PHILADELPHIA – In his Philadelphia Phillies debut Thursday, Bryce Harper looked and acted like a 330 million people by the people. He wore fluorescent-green shoes that greeted Phillie Phanatic, bowing to fans, chanting his name before the season's first pitch and throwing a ball into the stands for the perfect opening day Monday.
The only thing missing was the hits.
Harper went 0-for-3 with a tour of his first game with Phillies, who at least fought with a violation in a 1
The decision to intentionally go Harper in the seventh inning to load the bases backward almost immediately. Clean-up rider Rhys Hoskins pummeled on a 88 mph Luke Jackson shooting deep over the left-hand wall of Citizens Bank Park for his first career grand slam.
Harper savored his trot around the bases, kicked up with his custom clip and scored the first round of many in a Phillies uniform. When Harper signed a $ 330 million 13-year contract with Phillies in early March, he announced he wanted to be in Philadelphia for the rest of his career.
Bryce Harper knocks out twice, goes and records a race in his first game with Phillies in their 10-4 win on opening day vs Atlanta.
The city immediately took him. From Reading Terminal Market to South Philly and beyond, fans had Harper's No. 3-jersey, announced by Major League Baseball earlier in the day, has been the best seller of the sport despite Harper spending less than a month in Philadelphia. They chanted his name – "Har-per, Har-per, Har-per" – and dressed to see him beat his sixth career opening day's return.
His first with Philadelphia after seven seasons with their division competitor Washington comes soon enough. In his first bat, with the crowd 44,469 abuzz, Harper rolled over a Julio Tehran shooter for a groundout to the first base. Despite an incredible success against Tehran, Harper entered the game with more races and a higher OPS against him than any other jar in baseball – he swung through an 84 mph shooter to finish the second bat and a 91 mph fastball to finish conclude the third.
Not before his fourth time up he contributed something with substance – and even then it was far from the storybook. Harper simply admired Hoskins' indisputable shots as well as the contributions of the two new additions to Philadelphia that hit him in front of the line: leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen, who homered in his first Phillies bat and Jean Segura, who went 2-to-4 and scored a couple races.