Bryce Harper came to Philadelphia to do the one thing

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Bryce Harper came to Philadelphia to do the one thing

Postby zhangzk » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:29 am

CLEARWATER , Fla. (AP) — Win in October.The Phillies gave him one of the biggest contracts in baseball history to deliver.“I want to be on Broad Street and hold a (World Series) trophy over my head,” Harper said after signing a $330 million, 13-year contract.The 26-year-old slugger was a six-time All-Star, 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL Most Valuable Player during seven seasons with the Nationals. But he couldn’t help Washington win a postseason series in four tries.That won’t cut it in Philadelphia.“We didn’t make this move to win 83 games,” owner John Middleton said.The Phillies have had six straight losing seasons and haven’t reached the postseason since 2011. They were 80-82 last year, losing 33 of the final 49 games after leading the NL East in early August.Expectations already were high after the team acquired All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, two-time All-Star shortstop Jean Segura, 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Robertson. Adding Harper skyrocketed everyone’s hopes, especially fans who jumped on tickets and No. 3 jerseys.“You’ll always be remembered for winning and what better place to do it than Philly,” Harper said.He’ll make his debut in red pinstripes when the Phillies host the defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves on March 28.Here’s some things to know about rebuilt Philadelphia:NEW FACES: Harper is the new face of the franchise but he can’t do it alone. Realmuto is one of the best at his position and could raise his offensive production in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Segura solidifies an important spot and bolsters the lineup. McCutchen is determined to prove he’s not done yet. Robertson is a key part of a deep bullpen.THE SKIPPER: Manager Gabe Kapler was heavily criticized and intensely scrutinized in his first season leading the team. He took plenty of heat for using a lot of pitchers, different lineups and some even had issues with his positive approach. The Phillies won the offseason and now it’s up to Kapler to help the team win games.ACES WILD: Aaron Nola established himself as one of the best starters in the majors last year, finishing third in Cy Young Award voting. The right-hander, who takes the mound on opening day for the second straight season Mariano Rivera Jersey , anchors a questionable rotation. Jake Arrieta got paid to be an ace last year but pitched more like a No. 4-5 starter. His velocity has improved in spring training and he’s feeling better following offseason knee surgery. If Arrieta pitches like he did when he won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Cubs, the Phillies could have a top 1-2 punch. They’ll need more from Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin or the offense will have to outslug opponents quite often.DYNAMIC LINEUP: Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco are going from batting in the middle of the order to hitting in the lower third in Philadelphia’s revamped lineup. That’s how deep and balanced the new-look offense will be with Harper, Realmuto, Segura and McCutchen joining slugger Rhys Hoskins and Cesar Hernandez. Seven of the eight hitters have hit 20 homers in a season, including six of them in 2018 and Hernandez had a career-best 16 last year.DEEP PEN: Robertson adds depth to a formidable group that includes Seranthony Dominguez, who emerged as the closer as a rookie last season. Former closer Hector Neris rebounded nicely late in the season after losing his job. Veterans Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter and newcomer Jose Alvarez make this a strong unit that could get the call often if the rotation falters. NEW YORK (AP) — Julio Teheran delivered a final pitch, watched the shortstop drift back to make a nice catch and walked off the mound clapping his right hand and glove together.After the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker applauded Teheran, too.Teheran looked sharp in his last audition to become part of Atlanta’s playoff rotation, throwing two-hit ball for six innings Thursday night in a 4-1 loss to the New York Mets.“That’s the way I wanted to finish the regular season,” Teheran said.The NL East champion Braves didn’t start first baseman Freddie Freeman and center fielder Ender Inciarte Babe Ruth Jersey , and they were minus injured shortstop Dansby Swanson for the second straight game.Teheran (9-9) allowed one run, struck out five and walked two, and trailed 1-0 when he exited. The start came exactly a week before the Braves are set to begin the postseason against the NL West champs, either Colorado or the Los Angeles Dodgers.In the race for home-field advantage in that matchup, Atlanta and Colorado are 89-70 and the Dodgers are 88-71; the Braves don’t own either tiebreaker, having lost the head-to-head season series against both clubs.Teheran won just one of his last 10 outings, but Snitker observed, “he’s pitched better than this record.”Plus this: Opponents hit only .196 against him, besting Greg Maddux (.197 in 1995) for the lowest mark in franchise history, the Braves said. All-Star Mike Foltynewicz could top him — he’s at .198 going into Friday night’s start at Philadelphia.The 27-year-old Teheran started for the Braves the previous time they made the playoffs in 2013 and has long been a key piece of their staff, but his place this October is uncertain. He’s been inconsistent at times, albeit more steady down the stretch.Snitker hasn’t said who will pitch in the playoffs. Foltynewicz, Kevin Gausman and Anibal Sanchez are considered likely to lock down the first three starts in the best-of-five NL Division Series , perhaps leaving Teheran and Sean Newcomb and maybe even rookie Touki Toussaint to compete for the fourth spot.“I got in the back of my mind what I’m thinking,” Snitker said, without revealing any details.“This isn’t tryout camp,” he said, adding, “I think the total body of work speaks for itself.”Teheran gave up a leadoff double to Brandon Nimmo in the first and a home run to Kevin Plawecki in the third.Pinch-hitter Devin Mesoraco connected for a three-run homer off Brad Brach in the seventh that made it 4-0.Ronald Acuna Jr. hit an RBI single in the eighth.The Braves beat New York in the opener of this three-game series for their sixth straight win. But Mets starters Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Jason Vargas combined for 21 scoreless innings in the set, and New York finished 6-13 against Atlanta this year.Vargas (7-9) needed just 77 pitches for seven shutout innings in his best start of the year.“Good job,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He finished the season strong for us.”Vargas gave up three hits, walked none and struck out six, pitching in light rain in the later innings. The 35-year-old lefty tied for the major league lead with 18 wins last season with Kansas City but struggled early after signing a $16 million, two-year deal with the Mets.Vargas went 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA in his last eight starts.Robert Gsellman worked the ninth for his 13th save. He struck out Freeman with two on to end it.WRIGHT YOU AREMets third baseman David Wright didn’t play despite scattered chants of “We want David!” Activated this week, he hasn’t played in the majors since May 2016 because of neck Joe DiMaggio Jersey , back and shoulder injuries. The Mets have planned for him to start Saturday night at Citi Field against Miami.The 35-year-old team captain left a spirited reminder of his days in the clubhouse before the game. A bottle of tequila was put in each teammate’s locker, with his No. 5 and the message, “Thanks for the memories.”TRAINER’S ROOMBraves: No update on Swanson, diagnosed this week with a partially torn ligament in his left hand. A progress report is possible over the weekend. Swanson’s status remains uncertain for Atlanta’s playoff opener next Thursday. Charlie Culberson again took Swanson’s place.UP NEXTBraves: Foltynewicz (12-10, 2.88 ERA) pitches at Citizens Bank Park to open the final series of the regular season. Last Saturday, he took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the Phillies in the division clincher.Mets: RHP Corey Oswalt (3-3, 6.08) starts at home vs. RHP Jose Urena (8-12, 4.07) and the Marlins.
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Re: Bryce Harper came to Philadelphia to do the one thing

Postby voni » Thu May 14, 2020 10:19 am

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