PHILADELPHIA — As the ball rocketed off his bat and soared to right field, well into the bleachers at Citizens Bank Park, Bryce Harper remembered for a moment what it’s like to hit a home run.
“It felt really good,” he said.
Harper hadn’t had that sensation since returning from the disabled list nearly two weeks ago. And he hadn’t felt that in a big-league game since April, when he hit his only other home run for the Nationals this season.
Yes, he did belt those three homers one night with Harrisburg during his game rehabbing from left thumb surgery. But as Harper has known all along, and as other have come to realize, there’s just a slight difference between Class AA pitching and major-league pitching.
“It’s a little bit different seeing 95-plus [mph] every day,” he said. “It’s two months off and coming back into it trying to get everything going. It’s going to be tough. I’m just trying to get into my routine every day, see how I feel.”