Bryce Harper: “We Have a lot of Things to Look at”
The Phillies season came to an end with another loss in Miami to the Marlins on Sunday.
It was an apropos way to go down in another season that will not result in postseason play, losing to the team that has constantly been a thorn in their side. However, they finished 6.5 games behind the Braves in the N.L. East, it's their inability to win games against teams like Miami that has held them back in recent seasons.
They went 9-10 against the Marlins, who won 67 games this season. They went 3-4 against the Pirates, who won a total of 61 games this season. They went 2-5 against a Rockies team that won 74 games. They went 3-4 against Arizona, who won just 52 games this season.
Against four of the worst teams in the National League, the Phillies went a combined 17-23. Meanwhile, the division-winning Braves went 21-18 in games against those teams, a four-game swing.
When the games mattered more, in the month of September, the Braves simply played better baseball. In the season's final month, they went 13-14, and the Braves went 16-10.
There are many numbers, all contributing to a 10th straight season without playoff baseball in Philadelphia, but that's not changing Bryce Harper's mind about his future here.
"I wanna stick it out, I wanna play here, I wanna be here," Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper said after the team's season came to an end in Miami on Sunday. "I said that at the beginning, I want to go through the good and the bad."
Harper put up an MVP like .305 with 35 HR and 84 RBI on the season. He also scored 100 runs, walked 100 times, ripped 42 doubles, and added 13 stolen bases, all of which feel a bit wasted with the team sitting October out.
"I want to be better, I want to get better," Harper said. I love this team. I love this organization, and I just want to be so good for them and the city of Philadelphia.
Harper did offer some advice on how the team might be able to get better -- through their minor league system.
While the team doesn't have a lot of big league-ready talent at the minor league levels, there are a few names that could help. The team has two former first-round picks that Harper mentioned -- Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm.
"If Bryson Stott is up here, he needs to come up here and do his job, and we need him to be the best player he can be," explained Harper. "Same with Bohm, he needs to figure out this offseason what he wants to be and how he wants to do it. We need him to be a big piece of this club next year as our starting third baseman."
Harper also mentioned the possibility of the N.L> adding the DH and having Rhys Hoskins fill that role while adding another player to swing the bat. He acknowledged that there are a lot of unanswered questions, saying they don't have a left fielder, center field, or a third baseman.
"We have a lot of things to look at," Harper acknowledged.
He's absolutely right. They sure do.