Harper working to get out of offensive funk

Harper working to get out of offensive funk

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper admitted after Tuesday night's 0-for-4 performance that he's been "all over the place" at the plate since the All-Star break. Entering Wednesday night's action, the rookie had posted a .171/.266/.257 batting line in 18 games since July 13, striking out 18 times in 79 second-half plate appearances.

"Just trying to find some mellowness at the plate and in the box," Harper said Tuesday night. "I'm just trying to work at it every day and take something good from every at-bat, take something good from every game."

He has only three extra-base hits since the break, dropping his slugging percentage nearly 50 points from where it stood heading into the second half of the season. Harper was batting .282 with an .826 OPS prior to the season's unofficial midway point.

"I don't think I'm trying to do too much at all," he said. "I'm just trying to keep my strikeouts down and my walks up. I think that's the biggest thing. Try to square some stuff up and just trying to have good ABs and just trying to battle."

Harper went 2-for-4 during the 3-2 loss on Wednesday, getting singles in his first two at-bats.