WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper will have to wait at least one more day to break out of his frustrating slump after Tuesday night's game between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles was postponed by rain.
The game was called following a delay of approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes. The interleague matchup between crosstown rivals will be made up on Aug. 4.
The teams will continue the home-and-home series in Baltimore on Wednesday night.
Harper came into the game mired in a 4-for-24 skid since his return from the disabled list on June 30. He had left thumb surgery and missed 57 games.
Although the 21-year-old was 1 for 13 over his previous four games, manager Matt Williams was confident the outfielder was on the brink of breaking loose.
"Looks better. Timing's a little better," Williams said Tuesday afternoon. "It's a process man. Take that much time off, it's difficult to maintain timing. So I think he's starting to see it a little bit better, he's a little calmer at the plate. Yeah, the results weren't there, but standing in the dugout watching it, he just looks calmer. It looks like he's seeing the ball a little bit better."
In spite of Harper's struggles, the Nationals started the day a half-game behind Atlanta in the NL East. For that reason, Harper could afford to be patient while waiting for a return to the form that enabled him to win NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2012.
"He knows ... it's going to take some time. Standing in the box he can also feel it," Williams said. "When he's starting to see the ball better he can feel that, too. So it's a question of continuing to work and continuing to go out and play in game situations and see the breaking ball again and again. He'll be good, but it does take time. I'll be happy to write his name in the lineup every day."
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