Harper, Nats heating up at the right time

by Jacob Emert | MLB.com

Bryce Harper seems to be in the midst of one of those stretches. Harper went 2-for-4 with a home run in Sunday’s 8-4 win, his third consecutive game with a home run.

In the past seven games, Harper is 9-for-17 with 11 walks, three home runs and six RBIs.

“I think it’s one, his stroke is under control as evidenced by the last couple of games,” manager Matt Williams said. “Granted, the balls are going out of the ballpark. But the telling at-bat is the one to left in the last at-bat today.”

In the eighth-inning, Harper stayed on a 96-mph fastball from Atlanta’s Edwin Jackson and stroked a single to left field.

“He’s under control,” Williams said. “He’s seeing it well. He’s got good knowledge of the strike zone. If he gets the proper pitch then he has a chance to hit it over the fence. But if you try to force it, it doesn’t happen very often.”

The recent stretch has come at an opportune time for the Nationals, who are set to begin a vital three game series with the Mets over the next three days.

It’s not only Harper, though. Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon, all key cogs in Washington’s offense who missed much of the season with respective injuries, seem to finding their strides.

“Our whole team is swinging the bat right now,” Harper said. “One through nine, I think everybody is really having good ABs and doing what we need to do as a team. I’m just out there trying to help out and do the things I can to win ballgames. That’s all I care about.”

The Nationals enter the series four games back of the Mets in the NL East after gaining 2.5 games on New York in the past four days.

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