It’s been just over ten years since Bryce Harper made his major league debut at Dodger Stadium, when he was a mere teenager. On Saturday night, the 29-year-old closed escrow on the third-oldest ballpark in the majors, leading the Phillies to a third straight win over the Dodgers, this one 8-3.
Harper doubled and scored in the first inning, then hit a majestic three-run home run in the third.
In all three games in the series, Harper homered and had at least one double. His seven extra-base hits are the most by an opponent in any three-game span at Dodger Stadium. The only Dodgers player to do it was Adrián González, who hit five home runs and two doubles in the first three games of the 2015 season.
Harper reached base 10 times in 15 plate appearances during the series, drove in eight runs and scored five.
Limited to strictly hitting in the series, Harper is scheduled to get a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow on Sunday and will miss the series finale. The partial UCL tear ensures Harper won’t throw for a few weeks, but it’s done nothing to hold him back at the plate. He had one of the best series by any opponent at Dodger Stadium.
Harper’s seven extra-base hits in these three games are more than he had (five) in his first 23 career games in Los Angeles.
He wasn’t alone.
Jean Segura hit the first home run off of Julio Urías on Saturday, a fly ball hit in the perfect spot down just inside the left field foul pole. That came after a throwing error by Justin Turner — and a double by Harper, naturally — that extended the inning.
Aside from all three runs being unearned, Urías quickly disabused any idea that his night was unlucky.
In addition to Harper’s romps around the bases, Urías also allowed a double to Alec Bohm and home runs to Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins.
Five days after allowing a career-high eleven hits in Pittsburgh, Urías on Saturday got torched for career worsts in runs allowed (eight), home runs (four), and extra-base hits (six). He reached those dubious milestones in the first four frames, but because of a low pitch count and the Dodgers’ dire need to fill innings at the moment, Urías was tasked to get through six.
No Dodgers pitcher before Urías allowed four home runs in a game since June 2017, when Clayton Kershaw did so against the Mets. Since the start of 2020, no Dodgers pitcher allowed six extra-base hits until Tyler Anderson on Thursday night, followed by Urías on Saturday. Both pitchers had to “wear it,” in baseball parlance, soaking up innings after early struggles.
It’s been a terrible series for the Dodgers pitching staff, allowing 29 runs on 36 hits to the Phillies in three games, including eight home runs.
The Dodgers have lost four straight games for the first time all season, and they’ve lost five out of six games, allowing at least five runs in all five losses, after giving up more than three runs only four times in their first 26 games.
To stem the Phillies tide, the Dodgers on Sunday will likely turn to a rookie pitcher making his major league debut who has yet to pitch above Double-A. But there should be very little pressure on Michael Grove, considering the 6.11 ERA for LA’s entire pitching staff in the first six games of this week.
Who’s a good boy?
Saturday was the first of two schedule “pups at the park” nights this season at Dodger Stadium (the next such affair is September 5), and this one provided one of the best highlights of the night — a dog eating a hot dog.
Home runs: Mookie Betts (6); Jean Segura (6), Bryce Harper (9), Kyle Schwarber (9), Rhys Hoskins (6)
WP — Ranger Suárez (4-1): 7 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP — Julio Urías (2-3): 6 IP, 8 hits, 8 runs (5 earned), 3 strikeouts
Michael Grove will make his major league debut on Sunday (1:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), starting the series finale. Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies.