The biggest headline on the Major League Baseball schedule on Tuesday was the return of Phillies superstar Bryce Harper. After all, he is the biggest name on the defending NL champions and is.
Harper has always had a sense of drama, so it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see him have a huge game on his return. However, the Dodgers and starter Julio Urías had other ideas and pulled off a 13-1 win at Dodger Stadium.
Urías allowed only one hit—a solo homer by former teammate Trea Turner—in his seven dominant innings. He hit 10 while walking one. The Dodgers offense had no trouble collecting hits, taking 17. Miguel Vargas led the way with four hits, three of them doubles. Mookie Betts, Miguel Rojas, Will Smith, Chris Taylor and Freddie Freeman also had multi-hit nights with Freeman going deep while Taylor hit twice.
It was just total carnage. All Dodgers.
Harper came to the plate four times:
- He struck swinging in the first inning.
- He hit a weak grounder (56.6 miles per hour) to third in the fourth.
- He swung out to close out the sixth.
- In the ninth, Harper led off with a three-pitch walk.
Last season, Harper played through a torn UCL in his elbow and also missed several weeks in the middle due to a broken thumb. In his 99 games played, the 2021 NL MVP hit .286/.364/.514 (147 OPS+) with 28 doubles, 18 homers, 65 RBI and 63 runs. In the Phillies’ 17 playoff games, Harper hit .349/.414/.746 with seven doubles, six home runs, 13 RBI, and 12 runs.
The rough night on Tuesday shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The southpaw Harper faced a very tough southpaw on the mound in Urías and it was his first game back. He didn’t even go on a minor league rehab assignment like most players do, so it’ll probably be a while before he’s up and running.
The Phillies had won seven of eight last weekend to go to 15-13, but they’ve now lost three in a row to drop back below .500.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have their act together after several weeks of mediocre baseball. They have now won five in a row and eight of their last 10.