Way back in June, long before the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves knew they would be meeting once again in the postseason, Bryce Harper made a prediction about Atlanta Braves pitcher Bryce Elder. Luckily for Phillies fans, it's one of the few things Harper didn't do right in connection with Wednesday's pivotal NLDS Game 3.
Bryce Harper's prediction about Bryce Elder missed the mark
Check out the quote provided before Game 3 as a point of reference by MLB.com's Mark Bowman, who covers the Braves. At the time of this post, the Braves had not yet officially named Elder as the Game 3 starter.
Thankfully for Phillies fans, Harper was off on his comment, with Elder struggling mightily in front of a raucous crowd at Citizens Bank Park. In 2.2 innings of work, Elder gave up six runs on five hits. One of those hits was a three-run homer by Harper blasted deep into the right field seats that broke the game wide open, and got personal for Orlando Arcia.
Of course, much of the storyline surrounding Wednesday's Game 3 was around Harper and the alleged comments made by Atlanta's Orlando Arcia after Harper was doubled off first to finish off Atlanta's win in Game 2. With plenty of motivation on his side, Harper looked like a man who was ready to prove a point to Elder or any other Braves pitcher who took the mound in Game 3.
Elder may well be a pitcher who "knows what he's doing" but he ran into an emotional buzzsaw in the form of Harper and Phillies fans who were out for revenge in Game 3.
Sure, there were plenty of concerns on the part of Braves fans before Wednesday's start but Elder was likely the best-case scenario for Atlanta with Spencer Strider and Max Fried still available for what could well be an elimination game on Thursday night.