WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper really, really loves Opening Day. This is redundant, sure, but it’s worth repeating for emphasis.
Harper opened the 2017 version with a strikeout in the first inning, then he flied out to left in the third. When he stepped up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the sixth, however, Harper did what he seems to do every Opening Day: He launched a no-doubter home run.
That is, get this, the fifth Opening Day home run of Harper’s career. In case you need a reminder, Harper is just 24 years old. Though this is Harper’s sixth season in the majors, it’s just his fifth Opening Day game, as he wasn’t called up until partway through the 2012 season. So that’s five home runs in five Opening Day games.
That’s a pretty good ratio. After two bolts on Opening Day 2013, one in 2015 and 2016 apiece, and one (so far) in 2017, it really makes you wonder: What was wrong with him in 2014?