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Rise and Phight: 8/31/2021

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It’s the end of August already?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

So Bryce Harper hit a home run last night, his 100th in Nationals Park. It’s a big accomplishment for him in his career, one that will continue with more home runs in Washington as the years go on.

However, it begs the question: why is anyone giving him anything to hit?

The lineup for the Phillies took a huge hit when Rhys Hoskins went down and they’re currently relying on the reserves to pick up the slack. Players like Andrew McCutchen are also playing hurt and others are not exactly lighting the world on fire. All told, they only have two players who would make a manager think twice about pitching two them, and only one of them is a real power threat: Harper.

So again, why pitch to him? It’s got to be one of the bigger concerns for the team heading down the stretch. If teams start pitching around him, they will need someone else to pick up the slack and drive in runs. Hoskins was good at it, but he’s gone. J.T. Realmuto will most likely hit behind Harper in the lineup, so he’ll be counted on to be a run producer. He hasn’t had the typical Realmuto season, but there is still time for him to drive in runs.

On to the links.

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