It ‘sucks' not playing in ASG, but Harper would have skipped it this year anyway


Bryce Harper is heating up. 

He had five hits and drove in four runs to help the Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs, 15-10, at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

The Phils have won four of five, including two in a row in Chicago. In the two games, they’ve scored 28 runs and stroked 27 hits, including eight home runs. They are a game under .500 and four back in the NL East with plenty of season left.

“We’re coming into our own as a team," Harper said.

Harper has six hits, including a homer, and four runs scored in the first two games of the four-game series at Wrigley Field, one of his favorite places to play.

His five-hit performance on Tuesday raised his batting average 15 points to .282 and he has 15 homers and 30 RBIs.

Harper has been plagued by nagging injuries and inconsistency in the first half of the season. He did not make the All-Star team, though his numbers are now trending toward worthiness.

Harper is a six-time All-Star, but he has not been selected to play in the game since 2018.

“Of course, you always want to be an All-Star and when you’re not there, it sucks,” he said after Tuesday night’s game.

But even if Harper was selected, he would have declined the invite to this year's game in Denver.

"I probably wouldn’t have went anyway," he said. "I wanted to enjoy my family. Really, I’ve been dealing with my back, I've been dealing with my shoulder, things like that, so I probably would have taken a break from it and enjoyed my family and took some down time.”

Just to be clear, Harper was asked again, if he had been selected to the All-Star Game, he would have declined.

“This year, yeah,” he said.

Harper’s home run Tuesday night was a three-run shot. It was his seventh homer in his last 13 games and his first with runners on base this season.

“I didn’t realize it till I got to 13,” Harper said with a laugh. “Knappy said, ‘Hey, man, you know you haven’t hit a home run with men on base?” 

“Really,” Harper replied. “I’ve been that bad with runners on?”

When Harper got back to the bench after his seventh-inning homer Tuesday night, Andrew Knapp was one of the first to greet him.

“Hey, you did it finally,” he told Harper.

Harper laughed.

“Hopefully, I can do that a couple more times within the next couple of days and the rest of the year,” he said. “When we’re all going at the same time, it’s a lot of fun to watch. You saw it tonight."

Sure did. In addition to Harper, the Phils got a big night from Andrew McCutchen, who had four RBIs, all on a first-inning grand slam, Rhys Hoskins, who had three extra-base hits and four RBIs and Jean Segura, who batted leadoff and had four hits and scored four runs.

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