The Philadelphia Phillies have been underachieving for years, but at least for the 2022 season, there is hope things will soon turn around.
One of the main reasons to be excited, for Phillies fans, is having the reigning NL MVP, Bryce Harper, on the roster once again.
He is already off to a hot start in spring training, hitting .333 (7-for-21 ) with six runs, three homers, five RBI, and a 1.153 OPS.
On Wednesday, he hit another towering blast, with one fun ingredient: it came during an interview with Phillies manager Joe Girardi.
Girardi was talking, and when Harper hit the ball to the moon, he stopped speaking.
Bryce's latest HR was such a bomb that it caught Joe Girardi off guard mid-interview 😳💣 pic.twitter.com/sq56g099ea
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 30, 2022
Just hearing the sound of the bat’s impact on the ball was enough to silence Girardi, who then had time to joke around a little with the broadcasting crew.
The Phillies Depend On Harper’s Contributions
Few teams in MLB have their hopes so heavily invested in one player like the Phillies with Harper.
Last year, they were actually close to making the postseason until they lost a tight race with the Atlanta Braves in September.
They wouldn’t have come anywhere near the position they were in if it wasn’t for Harper.
The lefty-swinging star hit .309/.429/.615, with 35 home runs, 101 runs, 84 RBI, and 13 stolen bases.
Injuries and off days took 21 games off his season, so he could have had a shot at 40 homers had he played something closer to 162 games.
This time, the Phillies brought him some help, as they signed sluggers Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to complete an impressive lineup that also has Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, Alec Bohm, and J.T. Realmuto, among others.
Will 2022 be the Phillies’ year?
It will largely depend on how far Harper can take them.