Harper (rest) is not in the starting lineup Sunday against the Padres, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. It appears manager Dusty Baker is simply giving Harper a regular day off, as his last one was all the way back on June 30. Harper was 0-for-7 at the plate during the first two games of this series, so that, mixed with the fact that the Nationals are facing lefty Christian Friedrich on Sunday, all added up to be perfect timing for a maintenance day. In his stead, Chris Heisey will get the call in right field.
Harper had a three-true-outcomes game Wednesday against the Dodgers, going 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, a walk, two runs and two strikeouts. He left nothing up to the fielders -- it was just between Harper and the opposing pitchers. Harper hasn't had a multi-hit game in two weeks (although the All-Star break did take up some of that time), and that's actually been a season-long lack that's led to his not-good .249 average. His BABIP's lingering at .245 accordingly, and that just doesn't fit with Harper's career tendencies; it wouldn't be surprising to see him go on a heater and lift the ol' average to respectability by the time this season comes to a close.
Harper went 2-for-5 with a solo homer Thursday at the Mets. Harper launched his 19th bomb of the year in the fourth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead in a game they'd eventually lose. He's now homered in three of his last six games to bring his slugging percentage to .504 on the season.
Harper went 2-for-4 with a solo shot, his 17th home run of the season, in Sunday's blowout win over the Reds. Despite the blast he actually lost the team HR lead to, of all people, Danny Espinosa after the shortstop hit two more homers of his own Sunday. Harper's coming out of his slump though, hitting .391 (9-for-23) over his last six games with two HR and five RBI, and it's just a matter of time before he surges ahead of Espinosa once again.
Harper is not in the lineup Thursday against the Reds, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. It looks to be just a regular day off for Harper, as he's started each of the previous 16 games. He reached base twice Wednesday, but failed to record a hit as he went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks, and will take a seat against the left-handed Brandon Finnegan. Chris Heisey will get the start in his place and play right field Thursday.