post via text message. But if I do I will be a participant in the 2018 HR Derby.

Harper should be a shoo-in to make the NL team. In the latest fan voting, he’s second among outfielders, trailing only Atlanta’s Nick Markakis. The top three will be starters.

Jason Heyward had three singles and a double for his ninth career four-hit game. … The Reds have six grand slams in the last 31 days. The only other teams in NL history with six in 31 days were the 1996 Expos, the 1997 Braves and the 2006 Mets, according to STATS. … Suarez extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.

I told my mom I was going to be a pro athlete at 4 years old. I was outside playing and it was cold, but I was just by myself throwing the football around. She was like, What the hell are you doing outside? I told her: I’m practicing for Sundays. Ever since, she’s pushed me to where I am today.

Yes, they managed to prevail in the finale of their three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, squeaking out a 4-2 victory on Thursday night. Sure, they won two of three from their Battle of the Beltway rivals to take the series. But neither of those facts changes the cold, hard truth that nearly halfway through the season, the Nats’ bats aren’t living up to the hype.

Well, it’s almost July now, and even though Washington’s lineup is as healthy as it’s been in a while, the offense is still stuck in neutral. Despite the fact that Rendon, Eaton and Murphy are all back, the Nats are averaging just 3.8 runs per game in June, which ranks 23rd in the majors. Including Rendon’s solo homer on Thursday, they’ve hit a grand total of 10 jacks on the month, tied for the fewest in baseball. They’ve been shut out four times in their last 10 games, a stretch during which they’ve managed just three wins and fallen from a half-game ahead of the Braves in the NL East to 3 1/2 games back.

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