Harper hits three homers, one a 445-foot blast
Youngest player since 1969 to accomplish feat
WASHINGTON -- Three homers in one game is quite a feat, but if you're the youngest to do it in 45 years, that's another notch on your belt that few can call their own.
Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper bolstered his already impressive resume by tallying his first career three-homer game. In the Nats' 7-5 win over the Marlins, Harper became the youngest player at 22 years, 202 days to accomplish the feat since Joe Lahoud (22 years, 53 days) on June 11, 1969.
Entering Wednesday's action, Harper was 2-for-15 against Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler, but he wrote an entirely different story.
In the second inning, Harper drove the ball 393 feet, with an exit velocity of 101.5 mph, as measured by Statcast™, to left-center field. He then smashed Koehler's 0-1 offering in the third inning into the right-center-field second deck at Nationals Park. That ball was tracked to have traveled 442 feet, with an exit velocity of 104.7 mph.
The third homer, in the fifth inning, traveled even farther, measured at 445 feet into the right-center-field second deck, with an exit velocity of 108.6 mph, and gave Washington a 5-2 lead.
"I was trying to get some good ABs," Harper said. "[Koehler] is a good pitcher. He has a curveball, slider and has a good changeup. We were trying to put some runs on the board for [Max Scherzer]."
It was Harper's sixth multi-homer game of his career, and he believes he should be locked in at the plate like that all the time.
"That's how it should be. That's how I expect myself to play. If it's hitting homers, hitting doubles, that's what I need to do. That's what I expect out of myself," Harper said. "Of course, you are not going to have an actual day you are going to hit three home runs and drive in five, but that's the type of player I need to be."
Scherzer, who won his second game of the season, wasn't in the dugout when Harper hit the three home runs. He was in the tunnel trying to cool off.
"But I definitely heard all three. When I heard it, I just looked at the security guard and said, 'See ya. It's in the upper deck.' I didn't have to watch it," Scherzer said.
In the seventh inning, Harper had a chance to hit a fourth home run, this time off Sam Dyson, but Harper grounded out to second base with runners on first and third bases in his fourth at-bat, driving Denard Span in for a 7-2 lead.
"I was trying to get that run in. I wanted to get that fourth home run. It would be something. That would have been cool to get," Harper said.
Three other Nationals players have hit three homers in one game: Alfonso Soriano (April 21, 2006, against Atlanta), Adam Dunn (July 8, 2010, against San Diego) and Ryan Zimmerman (May 29, 2013, at Baltimore)
The last to hit four homers in a game was Josh Hamilton, who did it for the Rangers in 2012.
Players to hit four home runs in one game:
Josh Hamilton, Rangers, 5/8/2012
Carlos Delgado, Blue Jays, 9/25/2003
Shawn Green, Dodgers, 5/23/2002
Mike Cameron, Mariners, 5/2/2002
Mark Whiten, Cardinals, 9/7/1993
Bob Horner, Braves, 7/6/1986
Mike Schmidt, Phillies, 4/17/1976
Willie Mays, Giants, 4/30/1961
Rocky Colavito, Indians, 6/10/1959
Joe Adcock, Milwaukee Braves, 7/31/1954
Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers, 8/31/1950
Pat Seerey, White Sox, 7/18/1948
Chuck Klein, Phillies, 7/10/1936
Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 6/3/1932
Ed Delahanty, Phillies, 7/13/1896
Bobby Lowe, Boston Beaneaters, 5/30/1894