Associated Press photo
Bryce Harper tries to snag Brian Bixler's line drive during yesterday's game.
Harper has now appeared in right field three straight days (against Georgetown, twice against the Astros) and he's scheduled to be back out there tonight when the Nationals travel to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets.
So far, he hasn't had very many opportunities to make plays in the field. Nor has he had the opportunity to show off his arm (or, in other cases, show that he knows when it's appropriate not to show off his arm).
Harper's most notable chance to date came late during yesterday's game, when Houston utilityman Brian Bixler (remember him?) struck a ball down the right-field line in the top of the eighth, with the Astros ahead 10-2. Harper came charging hard, and though it appeared like he had no realistic shot at catching the ball, he still dove for it.
The ball wound up getting past Harper, and by the time he corralled it, Bixler had cruised into third base with a triple.
So ... wise move by Harper to make the diving attempt, or should he have simply backed off and tried to catch the ball on a hop, holding Bixler to a double?
Davey Johnson made his feelings on the matter clear.
"At that point, make a great play," Johnson said. "What the heck, we're eight runs down. If we're protecting a two-run lead, we'd play a little differently. I liked his hustle."