After getting creamed by the Brewers 9-1 in the final matchup of a three-game set, the Phillies' struggles were put on full display despite the fact they managed to win the series against one of the MLB's best teams.
Bryce Harper was a focal point of those struggles, as the $300 million man is batting just .230 in his first season with Philadelphia. Harper has failed to hit effectively and consistently all year, and surprisingly was candid about his difficulties handling fastballs.
Quite a few things went wrong for the Phillies on Sunday in Milwaukee, among them Bryce Harper’s continued trouble with the fastball.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 26, 2019
Harper was frank in discussing the difficulty he’s having against the pitch.
It's great to see the superstar own up to his shortcomings and acknowledge that he needs to be better, but Philly should've seen this coming the entire time.
Harper's troubles should not surprise the Phillies. The slugger's average has been under .250 in two of the last three seasons before arriving in the City of Brotherly Love and he's always been prone to lengthy slumps.
Harper struck out three times in Sunday's game against Milwaukee and is currently on pace to surpass his previous high in strikeouts, which was 169 last season.
A third of the way through the season, its fair to be concerned about how often Bryce Harper strikes out. He’s on pace for 218 punchouts... averaged 119 over 7 seasons in Washington. And its not like you’re living with strikeouts because of huge power numbers. On pace for 28 HR.— Sean Kane (@SKaneNBCS) May 27, 2019
Another big thing with Harper, whether it's been his doing or not, is that his journey has ALWAYS been about the money. His impending free agency was talked about years before it even arrived and many believed he could become the league's first $400 million man.
That kind of flash and exaggerated media attention rarely translates to smashing success on the field, especially when you've been largely inconsistent in your first seven MLB seasons.
Nobody doubts that the six-time All-Star can return to form, but it's not hard to believe he's not as fearsome of a force many made him out to be.