Quick, ask Bryce Harper for the lottery numbers or who will win any of the NHL’s Game 7s this weekend.
The outfielder recently added soothsayer to his job title after nailing the Phillies’ turnaround to a tee. The team had dropped into last place in the NL East on Aug. 22 after getting walked off on for a fifth straight loss when Harper made his claim.
“We have to go on a streak and win nine out of 10, it just needs to happen,” Harper told reporters. “That’s tough, it’s very tough in baseball to do that. But to get where we need to be, it needs to happen.”
Ten games later, the Phillies have won nine of 10, capped off by another walk-off Thursday night when Alec Bohm’s sacrifice fly lifted them past the Nationals 6-5.
The Phillies arrived at Citi Field on Friday sitting in second place in the NL East, just 2.5 games back of the first-place Braves.
“I heard someone said Bryce is a prophet, so I’m going to go to him to see what we should do next,” manager Joe Girardi said Thursday.
Harper had been hitting well at the time of his statement, but actually cooled off during the Phillies’ hot streak. In the 10-game stretch, he hit just 5-for-35, though his teammates helped pick up the slack to prove him right.
“I think you guys know me as a person, I’m pretty truthful with everything I say, I’m not going to come out and say we’re going to win nine out of 10 and then we don’t do crap,” Harper said Thursday. “We know what we can do, we know how he can play. I’m proud of this team right now, but we have to keep going, keep grinding.”