Bryce Harper helped the Phillies keep their playoff hopes alive Monday with a two-run homer in the team’s 7-1 rout of the Cincinnati Reds. But it was his reaction after the bomb, his 30th of the season, that’s getting all the attention.

As seen during the television broadcast, Harper struck up a brief conversation with a young fan at Great American Ball Park while he was on-deck during the eighth inning. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Gregg Murphy, the young fan quickly revealed he was a Notre Dame college football fan.

Harper’s wife Kayla is a former Ohio State soccer star, so the Phillies slugger is quite a fan of her alma mater. In fact, ESPN turned to Harper as its celebrity guest picker last season on College Gameday, where he was the only person on the four-member panel to correctly predict the Buckeyes’ upset of the Michigan Wolverines.

“So after the home run, Bryce came back and gave him the ‘O-H’ for Ohio State and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to follow a winner. That’s how it works.’ “ Murphy said.

With the win, the Phillies are 2½ games out of a playoff spot with 26 games remaining. They’ll take on the Reds again Tuesday at 6:40 p.m., with Vince Velasquez on the mound.

A-Rod ridiculed for analysis during Phillies game

We’re still trying to figure out what Alex Rodriguez meant during the Phillies’ 5-2 win over the New York Mets on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Rodriguez suggested Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce should drop a sacrifice bunt to advance Adam Haseley to third base, which would put the team closer to having a two-run lead.

Obviously, every run is important, but Rodriguez probably didn’t realize that Bruce has just three sacrifice bunts in his career. Regardless, it was what Rodriguez said next that left fans throughout the Delaware Valley scratching their heads in confusion.

“You always want even leads versus odd leads. Why? The solo home run doesn’t tie it, and the grand slam does not beat you,” Rodriguez said. “Keep it simple.”

It sounds like Rodriguez is making the case that a two-run lead is somehow better than a three-run lead, which obviously makes little sense. And as 94.1 WIP’s Glen Macnow pointed out, a two-run lead would still be two runs short of holding up again a grand slam.

I guess it’s better than calling a cheesesteak a “cheese sandwich.”