WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper will have to wait another day to see if his old fans have changed their outlook on him.
Monday night’s series opener against the Nationals was postponed after a 2-hour, 55-minute rain delay. The game will be made up Wednesday as part of a split doubleheader. The first game will begin at 1:05 p.m., followed by the second game at 7:05 p.m.
The Phillies will return Tuesday to Nationals Park to open a four-game series. Jake Arrieta will oppose Nationals lefthander Patrick Corbin.
Tuesday will be Harper’s first game in Washington since he was lustily booed throughout a three-game series here in early April.
Harper has just three homers in his last 25 games, but manager Gabe Kapler said Monday afternoon that Harper has looked “as good as he’s looked” in the last couple of days.
“I actually think he started off really well and then he struggled for a little while and now he’s been on a slow trajectory to get to the right spot,” Kapler said. “He’s a little more upright, he’s a little more relaxed. Sunday, he had a super relaxed look at the plate, so I think he’s right where he needs to be.”
Harper is batting .247 with 92 strikeouts, but his .820 OPS through 71 games is 10 points better than it was at this point last season.
In the eighth inning of the blowout loss Sunday, Harper slid against the wall while chasing a foul ball as the Phillies trailed by 14 runs. Kapler was asked Monday if that’s a time he would like to see Harper take it easy and not risk injury.
“I don’t know how ‘easy’ there would play with Bryce in that situation. I don’t even know if it would keep him safer,” Kapler said. “Sometimes playing tentatively can have the opposite effect. Honestly I would not change a damn thing about the way Bryce Harper plays the game. He plays with such intensity ... and care, I don’t think I would change anything about his game.”