No dice for Bryce: Acuña robs Harper twice

August 30th, 2020

Though he's cooled off at the plate lately, has been having a tremendous 2020 campaign so far. He entered play against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday with a 1.050 OPS and seven homers.

But then Harper decided to hit the ball into the remote vicinity of Atlanta's star center fielder,

With a runner on second and one out in the third inning and Philadelphia holding a 1-0 lead, Harper drilled a ball directly over Acuña's head. The 22-year-old phenom went back and made a leaping catch to rob Harper of what would have been his 12th extra-base hit in 27 games this season.

Harper had a better idea in the fifth, when he got that 12th extra-base knock by lining a double down the left-field line, testing Marcell Ozuna instead.

But in the seventh, Harper went back Acuña's way, this time smashing it 356 feet to right-center field, undoubtedly hoping this one would evade Acuña's reach.

No such luck, as Acuña, who was shaded toward left-center, reached an elite 30.7 feet/second as he sprinted 89 feet to his left and made a fully extended dive to deny Harper again. According to Statcast, it was a four-star catch, with a 45 percent catch probability. It was Acuña's first four-star catch this season after a 2019 campaign in which he was a bit below average in Statcast's Outs Above Average metric, with -1 OAA in the outfield.

Harper smashed his batting helmet in frustration after Acuña came up with the catch in the seventh, but all's well that ends well for Philadelphia's slugging right fielder -- the Phillies won, 4-1.