WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper is less than one week removed from a stint on the disabled list that threatened his postseason availability and beyond.
On Tuesday, we were happy he was back.
By Thursday, we were worried that he wouldn’t be ready.
And after Sunday, we can be pretty sure that he is running pretty close to 100 percent, especially with four days off before Game 1 of the NLDS.
According to Statcast, Harper scorched two hits today of 114.8 mph and 110.6 mph. The first was his second-hardest hit of the season, according to MLB.com’s David Adler.
Better than what he did at the plate was actually what he did on the base paths. After hitting his single, he went first to home plate, flashing the speed he has always shown, and a renewed sense of confidence in his injured knee.
To prove it, he ran out of his helmet, which cascaded away as he rounded third base.
Shortly thereafter, he was lifted from the game, enjoying an enthusiastic ovation from the home crowd. He finished with a .319 batting average, 29 home runs and 87 RBI, a terrific season for any other player, and three-quarters of a season for him.
The biggest step for Harper will be the first that he takes from his bed tomorrow morning. If all goes well, he will feel nothing unusual and proceed with a full head of steam heading into the NLDS vs. the Chicago Cubs.