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Bryce Harper on facing Livan Hernandez: “It sucks”

May 28, 2012, 3:55 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

Livan Hernandez got the best of Bryce Harper in their first matchup last night, as the 19-year-old rookie swung wildly at an incredibly slow curveball from the 37-year-old veteran and whiffed.

Harper’s eyes lit up when he saw the 65-mph pitch coming to the plate and you could tell he wanted to hit it approximately 1,000 feet. And when he got another chance later in the game, he did.

In their second matchup Hernandez tried to throw a 78-mph slider past Harper and it ended up deep in the right field seats for the phenom’s fourth career homer.

After the Nationals victory Harper shared his thought process for facing Hernandez with Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

I was just looking for something I could drive. Livo throws really slow. You’re going to have wait back and try to get something up that you can drive out of the park or drive up the middle or the left side. He left something up, and I got it.

And when asked about facing Hernandez in general, Harper amusingly replied:

It sucks. I don’t like facing guys like that. I’d rather face a hard lefty or something like that. I don’t like facing slow guys. It’s not very fun.

And yet with the homer Harper is now hitting .287 with a .376 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage through 27 games at age 19, including four homers and 13 total extra-base hits in 101 at-bats. To say he’s living up to the incredible hype would be an understatement.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 28, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    You can think he’s a d-bag or whatever, but it’s hard not to like this guy as a ballplayer. He sure seems to play the game hard and arely do you see guys live up to any kind of hype the way he has.

    • jimbo75025 - May 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Yup-seems most of the people who are spouting off about what a jerk he is are basing their opinions on stuff that happened in the minors or in college. Since he was called up he seems to have acted quite well-maybe he understands that now he is in the big leagues so needs to act the part. His stealing home on after getting plunked by Hammels earned him some respect in my book-no childish outbursts-just a defacto screw you.

      If Strasburg can stay healthy (and avoid the Icy Hot) and Harper continues to improve the Nats could be scary for the next decade.

  2. elmaquino - May 28, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Bryce Harper on facing Livan Hernandez: “He Sucks”

  3. randygnyc - May 28, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Kid’s got game. Period.

  4. scoregasmic - May 28, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    I can’t tell if he’s dissing Hernandez…or complimenting him haha either way Harper has a bright future ahead of him

    • areyesrn - May 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      If I was Livan Hernandez, I’d take it as a compliment…

    • jwbiii - May 28, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      I think

      I’d rather face a hard lefty

      moves the comment into the compliment neighborhood.

  5. jayquintana - May 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Hernandez is the oldest 37 year old on the planet.

  6. pellypell - May 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    I like the fact that the kid took the time to give us some insight.

    • protius - May 29, 2012 at 3:54 AM

      He’s 19, all he’s got is time.

  7. paperlions - May 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    So….who was it that kept saying they weren’t impressed with Harper during spring training? Impressed now? You should be.

  8. xjokerz - May 29, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    You honestly expect your. ” starburg” to stay healthy for the next decade ? And speaking of healthy, signing Zimmerman and werthless were two of the dumbest thigs the nats could have done

  9. ezthinking - May 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Less Harper, more Trout. Trout is playing better.

    • 5thbase - May 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Harper’s career OPS is .886. Trout’s is .772.

      Even isolated to just this year, Harper’s is higher. I think you have confused your opinion with fact. Trout is having a great year and looks to be a great player, but he’s certainly not clearly better than Harper and this isn’t his first experience in the majors anyway.

      By the way, whatever happened to the people obsessing over Double-A numbers? Just curious.

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