Bryce Harper flexes ‘dad strength’ again with home run in return from paternity list to lead win over Reds (2024)

CINCINNATI — After a few days on the paternity list, Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies clubhouse on Wednesday night. He was activated ahead of Thursday’s game against the Reds, and didn’t waste any at-bats. With two outs in the top of the third inning and a runner on second, Harper launched a two-run home run 384 feet to right-center field.

Great American Ball Park was not full, so it was easy to hear fan commentary. Moments before the home run, the broadcast picked up a few Reds fans chanting “Overrated” and “Big Whiffer” at Harper.

When he crossed home plate, Harper looked at the crowd, shrugged, and said, “What happened?”

“I love that, man. There’s something that turns on in my head or something,” Harper said postgame on the NBC 10 broadcast. “[Alec Bohm] was laughing because he goes, right when he said it, ‘Harper’s going deep.’

“That’s why I love playing on the road so much, man. I love those moments when fans are in it and we’re going back and forth. It’s always fun.”

Harper’s home run gave the Phillies a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-0 win over the Reds and extended his hitting streak to seven games. The Phillies first baseman finished his day 2-for-3 with a walk and is now hitting .417/.500/.708 over his last 24 at-bats.

Coincidentally, he did nearly the same thing in 2019, hitting a solo home run the day he returned after the birth of his first child, Krew.

“Wild, isn’t it?” manager Rob Thomson said. “Daddy strength.”

Added Zack Wheeler: “I think dad strength is a real thing, so, I don’t know.”

Harper said his wife, Kayla, and their newborn girl are doing well. He kept the baseball from his home run.

“I got Krew’s back, and now I’ve got hers back,” he said. “Krew’s baseball is probably in my basem*nt in Jersey.”

For whatever reason, the Phillies lineup hasn’t always shown up on days in which Wheeler is pitching, but on Thursday, it did. The offense combined for five runs on 11 hits. Trea Turner went 3-for-5, Bryson Stott went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Nick Castellanos recorded his first hit since Monday.

Wheeler continued his run of dominance. He allowed just one hit over six innings, and has given up just two hits over his last two outings. Wheeler became the second Phillies pitcher in the Modern Era to allow one hit over at least six innings in back-to-back starts, joining Marvin Freeman, who did it in 1986.

He allowed an uncharacteristically-high four walks but was able to wiggle his way out of trouble. After throwing just 19 pitches in his first two innings, Wheeler needed 34 to get through the third, allowing two walks and a single to load the bases with two outs. Spencer Steer lined a ball to right field that almost went out, but Castellanos caught it at the wall to end the inning.

“That was big,” Wheeler said. “He does a great job out there. I have confidence in him. He did a nice job getting back on that ball. I was scared off the bat, and then watching him go back, but he knew where he was on the field and made a great catch. Saved me.”

That was the extent of Wheeler’s trouble. He retired his next six batters, allowed two more walks in the sixth, but induced a double play and a pop out to prevent any runs from scoring.

He finished his day at eight strikeouts and now has 46 for the season, joining six other Phillies pitchers in the Modern Era who’ve reached that mark through their first six games.

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“Two hits, but also a bunch of walks, which is frustrating,” Wheeler said. “But, you know, it is what it is. It’ll get cleaned up. The results are good, just need to fix the deep counts and walks. But the results have been good.”

He added: “The ball is flying a lot better, so it’s missing a little more bat. Off-speed is working a little better. It’s kind of hit-or-miss. It’s frustrating, but it’s also good. So, you just try to take both — fix what you need to, but take that positiveness out of the start that you just did.”

Orion Kerkering entered in relief of Wheeler, pitching 1⅔ innings, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Jeff Hoffman finished it off, pitching 1⅓ innings, allowing one hit with three strikeouts.

Bryce Harper flexes ‘dad strength’ again with home run in return from paternity list to lead win over Reds (2024)


Bryce Harper flexes ‘dad strength’ again with home run in return from paternity list to lead win over Reds? ›

CINCINNATI -- Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper's Dad Strength is legit. He smashed a two-run home run to right field in Thursday afternoon's 5-0 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Phillies quickly retrieved the ball because they figured Harper would want it as a keepsake.

Does Bryce Harper have a new baby? ›

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper and his wife Kayla welcomed their third child in April. They shared on Instagram Wednesday that her name is Kamryn Ray Harper.

What was Bryce Harper's GPA in high school? ›

Harper held down a 3.5 GPA in high school. Harper was graded as a Top-5 pick by an American League scout and a Top-2 pick by a National League scout in just his sophom*ore year of high school. Harper played in a Las Vegas High game where his team won 31-1. Harper played t-ball at age 3 against 6-year-olds.

How old was Bryce Harper when he debuted? ›

He was drafted first overall by the Washington Nationals at 17 and made his major-league debut at 19. At no point did Harper slow down to be, well, normal.

How long do MLB players get for paternity leave? ›

The paternity leave list may be used when a player chooses to leave the team to attend the birth of his child. A player placed on the paternity leave list must miss the next team game, but no more than three games. The team can use another player from its 40-man roster to replace a player on the paternity leave list.

Does Harper get pregnant? ›

The Philadelphia Phillies placed perennial All-Star first baseman Bryce Harper on the paternity list Monday. Harper and his wife, Kayla, announced last month that they were expecting their third child.

Does Bryce Harper have a wife? ›

PHILADELPHIA - "3 for 3" That's how Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper announced that he and his wife Kayla Harper are expecting their third child together. The couple announced the exciting news in a joint Instagram post.

How many rings does Bryce Harper have? ›

Bryce Harper has not won any championships in his career.
Bryce Harper02019
Bryce Harper02020
Bryce Harper02021
Bryce Harper02022
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Who is the youngest MLB All Star? ›

Dwight Gooden became the youngest All-Star in league history when he was selected as a rookie in 1984 at 19 years old. 24. The oldest pitcher to play in an All-Star Game is Satchel Paige, who threw one inning in 1953 at 47 years old.

How tall is Harper? ›

Bats / ThrowsLeft / Right
Date of Birth10/16/1992
Height, Weight6'3", 210 lbs
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Has Bryce Harper ever won a World Series? ›

Drafted first overall by Washington in 2010, Harper was 19 when he made his big league debut with the Nationals two years later. He still hasn't won a World Series title and realizes the current Phillies team may be his best chance with a core that also includes Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, J.T.

Who drafted Bryce Harper first? ›

Washington Nationals

How many times has Bryce Harper been to the World Series? ›

Bryce Harper has 1 appearance in the World Series in his career.

Is Bryce having a baby? ›

3 with wife Kayla Harper. PHILADELPHIA - "3 for 3" That's how Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper announced that he and his wife Kayla Harper are expecting their third child together. The couple announced the exciting news in a joint Instagram post.

When was Bryce Harper's son born? ›

Their first child, a son, was born in Las Vegas on August 22, 2019, while Harper was with his wife on paternity leave.

When were Bryce Harper's kids born? ›

Bryce's personal life has been equally eventful. The baseball pro married his high school sweetheart, Kayla, in December 2016, and the couple are parents to two children: son Krew Aron, born in August 2019, and daughter Brooklyn Elizabeth, born in November 2020.

Is Bryce Harper married and does he have kids? ›

Bryce Harper is going to be a father of three. On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Phillies baseball player, 31, and his wife, Kayla Harper, shared on Instagram that they are expecting another baby. The couple are parents to son Krew, 4, and daughter Brooklyn, 3.

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